VP of Production
Emily Lawrence is a media producer and former professor, with past teaching appointments at Kenyon College and Dickinson College. Her media career began at Food & Wine magazine and CNN. She holds a BA from Haverford College and an MFA from The Ohio State University.
Stefanie holds a B.S. in geology from SUNY Stony Brook and a Ph.D. in Earth and Planetary Sciences from Johns Hopkins University. Stefanie wrote two knitting books (Fitted Knits and Glam knits) during her postdoctoral research days at the Max-Planck Institute for Chemistry, and turned her love of knitting into a career when her oldest daughter was on the way.
Lead Promotional Editor
Ari Feldman has a long history of being curiously crafty. When he was a child his number one passion was taking apart anything he could get his hands on – including his parent’s pianos, VHS players, and his mother’s ’92 Thinkpad 700 laptop computer (sorry mom!). Today, this love for mechanics and creating has evolved into more advanced crafting and video projects. Ari’s most recent projects include turning his living room into a chalkboard and a first place finish in a regional video contest.
Ari joined Craftsy in 2010. He brings a sharp eye for design, a heart full of vision, and a strong marketing background to the Craftsy production team.
Ari earned a BA in Communication Management & Marketing from the University of Denver where he found his true loves – girlfriend Carmen, his dog Quigley, and film production.
When not making videos, Ari enjoys surfing, snowboarding, brainstorming the next big idea, and playing kickball.
Sr. Technical Manager of Production & Media Library
As a kid my mother was obsessed with scrapbooking, card making, and other such crafts. I never really understood her stamp parties that she would throw. But now I understand that passion and love of creating something completely on your own. Joining Craftsy has helped me broaden my horizons and get more out of my “man conscience” that loves Nascar, Star Wars, and video games.
I graduated from the Colorado Film School with a degree in Cinematography and have seen all sides of video production. From directing a nationally broadcast TV reality show, to music videos, concerts and even hanging out of helicopters to get the perfect shot; video is my passion. My love of cameras, codecs and compression now allows me to help others learn knitting, crocheting, quilting, and anything else under the sun through the power of Craftsy.
My next goal is to crochet life-sized spaceship replicas from Star Wars…this could take a while
Sr. Presentation Editor
Lisa Greim arrived on our doorstep in response to a Craiglist ad for a copy editor who could knit. Her resume includes stints as a magazine editor, PR hack and business reporter at the Rocky Mountain News and San Francisco Business Times, among other places. Lisa’s work at Sympoz involves producing course materials, writing all kinds of copy and keeping track of pictures, words and video. It makes her happy.
Lisa holds a BA with high honors in English from Wesleyan University and an MA in journalism from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She enjoys a challenge. Among her favorites are her kids, Mark and Sara, along with gardening, road trips, and anything involving books, music or food.
Post Production Supervisor
Maggie Hart is a writer/producer from the magical town of Aurora, Colorado. Growing up she wasn’t a very crafty kid – her poor coordination skills and propensity for injury would not have combined well with knitting needles, crochet hooks, or anything of the sort. She still loved to be creative, and acquired a passion for film while watching Steven Speilberg’s “Jurassic Park” at the age of five. (My parents wouldn’t let me knit but they let me watch Jurassic Park as a five year old, go figure.
Since then, Maggie graduated with a production degree from the Colorado Film School and now works with the Craftsy production team as the Post-Production Supervisor. She loves making Craftsy videos that allow all kinds of crafters to create something of their own.
More recently, Maggie stumbled upon a life-size knitted Spider-man costume and is now considering picking up the craft under proper adult supervision.
Senior Instructional Producer
Alissa is a Colorado native and a self-described dabbler in all things craftsy, artistic, literary, outdoorsy, and domestic. She loves to engage in the creative process and enjoys, but has not yet mastered, the arts of canning pears, cross country skiing, writing short stories, sea kayaking, acrylic painting, vegetable gardening, quilting, baking bread, raising children, and, most recently, knitting. She would also love to learn to speak fluent Spanish (or maybe Japanese), make stained glass, understand wine, and make metal mobiles, but has not yet found the time.
