Update May 24: CEO John Levisay has posted a statement informing customers of the coming closure. In part it reads: “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.”
In a letter sent to instructors today, John Levisay, Chief Executive Officer of Bluprint, announced that NBCUniversal will be shutting Bluprint down. “It is with profound sadness and disappointment that I write you this email,” the letter begins. “When we started the business in 2010, our goal was to provide passionate enthusiasts access to the best teachers in the world. Your classes have made people’s lives better across the globe.”
The letter continues, “After 10 years and virtually millions of customers served, NBCU has made the decision to close the Bluprint business over the next few months.”
Levisay co-founded Craftsy (originally called Sympoz) along with Bret Hanna, Todd Tobin, and Josh Scott. In May 2017 NBCUniversal bought a majority stake in Craftsy. Levisay stayed on as CEO. After the purchase, the company was renamed Bluprint and the model changed from a la carte classes that were a deep dive into a particular craft, to a subscription model offering shorter, lighter craft content that was more entertainment-focused.
“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,” Levisay’s letter today stated. “The remarkable work you have all done is unforgettable and has made a difference; however, our business is not sustainable in the current economic climate.”
Bluprint customer Annette Millard says she’s sad for everyone. “I’m wondering if all the Craftsy classes I bought will just disappear?” she asks.
Instructors are feeling shocked and saddened by the news. Kim Werker taught a series of crochet classes on the platform. “I’m really feeling for the very talented people who are losing their jobs,” she said. “And for myself, I’m reacting in two levels. First, I’ll be losing a significant source of income, and I need to look at my contracts to see if I’ll retain any rights to my work. Second, as I watch bastions of the craft industry crumble, I’m wondering what will rise out of the dust.”
Stacey Trock also taught crochet classes on Bluprint. “I’m surprised about Bluprint closing,” she said. “My assumption was that the current climate, with most people around the world on lockdown and streaming services seeing massive increases in streaming time, as well as an intense rekindling of interest in crafts and DIY, that this would have been a strong time for Bluprint. To find out that it will no longer continue is really sad.”