American Accessories International

  americanaccessoriesintl.com
  americanaccessoriesintl.com

American Accessories International Reviews

Updated October 30, 2014
Updated October 30, 2014
16 Reviews
3.5
16 Reviews
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Eric Zeanah
15 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    25 Years!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales and Marketing in Knoxville, TN
    Current Employee - Sales and Marketing in Knoxville, TN

    I have been working at American Accessories International full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    I have been with AAI for going on 25 years. I am not a social media person. However when I learned of and read some of the information posted recently, I feel the need to respond. AAI is a very unique and special company. The basis of which is creativity. Take a group of extremely creative people, add a discipline such as engineering, toss on a client base of top tier global Fortune 25 companies, not to mention manufacturing and logistics done on several continents, with an incredible record of success, and you have AAI. Doesn’t sound easy, and it is not. Not meant for everyone either. Only those who enjoy excitement and success, and are not afraid to actually put themselves out there create a rewarding career. I have seen generations X, Y and Z, and a host of others all shapes, colors and sizes, pass through our doors over the years. Those who are able to take on the challenge and embrace the responsibility that goes along with it have found a home as well as a career. So I am not going to even dignify the” Ranters” with a response. If you are a paper shuffler, this is not for you. However, if you want to be a part of something special with a great future, AAI might be your place.

    One last Note:
    I noticed on all the posts I read, all say the compensation is a major pro. There is a reason for that, but you actually have to work for it.

    Cons

    Sometimes must respond unexpectedly to take advantage of opportunity. Not always convenient but necessary.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Exciting and Gratifying Place to Work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Marketing and Product Development in Knoxville, TN
    Current Employee - Marketing and Product Development in Knoxville, TN

    I have been working at American Accessories International full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Reading some of the latest rants posted really upsets and offends me as a hard working member of the American Accessories team. Everyone has the right to voice their opinion on individual experiences, but taking shots at people that are very passionate about their job and the company they work for or have built is too extreme in my eyes. I am a well-educated woman that has been working in the manufacturing industry for going on 11 years now with the last 6 years at American Accessories… My experience and career have grown exponentially since joining the AAI team. I would like to take some time and explain how my experience has been the last six years and continues to be every day.

    I’m not the kind of person or personality to sit back and wait for people to tell me what to do… instead I have an aggressive work ethic and like to build my own success. This same mentality has led others to become very successful with the company and have led others to have a sour taste in their mouth. I entered AAI with knowledge in design and textiles in order to help build a marketing department. Never did I imagine six years later, that I would be standing and presenting in front of some of the largest companies in the world, leading meetings, and helping open doors of additional growth opportunities.

    I am proud to work for a company that is uniquely different and diversified. What American Accessories accomplishes in one day for a client takes others weeks to do. I’m not stating this solely as my belief but as true statements directly from our customers. Hearing comments from your customers about the satisfaction your company brings them in creativity, turn-around time, quality, and overall performance is rewarding. I find the comment or perception that we lie to clients very ironic, seeing how our clients look to us as their partner rather than their supplier based on trust and knowledge. Our clients are currently wanting to grow their business with AAI over others which wouldn’t be happening in my opinion if we lied to them. I am a passionate individual who loves her job and finds American Accessories an exciting and gratifying place to work.

    Cons

    Keeping client relationships and holding top positions against competitors does make for extreme challenges, long hours and dedication. Long hours and dedication are not meant for everyone. Expectations are set very high from day one because our clients expect no less. Some people thrive in a very fast paced, aggressive, ever changing… and yes sometimes stressful environment… and some people just don’t. AAI’s business is growing and flexibility and adaptation is needed to support our clients. This can result in spontaneous and sometimes lengthy travel due to project or client need, but if you have the desire for an opportunity to lead and carry a role of ownership and responsibility in moving projects and solutions forward to success, these opportunities are exciting rather than burdens. Since we are an international company, it is not always an 8:30am-5:30pm kind of day. Success does mean sacrifice at times, but individuals have to figure out for themselves what that means and how that will work for them.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Great Experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at American Accessories International full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    I am currently employed by American Accessories International and have been for the past 3 years. I have worked with most of the departments here at AAI. I have read some of the reviews on here and must admit that I am highly offended at some of these “rants” (which is exactly what the writer calls it). And let me address the fact that I was not requested to post this nor pressured in any way, but as a current employee, a woman of minority, and mother I feel it is my obligation to address some of these false allegations of the company in which I am employed. First, to address the accusation that this is a racist company or that the owner himself is racist, this is false. As I stated earlier as a woman of minority, to think that I would tolerate any kind of bigotry or discrimination in the work force is absurd. I must also further mention that I am a graduate at the University Of Tennessee in which I owe gratitude to the CEO because he sent me back to school to finish my degree, with no commitment, attachments or contracts just out the pure kindness of his heart, which I do not think a racist man would do. Not to mention that our company is diversified, being that we are in fact a China company as well. Now to address the sexist comments… I will simply say that majority of the company’s employees are women and if there were in fact sexist issues, I don’t think our company would consist of majority women.
    Now to address one last accusation about the work ethics of the company. This is probably the only part of the glass door reviews that has some truth behind it. If you consider taking a position in this company, prepare to work hard, prepare to be challenged, and prepared to be dismissed if you think you cannot manage either of the two. We are a small company of 50 employees in both our US and China office; we cater and provide services to fortune 500 companies, and we are a very profitable company…..how can this be accomplished with anything but hard work? As a company we are faced with challenges everyday by our clients, and as a team we work together to overcome those challenges. I promise that if you consider a position here at our company and are willing to work hard and learn, you will not be disappointed with your decision. And as stated before…if this was such a horrible oppressing work place, I would think that there would be more than just a few bitter glass door comments on the internet.

