Shopping >Columbia Art & Drafting
Ok store. Columbia Art & Drafting Supply definitely has its pluses and minuses. Overall, its a good art store and I think all the comments will be honored and hopefully something good will come out of it.
Lost my business. I always thought this place was the most expensive art store in town but I went there because its had decent stock and its easy access parking. There is only about 2 sales people there, that are really helpful. The owners are the least helpful of them all. There was a an item that was not put in my bag when i went home and checked the receipt, sure enough I paid for it. So, I went back to tell them my $3.51 marker was not in the bag and they said to check my car (which I did before running back to the store - 3 times). I checked my car extremely, thoroughly and it was not there. When I explained this, they just said sorry we always put things left on the counter in a box for the customers to return and get it. What I think is that it was never put in the box. So, reinforces the attitude that all customers are out to screw small businesses and that the customer is never right. With this experience, I was totally turned off and will go out of my way to visit Art Media or Utrecht. Its just too bad.
I shopped at Columbia Art long before the present owners arrived. My experience then was barely "OK." The new owners' hard work and business acumen has created a wonderful and amazing 1 stop shopping experience , especially for artists living on the east side of the river. Before they took over, we were limited to art supplies by catalog or the misery of traveling long distances in Portland's traffic only to find the item needed was not available.
Some items may seem a bit higher but they are very fair in discounting for students, and considering traffic and gas prices, some higher priced items are still affordable. And as important to me, is the congeniality and knowledge of their store clerks. The owners are especially eager to please of course. In addition, "Rita" is clearly an important asset in knowledge and helpfulness. I appreciate that she never leaves me wondering whether or not I have made the best choice! She has helped me "work out" solutions in detail. Also, their framer Justin, who is rather new, already has displayed knowledge and patience in helping me find a solution for framing needs.
It is also well to note that the owners of Columbia Art care about our community and are generous participants, particularly when and where the Arts need support.
I appreciate the opportunity to comment. Thank you!
Great Selection & Student Discounts!. I've been in this store a few times to buy supplies for, of all things, sewing classes. This store has an excellent selection of drafting supplies from compasses to rulers of all kinds. It's a bit out of my way, since I live in Beaverton, but I like it SO much better than Art Media on Cedar Hills Blvd that I'm willing to make the drive. I've had excellent service every time I've been in, and had NO trouble communicating with any of the staff. The prices did shock me at first, but when I shopped around, they were pretty competitive, especially compared to some sewing professionals' websites (on which you must pay shipping, so any price difference is negated by s&h and wait time for product). Another bonus is the student discount (either 10 or 20%, I can't remember). And that is easy to get also. All you have to do is show a current class syllabus. No runaround about it. I'd definitely recommend them if you have something soecific in mind.
High quality Service and knowledgeable staff!. Gosh, my experience with the woman, Rita by name(not Medusa), in the paper department to be quite different from another review in this list. I found her to be exceptional in service, and really knowledgeable about not only paper, but just about every thing I have ever wanted to buy there. I am a regular customer there, and have found Tao and Bang-Tram, the owners, (who by the way are NOT Chinese, but Vietnamese) to be delightful people and totally conversant in English. The store is a full service art supply store. Yes, it is more expensive than some other places in Portland, but I don't have time to shop. I am a professional, and I need service and product. I don't want to spend my time running around town to save $1.00 or so on various items. I love shopping here. If you are a watercolor artist, be sure to talk to Tanya. She knows so much about watercolor. I learn something every single time I go here to shop.
Great Selection but WAY overpriced..
Columbia stocks tons of great products and has some nice and knowledgeable people on the sales floor to help you out but I have found if you ask anyone at the register for help, they don't always speak English or know anything about art supplies.
My biggest problem with Columbia is the price of almost everything! Their prices are much higher than my favorite place in town and possibly the world, Utrecht's. I needed a 36" metal ruler and looked at Columbia first and was so put off by the price I went to Utrecht's and found it for a third of the price.
Columbia does have sales on items that brings them down to the normal price of other art supply places... but basically I only go to Columbia as a last result if the other places in town are out of what I want. They do, however, get some extra points for carrying M. Graham watercolors and gouache...
Good paper selection. This is a well-stocked art supply store; in particular, they have an impressive selection of papers for drafting, drawing, watercolor, graphic work, etc.
great store, but expen$ive!. This art supply store has everything you need from gum erasers to fixative, but don't expect a bargain here. I found a 20x30 basic canvas to be 20 bucks here! The same size and grade canvas at a competitors store in the Pearl was only $11.00. I stlll shop here for little things like charcoal, pencils, and erasers, but better deals can be had elsewhere!
great selection, decent prices. This store has almost everything you'd need for whatever you're into-- paints, lino cut, screen printing, bookbinding, rubberstamps, canvas, art paper, frames. They have supplies for the casual hobbyist as well as more serious things like easels, frame for stretching canvas, and nice brushes. Prices aren't bad, cheaper than Utrecht, but not exactly a bargain. The store is alot bigger and more well stocked than it appears from the name or the storefront.
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