Posted on

Connect2Classes Visits The School For Visual Concepts (SVC)

How to Write a Brilliant Creative Brief workshop lives up to its name

Learning new skills is a great investment, but how do you know which classes are worth your time? The Connect2Classes team are helping you figure it out by trying out workshops from their top course providers themselves and seeing who earns their stamp of approval.

First up was Seattle’s School of Visual Concepts (SVC), an industry-leader in delivering classes taught by working professionals in marketing, branding, design and content creation.

Michael Duarte-Pedrosa, VP of Sales at Connect2Classes, recently participated in the How to Write a Brilliant Creative Brief workshop at SVC. If you work with any creative team, learning how to develop a quality creative brief is an indispensable skill. It helps define the problem and create the framework to solve it.

“SVC provided an intimate class of nine students made up of designers and marketers from the Seattle area. The experience was as brilliant as the course title would suggest,” said Michael.

“This particular course was led by Hillary Miller, a VP from a Seattle-based advertising firm. Her delivery was playful and the course content was practical,” Michael shared. “We all left with real world examples, along with simple tips and tricks to developing a great creative brief.”

“Hillary made her lessons relatable. She suggested that we approach each brief from the ‘right altitude’. It’s like reading with aging eyes — one needs to hold the passage at the correct distance allowing your eyes to focus on the letters and words,” Michael learned.

“If you or your organization have not used creative briefs previously or have lost sight of why you should, this workshop will equip you with the tools and motivation to do so.”

SVC has created an exceptional learning environment with a beautiful facility, a responsive administrative team, and professional guest instructors — all evidenced by the exceptional student reviews and enrollment in multiple courses.

Now is the time to springboard your brand or marketing initiatives to the next level by checking out current and future SVC course offerings on

Watch for our full series of Connect2Classes tested courses in the coming months.

About Connect2Classes — We are a marketplace for professional and life enriching classes, workshops, and learning immersives — connecting voracious learners with the best local expertise. In Seattle, Online, and San Francisco!

Posted on

Can you commit to ‘The 5-Hour Rule’ to guide your lifelong learning?

Commit to 5 hours a week

Dedicating five hours a week to learning creates space for innovation

What is the secret to success used by successful entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, and Oprah Winfrey? It’s a system of constant learning called the ‘5-Hour Rule’. Its proponents commit to five hours per week to learning new things. The reason? Lifelong learning boosts creativity and prevents status quo thinking from becoming a routine that stifles innovation and enjoyment.

Benjamin Franklin is said to have followed a similar pattern – he woke up early to read and write, set personal growth goals and tracked the results, and also created a community of like-minded artisans and tradespeople who hoped to improve themselves while they also improved their communities.

Champion martial artist Josh Waitzkin also applies the 5-hour rule to his practice. He says ‘”I have built a life around having empty space for the development of my ideas for the creative process. And for the cultivation of a physiological state which is receptive enough to tune in very, very deeply to people I work with … In the creative process, it’s so easy to drive for efficiency and take for granted the really subtle internal work that it takes to play on that razor’s edge.”

CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella, has said that lifelong learning is something that defines him as a leader. “I fundamentally believe that if you are not learning new things, you stop doing great and useful things.”

How can you benefit from making the same commitment to lifelong learning? Connect2Classes makes it easy with an extensive catalog of learning experiences and life skills training that can benefit your life including cooking and baking, DIY and home improvement, visual and performing arts, and more.


Parenting the Love and Logic Way is a course that gives students proven techniques, exercises, and tips that help kids become more responsible while the whole family has more fun.

Starting a New Business will help jump-start any new business.Generate cash faster and avoid common pitfalls. Start with the right legal, insurance, and accounting knowledge. Learn how to finance your product or service, identify key customers and develop a strong marketing platform.

If you are serious about pursuing an education in wine, Mastering the Art of Wine Tasting is the most important wine class you can take. It is a thorough grounding in the skills necessary to taste wines like a professional.

Or simply click to explore all of the courses offered on Connect2Classes.


Posted on

Turns out Welding is a BLAST!

Welding Class

For me, getting to experience a class from my own course marketplace was a welcome change from the office, but selecting an intro to welding course at the HazardFactory was downright intimidating. I brought one of our team members, Michael Duarte-Pedrosa, with me to do some bonding while learning a completely new skill together.

Michael pointed out that we had clearly left the cubicle behind when we emerged from the car and were greeted by a landscape metal with instructor Mckenzie eager to begin sharing her wealth of knowledge. We jumped right in by donning safety gear and then a surprisingly entertaining discussion on welding, theory, safety, and equipment. As the welding mask slides over your head, you realize that this is really going to happen — you are going to melt some metal!

