University of Cookie
The “University of Cookie” is the product of a group of confectionary bloggers who are banding together to share their knowledge of royal icing and other baking skills. Their traffic is humble at this point, but it is an interesting idea. The Food Network and TLC have proven that programs about baking are very popular, but there is a missing link in actually helping people learn to bake. This project could help educate the next Cake Boss.
Etsy Taste Test
Etsy has grown at an incredible rate. The downside to this growth is that the store features a lot of less than impressive work. A user might pick up a craft like Polymer clay and quickly list 2 dozen pieces that are low quality. This can fill up a couple pages and dilute the experience.
To help mitigate that, the folks at Etsy have created and algorithmic solution, The Etsy Taste Test, that attempts to provide personalized results based on a quick online quiz. The suggestions are a minor improvement and it is a work in progress, but it is cool to see them continue to craft new paths through their merchandising mix.
Jo-Ann Fabrics Bought for $1.6 Billion
JoAnn Fabrics, the largest retailer of crafting fabrics in the US has agreed to be acquired by a private equity firm. JoAnn’s CEO said becoming a privately held company would “accelerate the expansion and upgrade of our stores and pursue market share gains.” It is a benign corporate statement, but I wonder if part of the upgrade and expansion will be appealing to the “Make:” audience? Might we see an aisle of Arduino and EL fibers?