Art News

Craftsy Legacy Unravels as NBC Cuts Off Bluprint

Bluprint morphed from Denver-based Craftsy.
Bluprint morphed from Denver-based Craftsy. bluprint
Although crafts have never been bigger than during the coronavirus pandemic, Denver's homegrown crafts conglomerate has unraveled. John Levisay, chief executive officer of Bluprint, which started out as Craftsy a decade ago, says that the company is closing.

Along with Bret Hanna, Todd Tobin and Josh Scott, Levisay founded Craftsy in Denver in 2011. An early adopter of online learning, it grew fast. Then-Governor John Hickenlooper declared May 21, 2014, as "Colorado Craftsy Day"; by then, it had over 200 employees at its LoDo headquarters, with plans to hire many more. It also provided part-time work for many crafty instructors.

In 2017, when NBCUniversal bought a majority stake in Craftsy, Levisay stayed on as CEO and the company was renamed Bluprint. Over the next decade, it shifted from à la carte offerings and moved to a subscription model, but now the whole thing has come unraveled.

Here's the May 24 letter in which Levisay delivered the bad news:
To our Bluprint community:

This is not an easy letter to write. For the last ten years, my colleagues and I have worked tirelessly on Craftsy and then Bluprint. When we started the business in 2010, our goal was to provide passionate enthusiasts access to the world’s best experts and make it easier to learn new skills. Our hope was to make people’s lives better through creativity, and we’ve been honored to serve millions of customers over the last decade.

I am disappointed to inform you that Bluprint will be closing over the next few months. Like so many customers, instructors, designers, and employees, I am devastated by this news. Please know that our team is working quickly to finalize details, and we will provide more information soon.

For now, I wanted to let you know that we are looking at various options to allow those of you who have purchased individual classes to receive a copy of your classes. This includes individual classes purchased with own forever credits. We are also planning to issue prorated refunds for paid subscribers based on the last day our service will be available, which will be communicated when that date is finalized in the near future.

On behalf of all the Craftsy/Bluprint employees, I want to express our gratitude and appreciation to you for being with us on this journey.
When that journey ends, over 130 people at Craftsy/Bluprint headquarters in Denver will lose their jobs.

To learn about the start of that journey, read our January 2015 cover story "Making It: Craftsy Is Creating an Online DIY Empire."
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