She came to Sympoz from Creative Crafts Group, where she was an Advertising Sales Manager for top consumer magazines in the quilting, sewing, scrapbooking, and knitting industries.
She holds an MFA in Creative Writing/Poetry and a BS in Human Development from Colorado State University. In previous lives, she has worked as a writing and critical thinking professor, preschool teacher, writing tutor, nonprofit grant writer, and book editor. She enjoys travel, camping and hiking, food, baseball, and good books–especially when shared with her family and friends.
Senior Motion Graphic Designer
Heather has a B.A. from Southern Oregon University in English (emphasis in Post Modern Literature), Theater and Dance as well as a B.F.A. in Graphic Design from the California College of Art in San Francisco. In 2002 she won the Adobe Achievement Award for her thesis project “Perception”.
For the past seven years she has worked for several firms in the U.S. and internationally as a Graphic Designer and Motion Graphic Artist.
Before embarking on her Graphic Design career Heather worked in the fine arts, painting, taking fine art photography, and was part of the Suhalia Salimpour Dance company for 6 years.
In her spare time, Heather plays with pinhole cameras and continues her explorations in painting, photography, and dances whenever possible.
Rachel hails from Fort Collins, the land of beer and bicycles. She has navigated the film worlds of London and Los Angeles but is happy to be back in colorful Colorado. Before joining Craftsy, Rachel worked as a video producer at Interweave. She helped with the establishment of the department, and the release of numerous craft and fine art workshops. Prior to Interweave, Rachel managed press and marketing campaigns for Revolver Entertainment, an independent film distributor. She holds a BA in French and Media Studies from Scripps College in Claremont, CA.
In her spare time, she likes scavenging thrift stores, sampling local craft beers, and riding her vintage Schwinn. She recently discovered the joys of Continental knitting and plans on becoming an expert sewist (seamstress is so last century) when she has a free moment.
Jonathan Michael Garcia
You remember Captain Planet, right? Well, Jonathan is kind of like him, except instead of being made from the elements, Jonathan’s made up of writing, editing, design and creative talent.
And instead of being summoned forth by five diverse youths, Jonathan is the product of a loving family, world travel and a BA in journalism.
Also, Jonathan doesn’t have green hair or blue skin. But he can fly. In a plane. It’s awesome.
…THE POWER IS YOURS!
J.C. is a graduate of The Ohio State University and realizes her school’s name is as pretentious as its mascot is ridiculous. Since falling in love with Denver nearly eight years ago, she has worked as a reporter, editor and public relations specialist for myriad publications, companies and campaigns in Colorado. When she’s not parsing words, she enjoys spending time with her mutt and horse, as well as tracking down “happy,” free-range meat in Denver’s urban jungle with fellow hungry humans.
Director of Production
I have worked in the commercial film industry for over 20 years. In addition to feature films, television series, documentaries and national commercials, I have worked on projects for clients such as the Travel channel, National Geographic, Reader’s Digest, the Weather Channel, Fox Sports Net, and Warren Miller Films.
For almost a decade, I have been volunteering my services for the Second Wind Fund, which is a teen suicide-prevention organization. The videos I have filmed and produced provide the organization with outreach and promotional materials, which have been instrumental in helping SWF obtain sponsorship, and raise awareness for this mental health issue. In the last 5 years they have become the largest provider of mental health services for at-risk teens in the state of Colorado. The success of this teen support network is immense. As a result, last year they began building a national network for their program.
I love Colorado for it’s easy access to the outdoors. Therefore, I am a skier, mountain biker, climber, Bluegrass Festivarian, and a whole bunch of other things that keep me outside.
