'Craftsy' teaching students crafting skills online

Lauren Glassberg reports on a fun website
December 23, 2013 3:13:59 PM PST
Considering a new hobby, but can't find the time in your schedule to commit taking classes? There is a solution to that dilemma: a web site called Craftsy, where you learn at your own pace.

Cake designer Elisa Strauss is among the instructors.

"The most important thing about my cakes is that they're baked from scratch, so they have to look good but more importantly they have to taste good," said Strauss.

It's not an actual purse she's designed, but a couture cake, something Strauss is known for. And now the New York baker is sharing her skills with a huge audience, thanks to the website Craftsy.

Craftsy allows people all over the world to watch classes, from cake sculpting to quilting to cooking.

"What we've bult captures the magic of a live classroom and you can consume it on your own schedule," Craftsy's John Levisay said.

Levisay isn't much of a crafter himself but he founded Craftsy knowing the web could offer a convenience that local classes can't.

"We all wished we could have taken classes at a local college or culinary school but just didn't have the time. You can't be somewhere every Tuesday 7-10 at night, it's just impossible," Levisay said.

And there is an interactive component that you can find with instructional TV shows or DVD's.

Students can ask teachers questions, and the teacher as well as other students can respond.

This year Craftsy expects people to buy 1 million classes and that's great for the teachers.

"Our instructors are able to monetize their expertise without being experts in digital marketing technical platform building and video production. They can just do what they do best," said Levitay.

"I put so much preparation into each Craftsy class, we're talking months of trials and testing recipes," said Strauss. "So the fact that everyone appreciates that by saying 'I love your class, I've learned so much', 'I would have never sculpted before unless I saw you do it first', just makes me feel so good."

Craftsy has over 250 instructors, and students from over 200 countries. 30,000 students have taken the machine quilting class.