Online class and supplies platform, Craftsy.com, alerted pattern designers yesterday that it plans to reduce the size of its pattern marketplace as part of a revamp coming in 2019. According to the FAQ document linked to in the email, the Craftsy team reviewed 220,000 patterns from 12,000 shops leading up to yesterday’s notice.
Some sellers received a letter stating that their pattern shop would be closed entirely on December 28, while others were told that they’d been identified as a “top designer” and would be allowed to keep their pattern shop open, although the selection of patterns available may be reduced. The ability to add new patterns is being disabled for all designers until sometime in 2019 when the marketplace revamp is complete. (By way of full disclosure, I have pattern shop on Craftsy and received the notice that my shop would be allowed to remain open.)
Any patterns customers have already purchased will remain in members’ pattern libraries on Craftsy.com regardless of the status of the designer’s store. Financial reporting on past pattern sales will also remain available for designers even if their store is closed.
Sewing, knitting, and crochet designers have longed turned to the Craftsy pattern marketplace as a favored ecommerce solution because there were no transaction fees. It was a place to easily upload patterns, both those that were for sale and free patterns, without financial risk. At the same time, Craftsy provided very little in the way of business support for pattern sellers. For example, there was no method within the marketplace for designers to collect in-state sales tax from customers, or to collect VAT, the European Union’s tax on the sale of digital goods.
Decisions sent out regarding shop closures are final, the FAQ stated, although instructors who teach on Craftsy and Bluprint are able to appeal the decision by filling out an online form. Instructors will also be able to add new patterns to accompany their classes even while that function is closed to all other designers.
For many, this news was sudden and is causing a scramble for ecommerce alternatives. “I was running my block-of-the-month through Craftsy this year,” says quilt pattern designer, Amy Friend, who sells her quilt patterns under her brand, During Quiet Time, on Craftsy and was notified yesterday that her shop will be shut down. “Today I am capturing the email addresses and seeking alternate ways to distribute the monthly files,” she says.
For others, this change is a push towards setting up their own ecommerce site. “I still have my Etsy store which will cover pdf downloads until I get a store of my own setup,” says quilt designer Nancy Scott of Masterpiece Quilting. “Setting up my own store has been on my to-do list for a while, I guess it is moving up on the priority list.”
I would like to recommend Shopify. I am not getting paid in any form to recommend Shopify. My website http://www.sewforever.com. I have had a website with different host over the years. I am most happy with Shopify.
Looks professional and I can make changes on my own.
If I can’t figure out how to do something , there are tons of references material or I can actually get a very helpful person on the phone to walk me through the process. Lots of continuing education access through email.
Trustworthy platform that is up and running, loads fast. All the background functions I know nothing about run smoothly.
Lots of plug ins to address your needs, lots of them free.
The monthly or annual charge seems very reasonable compared to other prices I have paid.
Full disclosure some of my Craftsy patterns will continue to be offered. It was nice while it lasted. This falls in the life category, to good to be true.
Makerist.com is a huge pattern marketplace that is not only present in the US but also German and French markets.
We offer a home to anyone affected by the Craftsy downsizing and welcome sewing, knitting, crochet, plotting/cutting, embroidery and craft video designers to our platform.
For more information contact Orlaith directly on: firstname.lastname@example.org
About a year ago I got into the world of quilting and so far- love doing machine applique for wall hangings. As a Craftsy customer I had only purchased a few patterns but had MANY saved in my wishlist. There were about a dozen that I was eagerly looking forward to purchasing this year. Craftsy claimed that everything I had saved, would transition to BluPrint, so I figured “ok no worries”.
Low and behold they did not. I can’t tell you how disappointed I am to recently discover that was not true. Unfortunately I never took the time to write down designer’s names, email info or their pattern info so now all that is lost. I’ve inquired and been given the “trademark issues” answer by BluePrint along with a 50% off coupon. Told them not interested as I wanted what I saved and can’t buy from them now.
I ran across the Industry Alliance site today and comments from designers have been very enlightening. I plan to got to Shopify, Esty and the other sites mentioned in posts in a search for patterns; particularly applique.
I’ll welcome responses from designers to aid in my search for their patterns.
I am one of the Craftsy designers who was retained on Bluprint, although over 100 of my patterns were deleted from the website. Needless to say, this was quite a blow to my business. My patterns are now on Etsy, and I’m in the process of setting up a website through Shopify. Most of my designs are applique patterns for mug rugs, table runners, and wall hangings. I’m adding baby quilts to my inventory as well. This is the link to my Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/KLee2Strings
I had a number of appliqué patterns on Craftsy, now down to one. So I am replying in hopes that you may have saved some of my patterns to your list. Visit https://www.sewforever.com for a complete list of my appliqué patterns and some other interesting items. Hope that helps.
