Our Story – About Artist & Craftsman Supply
I founded Artist & Craftsman back in 1985. At the time, I was a small-time contractor who bought old structures in Maine and fixed them up and sold them. My girlfriend, Leah, was working at a local art supply store and was unjustifiably let go. One of my fixer-uppers in Yarmouth, Maine was vacant, so I got the brilliant idea to open an art supply store of our own. Leah picked the name Artist & Craftsman, and I guess you can say that I never looked back.
For about 10 years, we had our one store in Maine, and we moved to Portland and had great success. I found I was completely content to make my living locally. Then, in the 90s, the little art supply industry began to attract more attention and big money. Sanford (the Sharpie Marker people) bought two pencil makers and that led the charge.
At that point, I figured I had to grow if I wanted to survive. Seattle became an idea for our next store, and it proved to be a test. As an east coaster, not only was it difficult to manage a store from 3000 miles away, but it quickly became apparent that I had to learn to speak “Seattle-ese”. More “please” and “thank yous” entered my vocabulary, and that certainly hasn’t hurt me over the years.
Now, 30 years later, we have more than 25 stores throughout the United States, with plans to keep growing. We’ve also built a brand new, state-of-the-art web store so you can do all your shopping online. We pride ourselves in bringing you the highest quality products at an affordable price both online and in our stores. Our company is also employee-owned, and our people contribute so much to the reason we’re a great place to shop (and work!)
To all of you, our loyal and amazing customers, I just want to say “Thank You” for supporting us all these years. It’s been a great ride, and I look forward to what’s next.