    Cons

    As stated earlier, if you are not willing to work hard or expand your ability to learn than this is not the company for you.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 4 people found this helpful  

    I wouldn't recommend this company to anyone I care about

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at American Accessories International as an intern

    Pros

    Very high pay
    Some of the people who work there are very nice
    Good line on the resume
    Knoxville is a nice area to work in

    Cons

    Management is one of the worst I've ever seen. The CEO runs the show and his ego clouds his judgement (this is an understatement). He abuses lower level management and his staff. I often heard him make borderline racist (definitely culturally insensitive) remarks towards some of his best workers. The people who really enjoy the job have been heavily indoctrinated into a cult-like culture. They are young (mostly women) and susceptible to the grand promises management makes but often fails to deliver. Feedback, especially critical feedback, to upper management is met with anger, defense, and irrational argument. There are no clear lines of communication so many of the employees suffer in silence. The hours worked are long and tedious and often unproductive, however you are expected to stay a full day, overtime, or take your work home with you because "that's what salary employees are expected to do". Trust me, it's imprisonment and isn't worth the money you make. While many of the employees are genuinely good people, you'll find that they have no friends but each other namely because they practically live in the office. The CEO picks favorites whom he assigns special clout -- if you want to be one of these people, drop your dignity and stroke his ego, but I wouldn't suggest it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The problem starts and ends with the CEO. If he could change his approach the office culture and productivity would improve dramatically; however, any negative view of the organization is treated like a slanderous and erroneous offense that should be punished. The other unofficial management would do well if they weren't so bogged down managing so many people and projects. Employees (who write positive reviews of this site under the direction of the CEO) feel like they have growth opportunities within this organization but the truth is that they do not because there is no system set up to advance their careers. The turnover rate at this company is huge. My thoughts on this are that employees are not recognized for what they do right (only yelled at for what they do wrong). There are no evaluations that aren't ridiculously subjective -- management would benefit from more communication, more realistic expectations of their employees with added consideration for their overall well-being, and in making room for initiatives with clear goals and proper training.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 4 people found this helpful  

    Not worth it!!!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at American Accessories International full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Like some of the other reviewers say, they do pay well for INTERNS and SALES people but do not pay others anywhere near their level such as tech support-IT, or graphics.

    Look forward to something different every day.

    Lovely area to work and live in.

    Cons

    Upper level management is practically non existent. Any time you need or want to talk to anyone, they are not there or busy. They expect you to dedicate 7 days a week to the company but yet dock you for time off when the COMPANY decides to shut down for any reason. They claim they have to prove you are valuable to the company before they can put you on salary but that is just a cop-out to make you work 60 hours a week with 40 hours of pay. The owner consistently bragged about his $2,000 ink pin during meetings but yet he can't maintain a decent work environment. They do not train their employees whatsoever. They expect the sales girls, I say this because all the sales people are attractive young women either in college or recently graduated, to acclimate to their bizarre work flow over night and never actually train them on what they are doing. If it weren't for the other girls there to help each other out, they would be lost. In my short time with this company, at least 3 people were either fired or walked out. The turn over rate is UNBELIEVABLE. The management claims that people who leave can't "handle the stress of the job," when in reality they can't handle the bs they have to put up with. They claim to be on the cutting edge of the industry but they can't even maintain working computers half the time. If it weren't for an outstanding IT person, their system wouldn't last a week. The sales girls are forced to work mainly on laptops so they can work from home after hours.

