Denver’s Craftsy creates niche by targeting 40 and up demographic

Craftsy, a Denver-based company that offers many handcraft classes such as knitting, is differentiating itself from many Silicon Valley-based companies by targeting an older demographic. 


You might not be into hemming skirts or stitching quilts, but if you’re interested in online education, you may still want to keep an eye on Craftsy.

Unlike many of its peers in Silicon Valley, the Denver-based startup clearly doesn’t have designs on disrupting formal education. Its core students are women over 40 who want to learn how to knit with beads, make handcrafted sugar flowers or master pants-fitting techniques. The next step for graduates of its classes is more likely to be an Etsy storefront than a better job or degree program. But given that Craftsy created its learning experience to be discipline agnostic, its success so far is worth noting by anyone with an interest in the growing field of online education.

Launched in 2011, the company offers classes on all kinds of handcrafts — from crocheting and sewing to bread baking and cake decorating — for about $20 to $50. But founder and CEO John Levisay, a former eBay executive, said it places a premium on the production of the class, including the quality of the video, the experience of the teacher and the structure of the course itself.

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Read more articles by Ivy Hughes.

Ivy Hughes is a Colorado native and coffee shop junkie. Contact her here.
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