Artist and Craftsman Supply
1.4 of 5 9 reviews
artistcraftsman.com Portland, ME 150 to 499 Employees

Artist and Craftsman Supply Reviews

Updated Feb 10, 2014
Artist and Craftsman Supply – Portland – “Front Entry”

All Employees Current Employees Only

1.4 9 reviews

                             

0% Approve of the CEO

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Larry Adlerstein

(3 ratings)

11% of employees recommend this company to a friend
9 Employee Reviews
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1 person found this helpful  

Discouraging

Sales (Former Employee)
Portland, ME

I worked at Artist and Craftsman Supply

ProsGreat Discount and Friendly co-workers. Most of the time it is a great work atmosphere. Weekends when Upper Management is gone it is the best place to work.

ConsYou NEVER get a thank you for a good job, and training is little to none at best. When you do something that is even close to right, all of the things that were wrong are thrown in your face and you are belittled for it. You are looked down on and scrutenized for everything. If you work there, and are female, watch out because you wont get the same respect. You will be shown and given more responsibility without getting extra benefits (pay) and if you bring up your wages in conversation you will be slowly pushed out the door. If you don't quit first you will be fired and can only hope that you can fight to get unemployment.

Advice to Senior ManagementReinforce good things and don't talk down to people. Pay them what they deserve and don't belittle your employees so they feel inferior to the rest of the so called "family". The nationwide stores are happy, but put your focus back home and rebuild your foundation before it crumbles underneath you.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

Sales (Former Employee)

I worked at Artist and Craftsman Supply full-time

ProsThe majority of the individual store managers and employees are incredible people that genuinely want to help the customers have an amazing experience. The stores also have a great selection of materials at competitive prices.

ConsThe president of the company is irrational at best, and will continue to fire/rehire people on a whim. Seriously, most of the people that have been with the company for any length of time have been fired in an irrational tantrum full of verbal abuse, and then rehired sometime in the future. You could see this as someone acknowledging their mistake, but mistakes are something to be learned from not constantly repeated. When visiting any of the individual stores the president will constantly stress the importance of 'learning to communicate effectively' - while having no ability to do so himself. "Learning to communicate effectively" does not mean insulting and talking down to your managers/employees when they are the only thing allowing your poorly run company to succeed.

On a day to day basis the individual store managers treat their respective locations as though they were their own business, and customers love the stores for that reason. Just look at the Yelp reviews for almost any location if you doubt it. However, this means employees are constantly required to take on additional responsibilities with little or no additional compensation. The worst part about the company is that you will feel truly betrayed when the day comes around where you're either forced to shut your mouth and be insulted after effectively dealing with the workload of multiple people's jobs, quit, or be fired.

Look on the bright side! Maybe you'll be "lucky" enough to get a half hearted apology, and asked to come back for more. If you're a masochist then saddle up for the A&C ride. Otherwise, look for a job that actually values what you bring to the table on a daily basis.

Advice to Senior ManagementThe president/CEO should step down, and upper management should learn to truly appreciate the level of commitment they receive from their store managers/employees. If you want to push the "family" vibe, then quit treating people like garbage. Without the quality of your store managers, and the people they hire - YOUR COMPANY FAILS. You may also want to pay your employees a reasonable wage for the level of responsibility they have...which is far more than any other retail job would REQUIRE of you (if you want to keep your job).

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Horrible Experience!

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Artist and Craftsman Supply full-time for less than a year

ProsGreat products, good employee discounts, and floor employees great to work with. Convenient location (on bus lines). Other than that I have to pad this to get to the 20 word minimum. ;-(

ConsUpper management, particularly the President. No job security, harsh treatment of employees, sexist behavior (including sexual harassment). Pay is o.k. for some. Very few vacation days compared to other companies. Probably most suitable for college art students looking for some extra work.

Advice to Senior ManagementGet the President to retire. He needs it. Invest in some decent facilities for the administrative staff. Stop holding staff meetings in public restaurants or the bakery.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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High anxiety workplace

Graphics & Web (Former Employee)
Portland, ME

I worked at Artist and Craftsman Supply full-time for less than a year

ProsI always had unbelievable stories to tell about this place...So I guess that's a pro? The discount was good. 40% off retail price for employees.

ConsEveryone sits in the same room as the managers, so you have to be extremely careful about anything you say (even the smallest minute thing) otherwise it WILL be used against you at a later date.
Don't ever expect to get a compliment from a manager, unless it's backhanded.
Managers are horrible at giving any guidance or explaining themselves. It's like pulling teeth to get an answer or appropriate direction.
Starting pay is usually $12 for an office position (regardless of degree, qualifications or experience) There isn't much room for growth, because the owner will constantly think that he's paying you too much regardless.

The owner is not afraid to comment on a person's relationship status, age or gender to other co-workers. This happens more with young women (around 22-26). Such comments include referring to female co-workers as being "hormonal" "crying too much", instead of realizing that people tend to feel pretty bad after they are repeatedly yelled at for things they didn't do.

