No, not humanity, just the Craft Courses Shop!
Isn’t it annoying when you find something that works for you – and then somebody decides to ‘mend’ it??
That’s what happened to me recently and it’s what led to the birth of the Craft Courses Shop.
I’m Ann – you might have seen the pic of me with my little granddaughter on the About Us page – and I’m a crafter and craft tutor of more years than I care to think about. I’ve done many crafts in my life, probably too many, if you ask my long-suffering family! What I can do, I’ve found I can teach too, so I started running craft courses about 20 years ago.
I discovered, as probably many of you have too, that getting the word out there can be difficult, time consuming and expensive. I tried several avenues, none of which bore much fruit, and then I found the good old WWW.
Specifically, I found a site where tutors could list craft courses for a small fee each month and where prospective students could browse for a craft course they liked the look of. Great! I signed up and it worked. I wasn’t getting more bookings than I could handle but it was steady and, as teaching the courses wasn’t my main income, it was fine.
Then suddenly the terms of the site changed. It went from allowing tutors and students to make their own booking and payment arrangements and being charged a small fee per course per month for the listing facility, to the site insisting on handling all the bookings and processing the course fees. They dropped the monthly listing fee but instead now charge a large percentage of the course fee for every single student that books through them.
I worked it out and, on one of my higher-rate 5-day courses, that meant I’d be teaching and supplying materials for a whole day for nothing. If two students booked through that site for the same course, that’d be the equivalent of two days working for nothing. Add in the other expenses – tax, national insurance, studio rent, heating, lunch for my students etcetera, and it simply wouldn’t be worth doing.
What small business can sustain that level of cost? Certainly not most of us independent craft tutors, right?
So, having sat there for a couple of weeks, feeling peeved and saying:
‘What a shame. Someone should set up something better and less expensive…’
I actually got off my butt and did. And here we are!
It’s very straightforward and, I freely admit, it’s not an original idea but it works.
Tutors register on the site and list their stuff – online and in-person craft courses and any craft kits they produce – and they pay a very small fee per month for each item they list.
Students can also register on the site if they want to, to make use of some of the little refinements like keeping a favourites list and being notified of updates, but they can browse the courses without signing up too. A student finds their ideal course, contacts the tutor to ask questions or book and Bob’s your uncle.
Simple, straightforward and private between tutor and student. No hassle, no massive commissions to pay and nobody telling tutors how to run their teaching business.
We’re hoping that all our tutors and students will find the site easy and friendly to use. If you have any problems, we’re here to help so just ask. Any suggestions for site improvements or requests for extra subject categories – same applies.
We’ll be setting up a forum soon for students and tutors to chat to each other and I do hope you’ll use it, as it can be a great resource for all sorts of info.
Thanks so much for joining the family!