Acquisitions Editor and Category Manager, Cake Decorating
Grace “Grammar Hammer” Baumgartner was born with her nose in a book. She studied French history and literature at Harvard College then went straight to work in the publishing world, confirming her status as a shameless nerd. A welcome new chapter in life, working at Craftsy has allowed Grace to stick her nose in cake for a change, which is both messier and more delicious than it sounds.
James has been hailed as the “James Clark of his generation”. Twice voted the third funniest member of the Clark family, James is a writer and filmmaker residing in Denver, Colorado. His work has been featured on television, online and at film festivals throughout the world.
James is excited to be a part of the Sympoz/Craftsy family where he gets to foster his love of learning and explore new creative pursuits on a daily basis.
On the side, James performs improv and sketch comedy. Don’t get him started talking about it though, you’ll never get him to shut up.
Being a Northwest boy and growing in a very small (population 963) logging and farming town I have developed a real appreciation for nature. I parked my tractor for chance to make it in the big city. I relocated to Seattle in 2004 and attended to Art Institute of Seattle and graduated with honors. I received a degree in audio production. I then started Just Basl Productions, a full-fledged audio and video production company. I grew very tired of the rain and wanted a sunnier place, Denver was the perfect location for me.
My spare time is consumed by playing with godson Noah, searching out and eating at new restaurants and bars and doing anything athletic (except extreme frisby), and tickling the ivories. I love being behind a camera and capturing amazing moments. So every chance I get to be involved in a short film, music video or filming a special moment, I dive right in! No project is too small.
His career began as an animator for the nickelodeon shows KABLAM, and the Emmy award winning Little Bill from 1997 to 2002. Utilizing the skills he aquired using After effects working with character animation, composting, and VFX, JP transitioned into the world of motion graphics, working at various studios in New York City, including Curious Pictures, Edgeworx, Chelsea Pictures/Digital, In8 Skils, Nick Digital, and others.
In 2004 JP began working as an in house animator at MTV promos, and quickly earned the position of lead animator and Post Supervisor for MTV promos motion graphics department. Heading up the “52 Weeks” project, his motion graphics team worked with different artists/bands every week for a year, including animation direction, compositing and VFX for Aesop Rock, Usher, Janet Jackson, Wyclef Jean, Dr. Cornell West, Panic at the disco, Mariah Carey, Kate Nash, Beastie Boys, and many more.
In 2008 JP left MTV to start up his own design/animation venture, Betty’s Wig Shoppe, where he’s currently working with clients such as Mercedes Benz, Nickelodeon Creative Advertising, MTV, Bloomberg TV, V Magazine, and Robert Deniro’s AGO.
Starting in Dec. 2009 JP joined the Advertising Agency Organic. Where as a Senior Motion Designer and VFX Supervisor, He worked on various campaigns for Bank of America. Including work for Bank of America’s Time Square digital Billboards and in bank video screens. Also Creating a Video for the in house iPAD app, Broadfeed, and various online campaigns.
Most recently, JP has worked on several Verizon and spots with the NYC studio Refinery and work on chevron with Mcgary Bowen.
JonPaul has just started as a Motion Graphics Artist at Craftsy.com in Denver.
Adam is a proud nerd who loves all things movies, music, and entertainment. Originally hailing from the Atlanta area, he loves the University of Georgia Bulldogs (who he also played rugby for) and will debate anyone on how awesome the school and sports programs are. Before joining Sympoz, Adam lived in LA and worked on independent features, tv shows, and web series. If he could go back in time, he’d try his hardest to get on the Nickelodeon shows Guts, Legends of the Hidden Temple, or Wild N Crazy Kids.
Andrew is a writer/director hailing from a small city near Cleveland, Ohio. Still loyal fan to his hometown sports teams, his way has been ever burdened. As a lover of camping and all things outdoors, he has lived happily in Colorado for many years now. While not necessarily much of a crafter, Andrew has always enjoyed other creative arts like guitar and film. Without question, music and movies are two of the biggest influences in his life. At his core, he is a storyteller looking for someone to listen. And despite occasional sarcasm, he’s only serious 10-20% of the time. (apply at own discretion to this bio)
In the summer of 2012, Andrew graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film Production from the Regis University Colorado Film School. He recently joined the team at Sympoz as a Video Editor. He loves the great content along with the educational platform for those who might not have access to it otherwise. The opportunity to work in video production since finishing college is an amazing thing!