Still waiting for a response about a doll pattern previously listed on craftsy
I only got notice Dec 28 that my shop is closing. Never saw this coming! (I don’t know how I missed your post, Amy!) It was a good ride while I had it. I will look into Shopify – I have 124+ patterns and keep adding all the time. I know that sounds like a lot, but I’ve been publishing in magazines (26 years) and books and teach workshops around the country, so my patterns should pass the “smell” test for being professional and accurate. I’m going to check out Etsy, too.
Everyone was notified on the same day. I don’t think they were closing shops based on the patterns not being professional or accurate. It’s not clear what the criteria was.
Abby. As you can see by the time stamp, I was barely awake! You are correct! (I was not time traveling – Dec 28? – NO!) I did find another announcement sent out by the CEO John Levisay on May 10, 2017 about coming changes and I wrote him an email asking for more details about this. If I hear anything substantive, I will let you know. Sorry to mess with those dates!
I did hear back from Craftsy about this change. More details here than there are on the website:
“Thank you for writing to us. We opened the marketplace over 7 years ago as a completely open forum for designers from around the world. Over the years, it’s grown massively and we have not been able to monitor the submissions for things like quality and trademark/copyright compliance. We know we can do better for our mutual customers and for all of you, the designers!
Please know that none of the decisions made to remove stores were personal and not all stores had patterns that infringed on copyrights. We recognize that many great stores and designs may be removed as part of this. The changes and improvements that we are making to the marketplace are not a small undertaking nor are they something we take lightly, and there will be *****over 10,000 stores and 200,000 patterns removed***** (astericks mine). While we are revamping the marketplace, we had to reduce the size significantly, but we are very much looking forward to opening this back up later in 2019 and continuing to support our talented designers in the future.”
I find it very frustrating and extremely unprofessional to act so quickly with out much lead time or notice to shop owners. I understand that change does come but with only one weeks notice… Very unprofessional!
I have to agree with you on this point. There are many pattern designers who depend on Craftsy for their ecommerce presence. We can argue whether this is a wise decision, but be that as it may it’s true and for them to have just one week’s notice, and at the holidays when things are bound to be extremely busy for almost everyone, does seem rather disrespectful. Clearly going through all of the patterns on the Craftsy marketplace was an enormous job and must have taken at least several weeks, if not months, so this change was in the pipeline. More warning would have given those designers a longer lead time to find a new ecommerce solution.
While I’m intrigued by the upcoming changes at Craftsy and I do get to keep my shop there, I think the short notice to designers was a bit rude :-/
I’m thankful that it’s not my only marketplace! Eggs and baskets and all that, I like to keep things spread out and not rely on any one thing for too long.
For those looking to move to a platform where they have more control, I highly recommend your own website (WordPress makes it super easy) with a shopping cart. Shopify is also easy to use and set up. Lots of options out there 🙂
I was identified as a “top designer.” I hardly sell any patterns on Craftsy, although I do duplicate what I have on Ravelry in my Craftsy pattern store. I think “top designers” are either Craftsy teachers or people who sell kits of Cloudborne yarn. I’m just guessing at this but it seems to make sense. Now that they are owned by NBC…
I don’t think so because I was identified as a top designer as well and I don’t sell kits or teach on Craftsy.
No but you are well known for your patterns
If anyone currently has a shop and is struggling with the move from Craftsy- I’ve written a quick tutorial and video for moving your shop info from Craftsy.
I’ve been on many platforms for my shop and currently still have an Etsy store, but by far my time investment for setting up a Shopify store has been well worth it.
I agree with Becky’s comment on Shopify and can’t recommend it more.
“Patterns customers have already purchased will remain in their pattern library.” Does this include free patterns as well?
Yes, it does, but although your patterns, free or purchased, will remain, the cover photo and title may be removed (if, say, the designer removes the pattern from Craftsy), forcing you to download it in order to see what it even is. I spent some time doing that yesterday, only taking the ones I really wanted–just in case they should disappear at some point.
I learned that my shop was one being closed down. It is difficult for me because after your article on Etsy selling the AR15 Speedloaders I immediately closed my shop there after ten years. I am hopeful about Payhip although they are having some difficulties with my account start up.
Just to clarify, I didn’t write the article about AR-15 reloaders being sold on Etsy. I linked to it in my email newsletter.
I removed my patterns from Craftsy three years ago, when they weren’t able to give me the income reports that are required in Denmark. Additionally, they didn’t handle the EU digital vat, and I decided I didn’t want to risk getting in trouble over the very little income I collected on Craftsy. I sell from my own site and also have an Etsy shop.
As a consumer, I think this is a good move. There are thousands of patterns on their site, way too many to browse through. Sometimes I try to search but end up overwhelmed by the number of items that come up.
I don’t like the way they’ve gone about this – they should have given shop owners much greater notice, but I think it will be good when the site is a bit more curated.
