American Accessories International

  americanaccessoriesintl.com
  americanaccessoriesintl.com
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American Accessories International Reviews

Updated September 19, 2014
Updated September 19, 2014
14 Reviews
3.2
14 Reviews
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Recommend to a friend
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Eric Zeanah
13 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Fast-Paced, Honest, Impactful

    • 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

    Pros

    There is never a dull moment at AAI. Every day is a different challenge and a new adventure. Since this is a small company, change is easily implemented and everyone has the opportunity to make it happen. The employees are all extremely accommodating and eager to help.

    Cons

    If you want a 9-5 day job, don't work here. At AAI you will work long hours and sometimes take work home with you. The flat organizational structure, however, makes it all worthwhile. You have the chance to make a real difference with good ideas and hard work.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 3 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
  3. 3 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 for less than a 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
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  5. 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 for more than a 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
  6.  

    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 for less than a 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
  7.  

    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 for less than a 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
  8.  

    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 for 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
  9. 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
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Disillusioned and disappointed

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

    I worked at American Accessories International as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    "Opportunity for travel"-although I did not get to travel at all
    Work with some interesting brands that are sold throughout the world
    Very high pay

    Cons

    As an intern, the company promised a lot to me before I moved to Knoxville for the summer. They told me I would "without a doubt" be traveling, and I was not sent anywhere outside of Knoxville the entire summer. They also told me if I created a good presentation, I would have the opportunity to travel and present to the client. They did not allow me to present my project, and claimed that airfare was too expensive. They then sent multiple interns to China, spending thousands of dollars, and were not able to send me to New Jersey to present.

    The company also provides no training. They expect interns to acclimate to company culture within about a week, and provide no formal training about processes or how to deal with clients and international associates. The company is the complete opposite of proactive; they addressed problems as they occurred and provided training only after interns or new hires expressed frustration or lack of knowledge.

    The CEO also has a huge ego and never thinks he is wrong. He hires mainly women, and almost every woman who worked at the company told me that he had made them cry at some point in their time working at AAI. He is also rude and condescending, and claims he welcomes innovation but never has the time or patience to entertain new ideas.

    Stay away from this company at all costs. They are going nowhere and clients are running because of the unprofessionalism and overall inefficiency, as well as having to deal with a CEO who thinks he is better than them.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't lie to get new hires or summer interns to work for you. Don't disillusion people into thinking they will have amazing opportunities, and then only give opportunities to a select few.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    If you have an offer with any other company, take 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

    Pros

    At first, the casual atmosphere is appealing. You’ll learn a little about product development, marketing, importing, and how not to run a company.

    Cons

    The biggest con is the small management staff. They have a very long history together. It’s very clique-ish. If you do not quickly learn and adjust to their unprofessional, child-like company culture, then you are treated like an alien who just doesn’t “get it.” They carry themselves as if they are company owners. They can do and say anything to anyone (and they will). They know they will never be fired or reprimanded. All attempts to update or modernize the process are rejected. There is very little organization and no established procedures or priorities. That’s the way they like it. Since there is no formal training or leadership, it can be difficult to learn their so-called system on your own…especially when expectations change daily. Growth potential is limited by the company’s short-sightedness.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Let go of the old and adopt a more sophisticated business environment.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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