Our task for the night was assembling a three-part welded souvenir to develop different welding skills under the watchful eye of the HazardFactory’s expert instructors.

“The art of welding, for me, has always been a little mysterious and frankly, a little intimidating,” shared Michael. “The few hours we spent indulging in the trade at the HazardFactory was great team fun and demystified it for me. I now feel I have enough knowledge to do it again on my own, the welds may not be pretty yet, but I did it! I can’t wait to go back for more.”

The feeling of accomplishment, once a project is finished, is incredibly powerful. Having something that you physically created after just learning is very empowering and you feel like you’ve accomplished a lot. Surprisingly, the welding workshops are suitable for adults and children; they recently hosted an 8-year-old birthday party that created a metal pterodactyl sculpture.

Quick intro to welding

If you are an organization looking for a team-building event, look no further, the HazardFactory delivers with a wide range of workshops suited to your needs. One of the workshops will have your team working together to design and weld a metal bridge that will undergo real-world structural integrity testing.

My favorite part of the night was when Rusty took my little welded triangle and hung it from a crane with 500 lbs. dangling from it, I was cringing as he hoisted it up and felt like superwoman when it held. I can really see how this kind of accomplishment is great for team building.

Unless your organization has some closet welders, this activity as a team event is an equalizer, allowing all players, men, and women, big and small, young and old to contribute and learn while working toward a common goal. Besides working together and developing your teamwork skills these events are absolutely loads of fun!

Whether you are interested in indulging a simple curiosity, learning a new skill for some home repairs, creating industrial metal art, a springboard to a new vocation, or interested in taking your team to the next level, molten metal at the HazardFactory is where it’s at!

Dallas Jasper

Posted on

The Best Way to Predict the Future is To Invent It!

Master Classes in Leadership and Management, Process Improvement, Design and Creative, Strategic and Online Marketing, and Technology — Team Building Events From Local Master Talent, Too!

Connect2Classes is a local learning marketplace with master classes from our world-class providers, including The American Management Association, The Effectiveness Institute, The School of Visual Concepts, General Assembly, The UW Foster School of Business, The Sundust Oracle Institute, and The Project Management Academy.

We also offer custom, onsite training and learning events for groups, as well as team building activities from local master talent. We can organize all of the details, including venue and catering, or we can bring it all to you onsite. Our learning consultants can discuss your business objectives with you and offer the perfect mix of learning and motivation to prepare you for the future by transforming your organization’s knowledge, cohesion, and practices.

Learn More About Private Classes

Upcoming Master Classes, Workshops, and Bootcamps:

Leadership and Management

Process Improvement

Creative and Design

Strategic and Online Marketing


Team-Building Activities

Team building and corporate events don’t have to be awkward and uncomfortable. If you want to be happy, learn something new; if you want your work team to gel, learn something new together. We guarantee it won’t feel like a day in the office!

Here are some ideas: Sushi, French cuisine, chocolate everything, paddleboarding, perfecting your batting average, over 21 activities like wine tasting, mixing cocktails, and brewing.

Contact us for more information or to brainstorm your learning and team-building needs!

206.397.0011 or 855.527.3222

About Connect2Classes — We are a marketplace for professional and life enriching classes, workshops, and learning immersives — connecting voracious learners with the best local expertise. In Seattle, Online, and San Francisco!

Posted on

Reach Heavenly Heights With Cloud 9 Art School!

Owner and Art Instructor Charlene Collins Freeman Tells Her Entrepreneurship Story

Dreams do come true…

But you have to push them uphill first!

Facebook recently showed me a memory from about seven years ago. In that post I announced that I was teaching my first art classes. I was so nervous!

It was at a consignment store in Kenmore full of used furniture and bric-a-brac. They were closed on Sundays and were therefore willing to let me teach in the shop. I had three people sign up. I had no idea of how to develop this into my dream career, a full time teaching artist.

Wow, that was just 7 years ago. Seems like a life time ago. Since that time, I began teaching at many community colleges and several art schools, I’ve had literally hundreds of students, the majority of which have become dear friends. I’ve take students to Italy, France and England every year for sketchbook travel adventures.

And now I have opened my own school. Wow. Just wow!

The school is Cloud 9 Art School, located in a lovely house at 18414 103rd Ave NE in Bothell.

I have a line up of excellent teachers, all professional artists, who bring their passion, encouragement, and expertise to their students at Cloud 9.