Linda is craft lover, crochet designer, and author of three pattern books, Crochet Adorned, Little Crochet, and Sugar and Spice. She was one of Craftsy’s first teachers and now helps instructors prepare and translate their classes for video. She has spent several years working in craft publishing and is excited to continue working with awesome crafty people.
Linda loves crocheting best of all, but also sews, knits and quilts when she has a chance. She enjoys spending time with her husband Paul and spoiling their little chihuahua, Freddie.
Growing up in a small town in upstate New York didn’t provide much along the lines of entertainment as a young lass for Nicole. In fact, it turns out that her favorite (and maybe only) thing to do was rent videos from the only video rental shop within a good 50 mile radius dubbed Mr. Video. Movies slowly became an obsession as she sneakily watched horror movies her sister and friends had rented that she knew she “shouldn’t be watching,” saw Good Will Hunting in theatres at the ripe age of ten, and eventually went on to earn her BFA from The School of Visual Arts in Film/Video Editing.
New York City became tiresome and Nicole traveled the country a bit. She fell upon Colorado after attending and receiving an award at a film festival in Boulder, and it was an immediate love affair. She is now lucky enough to be a part of the Sympoz team where having the chance to learn new things daily and aid in the process of teaching those things is one of her most enriching adventures thus far. It’s even better then when she taught Video Game Design and Robotics to younger kids, because at Sympoz she doesn’t get Legos thrown at her in excitement . . . at least not yet anyway.
I grew up in a small city in Southern Italy on the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. I spent my days next to the beach until I moved to Dallas, Texas in 2000 to study journalism. Initially working in newspapers, I was quickly drawn to video. I got a master’s degree in Documentary Production at the University of North Texas. My last documentary, titled Campania In-Felix (Unhappy Country), explores the rise in health issues in Southern Italy from illegal waste disposal. In 2011, I left Texas and moved to Colorado, where I am continuing to explore my passion for video. I miss the sea but love the mountains in Colorado, my new home. I enjoy spending time outdoors, biking around Denver and cooking Sicilian food.
An inveterate bookworm, Katherine has been passionate about good writing since an early age. After extended forays into French and Chinese, she found her calling as an editor. A multimedia, educational startup lured her from a newspaper in South Dakota to Colorado, where the abundant sunshine has nurtured her love of gardening and hence, cooking.
Now a veteran of The Denver Post news desk, Katherine is thrilled to be at Craftsy, helping to polish and perfect Craftsy’s amazing and varied courses. She’s also brushing up her knitting and bread-making, and contemplating the purchase of a band saw.
Katherine shares a restored Victorian home and lush garden with her husband, two standard poodles, two cats and about 50,000 bees. Yes, she’s a beekeeper, too.
A Wisconsin native, Katherine would like to see more cheese classes in the Craftsy catalog.
Raised by a writer and an avid gardener, Jane’s childhood suggested a promising future in the arts, crafts, & culinary fields. She created her first recipe, “Soggy Baloney,” at the tender age of 4, and by the third grade, she had sewn a custom-fit vest with ladybug buttons, mastered the art of painting Ukranian eggs, and could perform Charlie Chaplin’s entire dinner roll dance by heart.
As an adult, Jane can barely manage to darn a sock, and her cooking experiments range from delicious to downright pernicious (she recently forgot to add sweet potatoes to a batch of sweet potato stew…) but the arts still play a vital role in her daily life through film, literature, comedy, and playing the cello and ukulele. She studied comparative literature at Hamilton College and documentary filmmaking at the Maine Media Workshops, and has worked as a researcher, writer, and producer in the educational and promotional video fields ever since.
