Artist and Craftsman Supply

www.artistcraftsman.com
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Artist and Craftsman Supply Reviews

Updated July 16, 2015
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2.3
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Larry Adlerstein
9 Ratings

17 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    Promising

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Flexibility, able to take ownership of your work, your voice matters as long as you use it appropriately

    Cons

    Ceo can sometimes come across in an undesirable manner. Sometimes management can be unresponsive because everyone's workloads are too large.


  2. Helpful (1)

    Store Manager

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    The discount of course was considerable. Can't beat it if you are an artist especially when, like myself, your matierials are on the expensive side: oil paints and mediums, brushes, canvas, stretchers, and such. I was the store manager and given a carte blanche to revision the entire store as it was in a basement and dismally underperforming when I accepted the task of running it. Remember, this extremely strenuous and frequently frustrating experience is what I am calling a PRO comment!! It was one of the most satisfying work experiences I ever had. From being an underperforming store before I became the manager to turning it around and getting my store paying it's own rent in less than a year, I still take great pride in that accomplishment. It was a very very difficult job and had to be approached from every angle possible to figure out how to make it succeed. It was absolutely primary to get the store looking and feeling exciting, 'sexy', fun, welcoming, and customer-centric. We had to gather customer feedback in any way we could, know what they wanted and needed and get it on the shelves. The intricacies of being responsible for a business that was on the verge of being closed or thriving was like a tightrope walk. The most interesting thing about that period was that it was so difficult and yet it was one of the best jobs I ever had. Though I was thoroughly exhausted by the time it was over I felt a lot of pride in what I had been able to accomplish.

    Cons

    Working 60 or 70 hour weeks sometimes. I still don't know how I did that. Not having enough money coming in to hire more help. Very hard especially when I felt really exhausted. Basement location was very challenging.


  3. Helpful (2)

    Art school and work experience wrapped into one.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The people are great. They really know how to hire a well rounded team that will assist you in learning about the supplies and thus furthering your own artistic knowledge. Customers are very happy and the environment is very mellow.

    Cons

    Corporate is really stingy! They don't spend money on advertising so lower level employees have to do it all, which can be overwhelming when they start putting pressure on your store to do well.

    Advice to Management

    Spend a little more on the things that count and properly recognize those that have got you where you are. Stop expanding so fast and focus on improving the stores that you have. CEO is also very stubborn and doesn't listen to input from anyone.


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  5. Helpful (2)

    Truly awful, distrustful overmanagement destroyed the good atmosphere at this workplace.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Retail Clerk in Cambridge, MA
    Former Employee - Retail Clerk in Cambridge, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Being around mouth-watering art supplies, interesting coworkers and customers.

    Cons

    The store was not meeting sales targets, so as a 'solution,' workers were fired left and right and not replaced, leaving the survivors demoralized and ridiculously understaffed.

    Advice to Management

    Learn to recognize and appreciate the hard work of the people you have; give them resources to build the business rather than withholding them if the business slumps.


  6. Helpful (2)

    Relaxed environment and casual atmosphere that doesn't follow you home at the end of the day.

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

    I have been working at Artist and Craftsman Supply full-time

    Pros

    Great company ethos and great management, employee ownership program with basic benefits, lots of business growth in the near future.

    Cons

    Limited wage growth in a very high cost area due to corporate stinginess, and therefore unhealthy apathy among staff.


  7. Great Environment to Grow as Long as You Pull Your Weight

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Graphic Designer in Portland, ME
    Current Employee - Graphic Designer in Portland, ME
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Artist and Craftsman Supply full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great Work Crew Inviting to new ideas strong vision of brand good management freedom of use of stores supplies for projects Always a new project to tackle I think the reason their are low scores for this brand is because most people in the work force want to reinvent the wheel. When you work for a company that knows what they want and has a set plan in place on the trajectory of the company than you need to respect that and find ways to improve upon what they are working on. I can see why people might not like the overall design freedom but that's not what the job is for here, if they want that they need to find a job at an agency with client projects. All I can say is the management is driven and has a track record for success. Currently the staff in the office is all new and I feel that all the pieces to their puzzle are coming together towards a better company.

    Cons

    none that I have encountered

    Advice to Management

    Just keep doing what you are doing. The sternness is welcomed as a sort of grounding for people not to deviate from the overall company goals.


  8. Helpful (3)

    Work here for 40% off art supplies

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Clerk in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Clerk in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Artist and Craftsman Supply full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I was able to buy some art supplies at a good rate. That's about it. In true retail fashion, you're working to the bone, exhausted, and taking on way too many responsibilities for minimum wage pay.Rapidly expanding company with lots of potential. Apparently art supplies are all the rage nowadays. Apply for other jobs at every possible moment.

    Cons

    Movement and management is clouded with racism and bigotry -- if it wasn't for that, the experience might have been better. Real study on human social behavior.

    Advice to Management

    LOL


  9. Helpful (2)

    CEO is Nuts.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Artist and Craftsman Supply full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Loved the customers, loved the satellite store managers. Lots of opportunity to be surrounded by wonderful creative people. Great discount.

    Cons

    Senior management/corporate team is absolutely dysfunctional. He needs to retire. He needs to seek help. The team they have working for them is talented, creative, dedicated and passionate. A culture of fear is no way to reward those people.

    Advice to Management

    Seek help. Get out of your own way. Let it flourish, organically, instead of dictating a culture of insanity.


  10. Helpful (5)

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

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales
    Former Employee - Sales
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Artist and Craftsman Supply full-time

    Pros

    The 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.

    Cons

    The 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 Management

    The 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).


  11. Helpful (5)

    High anxiety workplace

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Graphics & Web in Portland, ME
    Former Employee - Graphics & Web in Portland, ME
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Artist and Craftsman Supply full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I 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.

    Cons

    Everyone 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 Management

    Seek 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.



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