We offer classes for kids, teens and adults in drawing, painting, sketching, jewelry, meditation, mindfulness, and even knitting. Parents can drop kids off on Friday night for art classes instead of hiring a babysitter. We offer workshops for Girl Scouts to earn badges and we create travel adventures to inspire joy and creativity.

We will continue to add new classes and workshops for a variety of media so stay tuned!

We are a joyful community focused on creativity and discovering our world. Cloud 9 Art School is committed to being a place where children, teens and adults find inspiration, learn, and have fun in a relaxed, professional studio environment.

I’m thrilled! You could say, I’m on Cloud 9!

Charlene Collins Freeman
Owner & Art Instructor

Upcoming Classes From Cloud 9 Art School:

About Connect2Classes — We are a marketplace for professional and life enriching classes, workshops, and learning immersives — connecting voracious learners with the best local expertise. In Seattle, Online, and San Francisco!

Posted on

An Evening of Food, Wine and Learning with Connect2Classes and Eat Seattle

Celebrity Blogger Dawn Smith of Revel and Glitter Attended a Pike Place Market Tour and Cooking Class Meal Experience

This is a sponsored post; payment, trade and/or products have been received in exchange for promotion for Connect2Classes and Eat Seattle and as always, all opinions are my own. — Dawn Smith, Revel and Glitter

One of my favorite things about living in the Seattle/Pacific Northwest area, besides the amazing scenery and outdoor activities, is the food! We are moving up the list as the “it” food and wine city, thanks to the abundance of wineries in Eastern Washington.

Combine that with my love of learning, the answer was a resounding yes when the founder of Eat Seattle Classes and Tours, Chef Liz McCune, and Connect2Classes invited me to attend one of her cooking classes. Cooking and drinking wine? That is my type of evening.

We all met at the the beautiful Atrium Kitchen in the Pike Place Market. Which I didn’t even know existed, in a building I’ve never been in. And I’ve lived and been coming to the market for over 13 years. The learning has already begun. Eat Seattle’s cooking classes consists of a tour through the market where Chef Liz and Chef Jay Midwood explained the local and seasonal produce they selected as the ingredients for our menu.

Again, an urban garden in the middle of the market that I had no idea about. It helps to supplement fresh produce already provided at the Food Bank and Senior Center and offers the market senior residents the opportunity to garden and socialize with each other. The public can walk through; there are beautiful views of the Puget Sound. But it is definately the first rule of the secret urban garden…nobody talks about the secret urban garden.

We head down to the bustling market to pick up a few items for our meal, visiting some of the chefs’ favorite vendors. The third thing I learned, truly ripe nectarines taste like ripe peaches. I like peaches…I don’t like nectarines. Apparently why, because I’ve been eating them all wrong.

We headed back to the kitchen, where we wash up and prepare for the festivities, including nibbling on Beecher’s cheese and crackers with a lovely glass of wine. I mention Beecher’s because a. they are local and b. I LOVE THEIR CHEESE!

The format is a combination of hands-on and demonstration to ensure that everyone gets the most of the teachings and those that would like to participate can do so. Which means you can jump in and help…or sit back and enjoy your wine. We all did both.

Yes, this is me gutting what must be the world’s largest heirloom tomatoes. They come in later for our meal starter…

Meanwhile, Chef Jay is giving us fabulous tips and instructions on the preparation of the menu; he was so informative providing tips on cooking techniques, info about the meal and and random Seattle history.

I learned so much information! For example, I have never heard of the tonka bean, that helped make our dessert. Apparently it is super-hot in the cosmetics world and can be purchased much cheaper through those avenues than through the culinary side. Much like nutmeg, it is toxic in high doses. And very expensive in small doses.

But what you really want to hear about is our gourmet dishes. All the ingredients used were sourced in the Northwest and 100% organic, and our meal designed to maximize those seasonal flavors. This is our starter, the before mentioned heirloom tomato, stuffed with a salmon rillettes with a truffle oil vinaigrette and edible flower petals.

Our main course, seared ling cod with potato, fennel, orange and mint salad.

We ended with the tonka bean sponge with strawberries, blueberries topped with whipped chantilly. That’s just a fancy way of saying when whipping the cream, you stop when there are soft peaks so it is still a little runny.

I had an amazing evening and although I was a third wheel, everyone there was a couple or came with a friend, the atmosphere was so inviting, I didn’t feel alone or awkward. There was so much to see and be engaged with. I am so bringing my husband for another class.

