Seattle, WA, established 1996

By Larry Adlerstein, Founder & President of A&C


Larry & Steve
The original explorers—many years later

Our second store was in Seattle. One evening I was visiting with my friends, John & Anne Beldon back home in Portland, Maine. I related how I felt a single art supply store would no longer be competitive—for I saw big money coming into our little trade.


Where would I open store #2? Seattle, I thought, because my marriage was difficult & the west coast was far away. My dinner friend John had a real estate brother in Seattle so a week later I was on the west bound plane.


Upon arrival I rented a car and headed to the University district, a likely place to set up and art supply. We (Steve and I—he is now my general manager but at the time he had been with me just a few years) looked at vacant stores. In one such store I heard my name called: It was real estate brother “Buzz.” He was researching on my behalf.


What a coincidence. Buzz was the only person I knew in Seattle and in fact, we rented that U District store more than 15 years ago.


That store was a difficult learning experience for me because it was my first attempt to do business remotely. And I had to learn a whole new language. In Seattlese every sentence starts with a Please and ends in Thank You. Not so back east.


But I’m learning.