As another customer I don’t agree with you. Yes, there were many designs in the library, but at least they were all on the same site. You could search for a specific designer, but also for just the kind of pattern, regardless who designed it.
From now on you’ll have to know who a designer is, go to that specific website and search for a pattern … for all those designers I don’t know, I’ll never get to know them (and they won’t sell any pattern), simply because they’ve become invisible to me … It’s a great loss for both designer and customer.
Or at least better refine their search functions. Ravelry has an astounding number of patterns yet you’d never notice based on their search filter capabilities. Casey is a coding extraordinaire, to say the least.
AS like all entities the bottom line is money, they weren’t getting a cut, why couldn’t they have just decided they needed that and let everyone be??? I have enjoyed it for years looking through patterns I would never see other wise. I wish all the designers good luck on moving and being visible.
For me this came as a hard blow and at a very difficult time. The email they sent was a crush to my spirit. So as I am processing what has happened I am definitely more emotional. I think many designers are in shock, I know I still am. I also think how they selected who’s gone and who’s staying is such a mystery to us all, that we’re left wondering why?
I have to make some big decisions in the new year and I’m in such a fog over it all. Which platform to choose, what steps to take next.
Also I would have liked to have seen some type of fee system in place instead of a complete shutdown. Or even at best more notice, and not during the holidays.
From what I saw it has nothing to with copyright infringement because after the closing of the shops there are still many embroidery designs that are infringing on Disney, Harry Potter and others
I had a lot of free designs, nothing for sale but “was allowed to stay”. I deleted my designs and closed up shop. I had about 1000 people downloading my designs a month so that was a lot of traffic that I sent to Craftsy. A lot of emails for them to sell to.
I’m just sorry for all designers who’ll have to set up new shops and try to be as visible as they were in Craftsy. I’m a quilter and have searched many, many times on Craftsy for paperpiecing designs. I found lots of nice patterns, both free and payed. For me it was the ideal place to look for designs, just because they were all in one place.
Now this big library is breaking up in lots of seperate new websites/shops, I’m sure I won’t be able to visite all of them, simply because I don’t even know they exist (and it’ll also take way more time to search for them and check out what they’ve got).
This move might be good for Craftsy (not sure about that), but it’s surely a very bad move for the designers …
As a consumer, I feel for those who have their patterns published through Craftsy. You have been given very little notice to change your business production lines, especially during the holiday period.
However, I have noticed that these abrupt changes have happened before through Craftsy. Many years ago, when the site first started, I was able to purchase fabric. For us in Australia at the time, it was wonderful. Fabric here has always been expensive, but to have a reasonable exchange rate at the time and an affordable postage (about $8-10) made it practical and very much desirable. Unfortunately, it came to a halt overnight, no notice, just no shipping overseas anymore. That lasted about a year. When it returned it was in the vicinity of $US40+ Since then, I have only vaguely looked at the site. Perhaps only when I required to purchase a pattern from a designer. I made sure I had copies of everything I had purchased before 28 December. I wish all the Designers good luck in developing their new websites/platforms.
This applied to us in Britain as well, but I have on occasion bought direct from American shops, so far I have not had to pay any import duty but it may still be worth it as the quality fabric is so much cheaper than here, loads more choice too. I do feel so much sympathy for those who have had their shops closed at such short notice. I hadn’t heard of Shopify so will check that out, maybe that us only is America.
I am shocked at the lack of respect you did not give your
businesses under your “roof”. Due to this move on your
part, maybe you will close shop also. LH
While I am not a designer, I am a Craftsy affiliate, and I share in your pain. Over the years I have featured hundreds of patterns created by Craftsy designers on my Facebook page of over 450,000 followers. I do not make commissions from patterns sold, but I do make something if someone who follows my link to a pattern decides to also buy fabric, tools, etc. from Craftsy. Since my followers are always looking for new projects, I have driven a lot of traffic to Craftsy designers and have helped sell thousands of patterns (and helped build brand recognition for many designers).
As you’re deciding where to go from here, please keep in mind the support you may have had from Craftsy affiliates (I’m just one of many). If you move your shop to Shopify you’ll be on your own. However, if you offer your products on Etsy, many Craftsy affiliates will eventually find you there and continue to send you traffic (through the Etsy affiliate program). I don’t know anything about the fee structures on Etsy but many designers who sell through their own shopping carts, whether on Shopify or elsewhere, also have Etsy shops. I do know that Etsy supplies reports that show where your sales are coming from, which will allow you to develop business-building relationships with your strongest Etsy affiliates, if you’re inclined to do so.
Meanwhile, I hope all Craftsy designers and affiliates have a quick and profitable recovery from this unexpected move on Craftsy’s part. I do wish they’d given us more notice!