Be sure and follow Chef Liz on Instagram @Eat_Seattle on her food adventures through our beautiful Seattle!

Need more wine inspiration? Check out my latest post for Washington Wine Month

Do you already take cooking classes or are you inspired to take one now? Tell us all about it!

About Connect2Classes — We are a marketplace for professional and life enriching classes, workshops, and learning immersives — connecting voracious learners with the best local expertise. In Seattle, Online, and soon in San Francisco!

Posted on

Go Back to School and Build Your Career

Everyone Can Benefit From Being Current and Savvy About New Technologies, Business Practices, and Other Learning Trends

Technological change demands stronger and more continuous connections between education and employment. –Andrew Palmer, The Economist

As technology advances, it’s no longer enough to rely solely on formal education and college degrees when seeking employment. We need to be learning all the time as we adapt to changing conditions in our jobs, careers, and business markets.

The Economist recently published an article on the importance of lifelong learning in the modern age. The industrial revolution has been replaced by the information revolution and the knowledge economy, and jobs are changing: the jobs of the future will be less repetitive, more centered around technological innovation, more creative, more challenging — and more rewarding.

So how can we prepare for these changes in how we work? The answer is lifelong learning, which continues over the course of a person’s entire career.

“A college degree at the start of a working career does not answer the need for the continuous acquisition of new skills, especially as career spans are lengthening,” says The Economist. “Vocational training is good at giving people job-specific skills, but those, too, will need to be updated over and over again during a career lasting decades.”

Understanding the importance of continuous learning is essential to success. And the younger you are, the more obvious it is. Those who rely heavily on the Internet are learning all the time — they’ve developed the key skill of learning to learn. Even in the age of Internet, though, there’s still a place for classes, workshops and bootcamps that boost learning to new heights. Companies now spend less money on training and professional development, so it’s important for employees to have their own continuous learning strategies.

“According to the Pew survey, 54% of all working Americans think it will be essential to develop new skills throughout their working lives; among adults under 30 the number goes up to 61%,” The Economist tells us. “Another survey, conducted by Manpower in 2016, found that 93% of millennials were willing to spend their own money on further training.”

Connect2Classes wants you to find success in learning and in your career. We offer thousands of classes to help you boost your skills, keep your knowledge up-to-date and stay afloat in a competitive workforce. Regardless of your field, skills like software knowledge, social media know-how and graphic design are incredibly useful. And life skills like project management, team leadership and conflict resolution are critical to any successful career.

It’s time to get ready for the future with Connect2Classes and our wide array of online and in-person classes in Seattle and the San Francisco Bay Area. Start your lifelong learning now, and invest in your career.

About Connect2Classes — We are a marketplace for professional and life enriching classes, workshops, and learning immersives — connecting voracious learners with the best local expertise. In Seattle, Online, and soon in San Francisco!

Posted on

Design a custom learning experience with Connect2Classes’ Class Concierge

Connect2Classes provides the personal touch with their new Class Concierge service

Connect2Classes has launched a new service that connects learners with local experts offering custom classes and training. The Class Concierge service is now available to help you plan a group learning experience that is entirely unique and tailored to your interests and location.

What can Class Concierge do for you? Just as a hotel concierge recommends the best restaurants, tours and spas in the area, Class Concierge will recommend the most highly rated experts in Seattle that are best suited to what you want to learn.

Are you a business looking for a unique day of team building and professional development? Class Concierge will help you create a customized, outside the box experience. Replace a dull day of corporate training with artisanal soap-making in the morning before diving deep into an afternoon technology class taught by a local expert. Searching for a fun activity for a birthday or a bachelorette party? Want date night to be extra special this month? From cooking to photography to couples massage classes, Class Concierge will craft the perfect experience for you.

With so many truly stellar teachers and master craftspeople working in the Seattle area, there is an amazing pool of expertise to draw from. Class Concierge has access to hundreds of trusted experts who have worked with Connect2Classes before. Their recommendations are based on testimonials and positive feedback from past students, so you can be sure you’re getting the best possible experience. Many of these experts also have custom built studios and facilities that you can access through the Class Concierge service, from glass blowing studios to metalworking shops.

No need to spend hours planning, either. Connect with Class Concierge and let them know what your learning and bonding objectives are, how big your group is, what passions or interests your group would love to explore, and where you’d like the event to be located – then leave the rest to Class Concierge! They’ll do all the planning and organizing for you. All you have to do is show up, learn and have fun.

Visit Connect2Classes to connect with Class Concierge today!

