Craftsy Ditches Designers

If you keep up on the quilting / sewing / knitting industry at all, you'll probably have heard the news about Craftsy (a Bluprint / NBC Universal company) culling over 20,000 patterns and deleting the seller profiles of some designers all together just weeks ago.

I was one of the lucky ones, or so I thought, who's pattern shop was chosen by Craftsy to remain open. I received an email (shown below) letting me know that while my shop would remain open "some" of my patterns would be removed.




What I didn't know was that when I awoke on December 28, 2018 to check my Crafsty account, all but 3 of my patterns would be gone. And the remaining three? ALL free patterns. Every pattern I had on Craftsy that brought any income for myself (a small amount I might add, but still matters to small business owners) was gone. No pattern sales coming in. No income.

For me, it was a shock to find my least popular free patterns still available while my most popular / best selling patterns had been deleted. As an individual pattern designer and small business owner (sole proprietor) this was bad news days before Christmas. My shop had been doing so well, and now there was nothing.

Some of my patterns that used to be on Craftsy.


Personally, I have some thoughts on why Crafsty chose to keep mostly free patterns and remove patterns that would earn income for any designers...

  1. Crafsty gets website traffic from any free downloads linked back to their website. Think of Pinterest and all the other social media platforms where designers link you straight to a pattern. Wether it is free or paid, every link sending you to Craftsy means website traffic and $$ for them. When you remove more than 90% of paid patterns and leave only the free ones, essentially the only entity benefiting from the download is Craftsy and the person downloading a free product. The designer gets nothing.
  2. Crafsty doesn't charge a fee for hosting pattern sales and never has. This wasn't very smart on their part, they could have been making 5% on each sale just like Payhip does... but instead they allowed designers to host and sell patterns at no cost. Im sure this will change in the future, as it wasn't a great business model. I can't blame them if they do make the change, but the way they handled it was very disappointing.
These things likely contributed to Craftsy / Bluprint massively downsizing their pattern library and designer profiles. But, the things that have bothered me the most are the very abrupt notice designers were given days before Christmas, directly affecting their income and livelihood in some cases, and their decision to allow many artists who film Craftsy Classes to keep their ENTIRE pattern library (free and paid patterns). Yes, you read that right... most people who filmed classes for Craftsy + sold patterns in their online marketplace were not affected by this downsizing at all. They can still sell patterns. So apparently if you're associated with Craftsy or Bluprint in business terms, you're safe - because you're making THEM money!

The Aftermath

Many designers, including myself, have decided to delete those free remaining patterns so that Craftsy can no longer benefit from the website traffic and free advertising our hard work has brought them. During this process I decided I would leave ONE free pattern, except I would be editing the description to include a direct link to my new Payhip Pattern Shop instead. I was surprised to find that  after editing the pattern and clicking "save"... nothing was actually saved at all! I could not edit or update my own pattern. Days later I noticed the pattern was finally updated. There are definitely some flaws with the site now.

I'm not sure how many other designers have realized this, but I have heard from a lot of fellow quilters on Instagram who were also dealt a blow by Craftsy. Some of them had their entire pattern library deleted. Some only had free downloads left, just like me. And the buyers? Now when you go to your Craftsy library, photos and descriptions are missing from your purchases. Only the designer name remains... so you have no idea what pattern it is. Some have said there are entire purchases missing and they can no longer access things they've bought.

Missing photos, titles, and descriptions of patterns in my Craftsy pattern library.

Why It Matters

For the seller: If you've never drafted or designed a pattern, you may not know the number of hours that goes into the process. It is time consuming and often requires a lot of math, testing your product, taking photos, editing photos, designing PDF's that can be properly printed, and so on. Continuing to host a free product on Craftsy makes NO SENSE for designers if you're not even going to benefit from website traffic to your own site or social media page. If you're like me, those remaining free Crafsty patterns won't even translate to a possible sale, because they've deleted all my paid patterns! There is nothing keeping me on Craftsy Marketplace any longer.

For the buyer: Your hard earned money feels wasted when you've got no idea if all of your purchases have remained in your Craftsy library (regardless of wether they said they will or not) because images, descriptions, and titles are missing for over 20,000 downloads now that they've been removed from the website.

What a mess!

So Where Are My Patterns Now?

You can find all of my patterns in my Payhip Pattern Shop. Each PDF is an instant download and the site is easy for EU/VAT users too.  All patterns are written in English.

I plan on releasing at least 3 new patterns this year, I hope you'll follow along!

Click to shop now!

My newest pattern hack "Bauble Pod" compliments the "Popcorn Pouch" so well!


What Are Your Thoughts?

I'd love to know what you think about this whole mess. Were you affected by the Crafsty upheaval? 

I feel sick thinking about the thousands of designers who were affected by this terrible move on Craftsy's part. The company seems to have gotten worse for small-time designers like me since NBC Universal took over, it's not at all what it used to be. Hopefully moving forward another site will take the place of Crafsty and people like myself won't be overrun by big box businesses.

2 comments

  1. Crafty left me with only 1 pattern and I was sitting on the fence whether to delete it or not. But after reading your post I guess, I better delete it. I also moved my patterns to Payhip.

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    Replies
    1. I was on the fence for a few days as well. And the more I thought about it the more icky I felt about the whole situation. I realized if all I've got left is something free, they benefit but I don't. It felt wrong.

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