Thanks to all the kind folks who have sympathized with us who have had Craftsy shops! For some reason, Craftsy didn’t obliterate me (yet) but they did purge my shop of 120 of my 124 patterns. Not sure why I still have a shop (they told me I was to be GONE), but they retained 4 of my patterns. I have been slowly moving everything over to Etsy. I spent many hours on Christmas Eve capturing the descriptions I had for each pattern, the various photos used, etc so I could easily replicate what I spent 5 years creating. I got this “epiphany” on my own and am so glad I have this info. I’m not bitter, just sort of out of breath from being broad sided without much notice. This will work out, but I’m an “oldster” who’s had to do this before when Quilt Magazine booted all the editors back in 2007 – I just took things on the road and recreated myself. Don’t be afraid to start anew, ask questions of other designers, and keep your distance from the BIG guys who can do it again. Insulation is a good word here.
My inbox heralded “Exciting updates for 2019” regarding Craftsy/Bluprint, namely that it will be only the latter come January 8th. It does sound like Bluprint (for now at least; future “excitement” is the nature of mergers and acquisitions!) is absorbing Craftsy’s functions:
“The Craftsy experience you know and love — with affordable
supplies and accessible classes — is staying the same, just under
the new Bluprint name. Beginning Tuesday, January 8th, you’ll
be able to:
• Watch all of your previously purchased classes
• Buy individual classes to add to your library
• Order project kits + high-quality supplies
• Access all of our new and current content for one low monthly
or annual price”
The finer aspects that Abby, and the many readers, so thoroughly covers here are bound to keep “evolving”. And I’d argue those finer aspects are what make or break, and indeed define, any venture. There is no Law of Progress, though, in that progress is not guaranteed to forever trend upwards, lol.
That said, I’m pretty satisfied with my Bluprint sub so far. I signed up at a discounted monthly rate* several months ago. Reflecting upon my experience with Creativebug vs. my Craftsy’s à la carte purchases, I realized it was highly unlikely I would watch the classes I purchased more than once, so a subscription based model made more sense. I had signed up for Creativebug on a three month trial offer and discounted monthly rate*, as I had recently began sewing and caught the painting/drawing bug, none of which I have any prior experience. Plus, Creativebug had several of my favorite indie clothing designers as regulars, and I have thoroughly enjoyed their content. My Craftsy purchases were knitting classes, pre-sewing/art bug, something I’ve done for nearly 20 years. When I realized that any unfamiliar knitting techniques were easy breezy enough to cobble together online and in book, and that I had never watched my classes more than once, I stopped purchasing Craftsy classes.
Had I not ventured into other new-to-me crafts, I wouldn’t have signed up for either service. For now, it makes sense and has been worth the money. Bluprint has an impressive amount of classes, and the sewing offerings have been invaluable, thanks to the quality instructors!!
*As far as I can piece together from the abstrusely boilerplate terms and conditions on each site, I believe those discounted rates are only guaranteed for one year. It may be wise to binge watch my watch lists before anything changes, lol!
I was having problems with my email and did not get the notification on time to make a back up of all my patterns in my shop, and my shop was closed.
does anyone know how can i get them back?
I half wonder if we designers can organize a class action lawsuit?
Well, we technically didn’t get something monetary taken away from us. It was FREE for us to use and it was a great ride while it lasted. I’m surprised they didn’t begin asking/requiring fees (like Etsy) long ago. I appreciated getting a spreadsheet of all my sales (and emails of all those who downloaded even my free patterns). And they kept good records of how much I made (minus PayPal fees). My only fault with them is that they only gave us a week. I had 124 patterns up there, and yes, I have all the originals here, but I had to copy and paste my descriptives for each one into a Word doc (which is helping me now as I’m migrating things over to Etsy). I spent the better part of a weekend “cleaning things up”, but it’s past and I’ve had to move on.
My mom was identified as a top designer but they slashed her hundred plus patterns to around 30. Her income has been cut by 75%. She spent years cultivating her brand, developing patterns, and treating this like a job- as it was. Now the income she depends on is gone and they continue to cut without warning. I’m just sick at what this company has done. I see a couple of suggestions in the comments for other websites. Are there others? She is going to have to develop a new market.
I also lost 120+ patterns, but I did faithfully download the emails of those who purchased from me (along with thousands of emails for the free stuff). I agree: it was devastating and I’m still trying to recover by slowly migrating things over to Etsy. It wasn’t my sole income, but it was a nice chunk. For some reason, Craftsy retains my store (with 3 patterns) but nothing is happening. I don’t even get notification of when someone buys one of them! I’m sorry about your mom and I do hope she finds another niche!
Just following up on this article to let sewers and designers know that the sewing pattern store is now open on Sew Modern Bags. We only cover sewing patterns for bags, but are very happy to take on new designers if you would like to feature your patterns with us.