Jane feels fortunate to have found the perfect place to spin a good yarn with the crafting community, and is thrilled to be part of the Craftsy team!
Growing up, Carolyn was exposed to a wide variety of fine arts, since her mother found a new creative passion annually. Nothing was off-limits, and the yearly picks ranged from popular interests like needlepoint and watercolor to the niche worlds of spirit collage and advanced dreamcatcher techniques. While Carolyn’s artistic interests have traditionally been writing and filmmaking, she should have guessed that those spirit collages would eventually guide her back to the land of crafts. After graduating from Barnard College, with a BA in film studies, she worked at Interweave Press as a producer, where she directed, shot and edited many craft videos. Now, she is thrilled to be at Craftsy, working with a great team and creating amazing content (she’s currently lobbying for a gluten free cake class). Like mother, like daughter, Carolyn has tried her hand at many crafts, including knitting and crochet, and would love to take on sewing next.
When she’s not working, she enjoys watching her favorite movies for the umpteenth time, cooking, reading, remodeling her 19th century home and fostering puppies for the local animal shelter (that’s one of her favorite fosters, Bandit, in the photo).
Motion Graphics Designer
I grew up in Houston, TX, then moved to Colorado Springs for high school, then went to SCAD in Savannah, GA for college, moved back to Boulder, CO to intern and then work for Crispin Porter + Bogusky and now moving into Denver! I think of design as a visual language that can speak for anything and I would like to speak for education. I’m trying to learn about EVERYTHING. I’m super kinesthetic. Things I like (snowboarding, biking, hiking, netflix, board games, photography, gymnastics, nerding out)
When I need to get away from the computer, I like to garden, cook and draw.
Natalie comes to Craftsy from the corny state of Indiana. Early on in life, she became addicted to crafting thanks to her mother’s talents in sewing, embroidery, and other arts. Knitting, collage, and fiber arts can keep her occupied for hours, and she may or may not be a craft supply hoarder.
She was bitten by the video bug in college and ended up with a B.A. in Film/Media studies and a constant craving to make and discuss documentaries. She got her Master’s in Documentary Production amidst the swampy climate of central Florida, and her thesis film, Better Bones and Gardens has since screened at festivals nationwide. Most recently, she worked for Indiana University creating educational and promotional videos, freelanced on a wide variety of projects, and ran an Etsy shop with her handmade accessories.
When not crafting and making videos, Natalie can be found scurrying up Denver’s nearby mountains, catering to her insatiable sweet tooth by baking homemade goodies, and enjoying the company of her musical husband, Nick, and her floppy-eared dog, Gretel. She couldn’t be happier about joining the creative brains at Craftsy/Sympoz!
Fill in the blank
Associate Presentation Editor
Joseph Garcia once brushed his teeth in four continents in four consecutive days.
He has been jolted with 10,000 volts of electricity and laughed it off.
Once, he wrote a front-page article with the word “fish-sicle” in it at a major Denver newspaper, just for funsies.
He plays a mean cajon. Ask anyone.
A master at bar trivia, he once scored first place for eight consecutive weeks.
One time, he devoured a zebra (really).
The best day of his life was when he married his wife in Vegas.
He is the Most Interesting Man at the Craftsy Presentation desk.
Stay Craftsy, my friends.
After surviving 10 years of advertising production in Los Angeles, I’m happy to return home to beautiful Colorado. I’m a major film/tv buff and my brain is full of tons of ridiculous celebrity facts.
Matt Smith is writer/director based out of Denver, Colorado. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre, Film, & Video Production from the University of Colorado Denver in 2011. He is thrilled that he gets to work amongst such passionate enthusiasts. Matt also enjoys illustration.
Digital Media Manager
Kate is mixing her two loves in her role with Craftsy, digital media and knitting! She has worked in several different video production and media management roles throughout her career, both in Chicago and Denver. She can’t ever forgot her time in Iowa though, she will always be a Hawkeye! Outside of work she enjoys watching reruns of The Golden Girls and doing puzzles.