    This is not a company you want to work for. Words can not adequately describe how disappointed you will be after working here. Do not believe a word of any of the positive reviews you see here, they are written by upper level management to offset the negative reviews.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Retire, hire new.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Wish I had read the reviews first......Lesson Learned

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at American Accessories International as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    They pay exceptionaly well, the employees are some of the best I have ever had the chance to work wtih.

    Cons

    The stress and senior management is not worth the great salary. Senior mgmt do not train new employees to the business. They expect you to come on board with life experiences that match their culture exactly. They only hire young interns so they can teach them that this is Corporate Normal.....which is very far from the truth. I do not regret my experience with the company I learned a lot but would not have excepted the position if I have it to do over.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    My advice to management is to stand by what you promise in the interview. The owner needs to realize his employees are human and have families too. The management team needs a few "management" classes and over all people skills. They need to hire people with the right skills not just a great resume or GPA score.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    The Experience and Trust given to you as an Intern exceeds Expectations

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Knoxville, TN
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Knoxville, TN

    I worked at American Accessories International as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    From day one, they will give you projects to start working on. As time progresses the work increases, and you will get better at handling multiple task. All of the projects and assignments that you have to work on, are actually on going projects. Which forces you to apply critical thinking skills, and pushes your boundaries to your limit. At the end of your internship you will be amazed, of how far you have come and it's a great company with amazing opportunities.

    Cons

    The more responsibility you get, the more stress you will be under.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Unique, fast paced environment that offers growth and room for creativity.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Knoxville, TN
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Knoxville, TN

    I have been working at American Accessories International full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    At American Accessories, you can define your own job description. I just started with the company in the spring, but already I've had the opportunity to manage functions across multiple departments. Not only are employees able to make autonomous decisions shortly after being hired, but we also get to communicate directly with the client and see the impact our work makes.

    The best part of this job is that it will never become tedious, because there are always new areas to explore. Several people have even found opportunities outside our normal scope of operation, turned them into accounts, and created entire departments around them. Finding management willing to put this much trust into their people is rare and I think it's one of our best traits as a company. Upper management makes it clear that they are genuinely interested in our career progress as individuals.

    The overall atmosphere is casual and energetic, especially since our recent growth has led us to hire many new employees from diverse backgrounds. Most here are very highly motivated and outgoing personalities, and the informal vibe allows you to learn much faster because everyone is open to help or answer questions. If you are one of those people that dreads monotonous jobs and is looking for a dynamic culture, this company will be a good fit.

    Cons

    Long and sometimes unpredictable hours, and currently growing so fast the support systems haven't caught up yet. The culture is built on people who are extremely self-motivated and don't like restrictions, which sometimes means it isn't a great fit for everyone who comes on board. Those who need more structure and are comfortable in a fixed daily routine have a really hard time fitting in.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep focusing on hiring the right kind of employees to fit our culture, and encourage more communication between new hires and multiple departments.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Dedication, Hard Work, and Flexibility Pay Off

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Marketing and Product Development in Knoxville, TN
    Current Employee - Marketing and Product Development in Knoxville, TN

    I have been working at American Accessories International full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    From day one you are given a tremendous amount of responsibility. This is very exciting and allows for you to feel like you make an impact quickly. With the large amount of responsibility, you learn at an accelerated rate. After a few months into my career, I was amazed by how much I had learned and progressed. As you work on programs, you become passionate about them because you want to see your design or idea succeed and go to the marketplace. Our clients' needs are ever-changing, thus creating a fast pace and exciting environment. Job satisfaction comes through the client challenges we solve and developing products that build, support, and strengthen our clients' businesses.

    Cons

    The ever-changing environment can be hectic at times. Long hours and dedication are required as the clients call for it. However, in order to see your program succeed the long hours and dedication are worth it. The lack of a rigorous training program allows for hands on teaching through real programs. However, you must be proactive and accept that mistakes are going to happen (but that is when you learn the most).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Your knowledge and experiences are invaluable. Continue to support the younger generation that is coming on board as the company rapidly expands.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Do yourself a favor, and stay away...wish I had.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at American Accessories International full-time

    Pros

    High compensation and opportunity for international business travel

    Cons

    Lack of systems support, training, professionalism, overall decency from sr. Management towards employees. Mostly young women are hired and I believe management tries to break you down for some reason. Overall lack of professionalism runs rampant. Some people may thrive in this culture but if you want a decent work/life balance and a little structure, this employer is not for you! The compensation is not worth what you deal with on a daily basis.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Actually care about employees instead of just saying you Make expectations clear instead of changing on a daily basis. Don't be bullies.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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