Louisville company offering pop-up classes to connect businesses - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville company offering pop-up classes to connect businesses with people wanting to learn new skills

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Louisville company is connecting creative businesses with people who want to learn new things.

It's called "Level Up" and it's connecting, educating and inspiring people here in the Derby City, while also acting as a marketing tool for small businesses.

On a recent Monday in downtown Louisville, dozens of amateur bakers crowd into "Cooking at Millie's," a demonstration kitchen, anxious to learn the artistry of macarons.

"You learn the basics, we give you a lot of inside tips and tricks as expert pastry bakers," said Nathan Sivitz, co-owner and executive chef of Macaron Bar.

The bakery is new to the Louisville area, so this is a way to connect with the community while building business.

"We have some expert macaron bakers in town and they're now doing some classes here so it is a great way to reach more local folks," said Sivitz.

The creative partnership is brought to life by "Level Up." Natalia Bishop is the founder of the Louisville start up, which offers 15 to 20 pop-up classes a month on subjects ranging from cooking to photography to mixology.

"There's so much talent that we wanted to showcase those makers and those people who are still sort of small time," said Bishop.

Bishop immigrated to Louisville 17 years ago with her family and at times worked three jobs. "It was my entire family. We all immigrated with $400 and a suitcase kind of deal," said Bishop.

She eventually found her way to entrepreneurship founding Chocolate Box Photography and Story Louisville, a co-working space for creatives and small business owners. Then came "Level Up."

"The more we did it, the more we were like 'oh my gosh,' there's so much talent here, so much to share and we decided to make it its own thing," said Bishop.

The side business has now become a full-time gig connecting people with business owners in an intimate atmosphere, which Bishop says can create brand loyalty.

"You go and you have a great time for two hours and you realize how freaking hard it is and you're like 'next time I have a party with 68 people,' I'm going to call Maddie because she's the expert in it," said Bishop.

Students learn a new skill, while the class acts as a marketing tool.

"I think it's really fun to learn from people who have been through it. If they're an expert," said Shannon Kessler, owner of Primp Style Lounge. She's taught several classes on hair and most recently on fall fashion.

"I love a good DIY, but I can't follow a picture. I like to have people interacting and saying 'okay, this is great, but lets try it this way'," said Kessler.

She says this model of a sharing economy is succeeding in the Derby City, because of the supportive community.

"Louisville is a really special market because we really do get behind the local business owner and so being able to share that and connect different people," said Kessler. 

That support has helped "Level Up" grow beyond the metro, as it's expanding into Lexington and eventually two more markets in 2018.

For a full list of classes or if you're interested in teaching a pop up class, click here.

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