Erika Bernetich is a motion designer born in Maryland and schooled in DC. She loves silly animation, and she’s a sucker for subtle, grungy textures. Erika is excited about her move to the mountains and especially her job with Craftsy—she thinks intricate, quilted patterns, candied loop-di-loops, and sparkly trinkets are awesome sources of inspiration.
Eunny likes to make all kinds of things–she knits, sews, gardens, cans, works with wood and leather, and upholsters. She can also shuck an oyster, grind sausage meat, and troubleshoot her 1962 sewing machine. If you need an Adirondack chair, she can make it for you. Her pneumatic staple gun is her best friend.
She also likes teaching people to make things, and thinking of new ways to teach people to make things. Most recently, Eunny was the editor of Interweave Knits and knit.wear magazines and the former host of Knitting Daily TV; now she’s making sewing classes at Craftsy.com and couldn’t be more excited to step up her own sewing game.
A treasured childhood memory of Jon’s is of very early mornings, making apple butter with his entire family – aunts, uncles, cousins, sisters, mother and father, and his grandfather overseeing it all, usually by adding more sugar to the open fire kettles. Jon was shown how to tend the fire, stir using the huge ladles, and sing the family’s tongue in cheek instructional song, “Twice around the side and once through the middle” (repeat, and repeat, and repeat…). It turns out those first DIY beginnings were a prelude to his future career in non-fiction and instructional production.
Jon’s work has aired on HGTV, PBS, DIY, Hallmark and other national television networks. He’s shown audiences how to spin wool, rock climb, create a water garden, cook for Thanksgiving, and fly fish. He’s been recognized with numerous awards, including an Emmy, the Cine Golden Eagle, and a New York Festivals World Gold. Jon is also known for his expertise in production for corporate training and e-learning. A particular passion of his is producing for non-profit organizations to assist them in their important efforts.
Jon loves to travel with his family, especially close to home in Colorado. He’s a fanatic for home improvement projects, evangelizes for public transport, risks life and limb vicariously through adventure films, and just can’t stay away from March Madness. Still on his bucket list is a production where he can show how to make apple butter.
“Oh the places you’ll go!” Pattie has had many adventures and incarnations in her video career. She began as a TV reporter (and weathergal!) working out of a trailer on a bluff in Farmington, N.M. She moved up to actual buildings at 9News in Denver and CNN/TBS, where she covered environmental issues. She spent many years as a freelance producer/writer for various networks and organizations, including Starz!, Travel Channel, HGTV, VH1 and National Park Service. She still can’t believe that people have paid her to travel all over the world to make TV! Some of her most memorable moments include a bluff charge from a silverback gorilla in Rwanda, rescuing injured sea lions in California (Can you tell she loves animals?) and interviewing regular folk and famous folk, who all have a tale to tell. She is fortunate to have won three regional Emmy Awards and other statues for her work.
Pattie has been shepherding the next generation of broadcast journalists as a part-time instructor at the University of Colorado, where she is an alumnus and sports fan. She gets misty eyed every time Ralphie thunders onto the field! She has an M.A. from the University of New Mexico in American Studies, focusing on the land, culture and history of the West.
Pattie enjoys creative writing, photography, dream exploration, hiking, dabbling in painting and being with her two legged and four legged family. She has a lifelong obsession with horses and does equine massage. (No humans…sorry!)
Max Benitez is a filmmaker and media educator. He has led post-production on series projects for many exciting groups including Technology for Obama, Dell Office of the Entrepreneur-in-Residence, and SXSW Interactive. His editing and producing work have exposed him to innovative ideas in the world of Internet startups and inspired him to deepen his understanding of the Web as a platform for the arts and business.
In addition to media production, Max has led film workshops for young people and been a projectionist at an art house cinema. When he’s not on set or at the edit bay, you can find him at the movies, music festivals and sporting events. A native Chicagoan, Max roots for the Bears, Bulls, and White Sox.