Posted on

Amp Up Your Group Grilling Game with Seattle’s BBQ and Grilling School

BBQ and Grilling Classes

Connect2Classes offers group BBQ classes for team and client appreciation events

Looking for a unique alternative to your usual work party barbeque? With Connect2Classes, you can set up a group BBQ class for your team to eat, bond, and learn some grilling skills. Seattle’s summertime experts are on hand to guide students from the basics to the master-level skills of BBQ and grilling.

Local grill master Stu McMullen, of Seattle’s BBQ and Grilling School, has travelled to BBQ and grilling contests across the country, in cities like St. Louis, Memphis and New Orleans. He’s also taken classes at the Western Culinary Institute and travelled widely in Asia. He currently works with local BBQ and grilling chefs, including Eric “the Sauce King” Viken, Tom “Make It Happen” Von Glahn and Ken “Barbecue Extraordinaire” Dahlstrom.

Stu’s skillset now covers the best practices of many classic BBQ and grilling traditions, and he’s sharing his knowledge with students through all kinds of events. These aren’t limited to team appreciation events, either. Sharon, a local real estate entrepreneur, commented on her recent experience designing a private event with the BBQ and Grilling School.

“It was four hours of fun followed by an hour of eating!” Sharon says. “I followed the lead of some of my friends and sponsored a cooking class for some of my real estate clients.”

Sharon’s event was a huge hit. “Not only did I generate some new leads for some real estate sales, but the group had a great time,” she says. “I plan to repeat this experience every 6 months with my new clients. Not only is it a great way to show my appreciation to my clients but it is a great way to generate new leads. I will recoup my costs many times over while having a great time learning new cooking skills.”

If you have an upcoming team event, need to plan a work party, or want to show your clients some appreciation, consider a cooking class with the Seattle BBQ and Grilling School or another local Cooking School. Connect2Classes can arrange an event for you, your colleagues, new leads, family or friends.

Visit Connect2Classes to view upcoming classes from the Seattle BBQ and Grilling School:

Or request a private class:

Posted on

Seattle Businesses Are Reinventing Team Training and Building

Seattle Businesses Are Reinventing Team Training and Building

In a thriving economy like Seattle, businesses know they need cultivate strong teams in order to maintain their competitive edge. As baseball player Babe Ruth famously said, “The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.”

In an age when standard professional development options can seem a bit too cookie-cutter and focused on individual learning, businesses now have the option of working with local educational providers to design the perfect learning and bonding experience. Connect2Classes is leading the way with a flexible approach to group professional development and amazing team building activities.

Connect2Classes CEO Dallas Jasper commented on why building custom class offerings has become one of their most requested services: “At Connect2Classes we’ve been champions of experiential earning for a long time. We have literally hundreds of world-class instructors available to us on any topic you can imagine. Does staff require technical or marketing training or other professional skills development? Or are they committed to regular team building events or fostering creativity? Any business can request a tailor-made learning experience that is relevant to their specific industry and needs.”

One local real estate company contacted Connect2Classes to organize an onsite software training for their employees that would be relevant to their industry. A local school organized a Moms and Sons chocolate making event and picnic dinner for Mother’s Day. Another company decided to encourage team bonding over soap making. Yet another local business hired a chef instructor to run team-building culinary games during a very special cocktail party.

The Washington Department of Labor and Industry also took advantage of custom training for their staff. Crystal Hensen, Services Development Core Team Manager, says “We were in need of some Java training and found Connect2Classes offered a class in Seattle for a decent price. It became evident quickly that the number of staff we needed to take this training was increasing, so I called Connect2Classes who helped us get the training we needed delivered locally instead! We were provided with different instructor options to choose from that allowed us to select the best instructor for what we needed, and all of the instructors met the qualifications we needed, and they also offered different scheduling options for meeting our needs.”

Do you have a team that could learn to gel better? Professional level courses in communication, people skills, conflict navigation, and other essential practices help everyone develop their team-working savvy. If developing creativity and innovation thinking are your goals, Connect2Classes also works with instructors from the creative industries who are expert at guiding teams through the creative process.

Team building and morale events also get a boost from this creative approach. Groups can request cooking classes such as sushi making, cupcakes, French cuisine, and chocolate creations. Outdoor activities like paddle boarding, hiking, and perfecting your batting average. Also on offer are over-21 events like wine tasting, mixing cocktails, brewing, and adult beverages plus art or photography. Creative businesses can opt for glass blowing, metal working, or woodworking.

What do your teams need to learn and love to do? Just let Connect2Classes know and they can suggest the perfect training or event, onsite or off.

Use this link to request a private class: