Frequently Asked Questions
Q: When will the website be done?
A: Never, we hope. The range of products we offer is ever expanding so we'll keep our web people busy for infinity.
Q: How do you select products for the 18 stores and website?
A: Prime criteria are "well designed" and "good value". We are not tied to the concept of "popular" and "often advertised". So you will discover small companies and exotic products often overlooked by the big guys.
Q: How in fact does Artist & Craftsman find new products?
A: Most of the product is seen at trade shows. Every year we attend the National Art Material Trade Show. In addition about every two or three years we go to Paperworld in Frankfurt, Germany. We visit the Craft & Hobby Show, The Toy Show, The Stationary Show, and The Gift Show.
We once went to the Canton Fair on mainland China, but we didn't like the food.
Q: How do you establish your retail prices and discounts?
A: We are fortunate that over the years we have built volume so that the manufacturers and importers in our trade take us seriously and offer us fair costs.
In addition to those costs of goods we must add rent (we love basements and other cheap places so our rent overhead is low) then add labor.
We don’t skimp on labor – we pay at or above the going wage for art supply retail. We do save money because our employees stay so long. We have many retail clerks of five and ten years seniority. So mistakes and training costs are minimal.