CA: What was the opportunity you saw that inspired you to start SkillPop?
HB: I started SkillPop in September of 2015, mostly inspired by seeing the trend of learning start to move online. Online learning can be powerful but has never been how I learned best, and I noticed that opportunities to take classes in an in-person setting become few and far between after traditional school. SkillPop was created to bring the classroom back in a new way.
CA: What is unique about SkillPop?
HB: Our quick pitch is that we’re making in-person learning accessible through community-based pop-up classes. The most unique thing about SkillPop is that our classes are moderately priced and low-commitment; for around $30 and just 2 hours on a weeknight, you can learn the basics on gardening, social media, hand lettering or any number of things. Additionally, our classes are all taught by local professionals and held in interesting community spaces. When you engage with SkillPop, you’re engaging with your local community.
CA: What is the most surprising thing to you about running your company?
HB: I’m constantly surprised by how quickly things change! Each milestone we hit brings new challenges and hurdles – but also new opportunities for growth. Keeps things fun 🙂
CA: What trends do you see happening in what people are interested in learning?
HB: Hands-on, creative skills are always in demand – especially things like hand lettering, watercolor, etc. We also see a lot of ‘old school’ skills coming back into play (breadmaking is a great example); as life gets more and more efficient and technology based, there’s something refreshing about taking a step back and learning to do things from scratch again.
CA: What book have you read lately that made an impact on how you run your business? (Could also be a podcast, article, TED Talk, etc.)
HB: I recently read The E-Myth and loved it. Quick, powerful read about streamlining your small business and setting yourself up for successful, sustainable growth. Highly recommend!
If you’d like to check out Skillpop, classes are currently happening in and around Charlotte and Raleigh. If you want to improve your public speaking and see our own VP of Professional Development in action, Sharon Delaney McCloud often teaches presentation skills for Skillpop in Raleigh.
Thank you, Haley.