In general the atmosphere is really high anxiety because you just never know when the other shoe is going to drop. People get fired A LOT. Usually for dumb reasons. The office is so quiet you could hear a pin drop, because everyone is too afraid to speak. It's a constant big brother effect and not enjoyable at all.

Advice to Senior ManagementSeek professional help. Human beings shouldn't treat others the way I've seen and heard you treat people.

Also stop advertising as an "employee-owned" company. 51% of it is owned by the president and the next largest percentage is probably owned by the general manager. You have to work at least a year to get any stock in the company and honestly, most people get fired for ridiculous reasons before getting even close. So really, very few employees own any of the company at all, and none of them get a say in how it is run.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Co-workers were kind, managers nasty, & owner unpredictable and unstable.

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Artist and Craftsman Supply

Proseach day was a challenge, plenty of 'labor' to be done, very busy, and time flew by. That's about it.

ConsLack of structure, lack of priorities, lack of leadership, lack of logic (big one), lack of direction, & atmosphere comprised of silence, angst, and unhappiness. Not a career... at best, just a job.

Advice to Senior ManagementBest advice I can think of. Management/Ownership: call up the insurance company, and ask for a referral for the top mental health specialist in the state. Then, start attending, as regularly as possible. With time and effort, let's hope they can peel back those many layers of negativity, and hopefully find a spark of 'good' buried deep within.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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A terrible, schitzophrenic place to work

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Portland, ME

I worked at Artist and Craftsman Supply

ProsThe employee discount is good and the floor and office staff (minus upper management) are generally cohesive and pretty great to work with.

ConsWhere to start? Expect to be fired for doing your job. Expect to be fired for no reason at all. Just expect to be fired in general, and then maybe rehired after the owner changes his mind. Expect to work under management that is miserable with their jobs (lives in general) and see the residual effects of how you are treated. You will be set up for failure - pushed into positions you never wanted (or you'll get fired). The owner's mind changes faster than the drop of a hat, so expect to never know what you are supposed to be doing. You will be asked to do a variety of tasks (grow a sixth sense was one I heard from the owner once) which will never be right. The company is cheap and nothing is ever their fault. Upper management gets their rocks off on treating anyone underneath them like dirt. The only good news is that if you get fired you only need mention "Artist & Craftsman" and the Department of Labor will hand you a check.

Advice to Senior ManagementEver wondered why the turnover rate at your "headquarters" is astoundingly high, but never at the other locations? Advice to leadership: Grow some self awareness and understand you are the problem.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Good work environment with great manager

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Philippi, WV

I worked at Artist and Craftsman Supply

ProsFair discounts for supplies, friendly and flexible but fair manager. Team very knowledgable. National team was like a family.

ConsPay was not great compared to my previous experience. Cuts backs led to lay offs.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Upper management is manic, often hostile, verbally abusive and irrational

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Artist and Craftsman Supply

ProsPeer Co-workers are generally terrific people with a lot to offer. Everyone attempts to do a great job and help customers to the best of their ability. Decent discount and monthly gift card if sales goals are met.

ConsUpper management does not know how to communicate. You will not be given a clear indication of what your job entails, you will be asked to take on many additional responsibilities without any additional compensation. It is highly likely that you will be shuffled around between many jobs depending on who gets fired or quit that week. You will be on call all of the time.

Expect to have borderline inappropriate comments made about your clothes and/or personal life and expect to be humiliated in public and in front of your co workers.

You can ask for vacation time and have it approved only to be reprimanded for taking that time off.

The pay is good for the state but you will have it lorded over your head. Everyone who works here exists in a constant state of being on edge because you never know when, or for what you might be fired or yelled at.

ZERO job security.

Advice to Senior ManagementLearn to communicate with people in a clear and effective manner. Hold meetings in an office, not a public venue. Stop using vulgar language with your employees. You do not have to have people afraid of you to be an effective leader.

Just because something has "worked" thus far, it does not mean it always will, especially in a rapidly growing business.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Great Selection and Great Prices but TERRIBLE place to work.

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Artist and Craftsman Supply

ProsGood selection of art supplies and great prices. When your store meets sales goals you get a gift card to buy stuff.

ConsA&C is a cool place to go as a customer, but as an employee... hang on to your hat!! The owner micromanages his staff to a severe level and can be very vengeful and hateful for no reason. He directs you to do things and then chews you out a week later for doing it.

Advice to Senior ManagementCOMMUNICATE LOGICALLY WITH YOUR MANAGERS and stop setting them up for failure. If you trust them a little more, your company will grow and grow and grow.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Artist and Craftsman Supply reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Artist and Craftsman Supply CEO Larry Adlerstein. All 9 reviews posted anonymously by Artist and Craftsman Supply employees.