Plum District Reviews

Updated 23 August 2014
Updated 23 August 2014
51 Reviews

2.2
51 Reviews
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Susan Kim
7 Ratings

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  1. 4 people found this helpful  

    Woefully unqualified CEO + zero leaders with any online ecommerce experience = Disaster

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Former Corporate Office Employee  in  San Francisco, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Former Corporate Office Employee in San Francisco, CA (US)

    I worked at Plum District full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Opportunity to learn about chaos and fast-paced environment of start-up
    Lunch 3 days a week
    Smart, talented co-workers
    Potential of Plum District in the marketplace
    KPCB-backed

    Cons

    CEO is smart but not qualified to run the company and a board who would talk about her behind her back but never removed her
    Botched acquisition and non-integration of 2 companies
    Poor communication and leadership accountability
    Poor decision-making by CEO and leadership - none have had online ecommerce experience
    Zero transparency into goals and strategy of company
    Never a plan in place to actually make money
    No sales strategy ever put in place - esp when Megan ran sales
    Zero understanding of marketing, including acquisition, promotions, retention
    Very poor understanding of how to treat people - and I believe I was one of the ones who was treated relatively well

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Since Plum District isn't hiring, and management doesn't really care about views of anyone, just that I will remember my experience here and never work with anyone in this leadership team again and will encourage others to do so as well. I am most disappointed by the board, who are experienced enough to know when someone is giving them the runaround, and should have yanked the CEO out of her role long ago.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 6 people found this helpful  

    Complete and utter disaster

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

    I have been working at Plum District full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The amazing people I have met while employed and their wicked sense of humor

    Cons

    Lack of intelligent leadership; lots of meetings, and talking, and making power point slides but no action taken that will truly grow the business; CEO lacks loyalty or integrity and takes credit for founding something she did not; Using "moms" (the most loyal, well connected group of people in the world) to build a business, and then laying them off with no severance; hiring leadership that is completely clueless and inadequate; no training, no consistency and no idea how to market; basic lack of ability to run a successful business

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop playing pretend. Investors, potential employees and other potential partners should be cautious. No matter what industry, loyalty and integrity matter and you have neither. You are taking a brilliant business model and ruining it.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 6 people found this helpful  

    They are Just Plum Dumb

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Regional Manager  in  San Francisco, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Regional Manager in San Francisco, CA (US)

    I worked at Plum District full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Talented female Regional Managers. Work from home position.

    Cons

    Misrepresented Regional Manager compensation in the interview process. Constantly changed compensation and goal structures to not have to pay both Regional Managers and District Consultants. Upper management is very cold and has selective memory when it comes to things they've promised. Fired the entire Regional Manager team after wining and dining them in San Francisco, including one woman who left a job on Friday to be fired the following week. Very reactionary.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Go find some new jobs. The company won't be around long. Then there's that Karma thing.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 4 people found this helpful  

    Good idea, some great individuals, lots of funding but incompetent leadership.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  San Francisco, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA (US)

    I worked at Plum District full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    - Met some intelligent, passionate people
    - Great idea for a company powered by moms
    - Kleiner Perkins backed
    - Access to successful, inspirational guests that would come speak at the company
    - Good pay, standard startup benefits

    Cons

    - Culture was depressing: employees from interns through management spent a huge amount of time talking negatively about company prospects and questioning the leadership team
    - All of the best people I thought I could learn from had left
    - Leadership was always telling us a story, but you could tell from employee buzz that people didn't believe it
    - Employee satisfaction surveys in which I (and other co-workers I talked to) would give constructive feedback and low reviews never had an impact. Why ask if you don't plan to do anything?
    - People disappeared with no explanation
    - Sales goals were nearly impossible to reach
    - Hitting an unrealistic number is not motivating--I joined to create jobs for moms and help local businesses
    - Shady CEO
    - CEO cheerleads all the positive growth, but the whole company knew if we didn't run 20-30% discounts, nothing would sell
    - CEO treats employees like children (and not like a Mom). Morning roll-call, time wasting "Inbox zero" and time management exercises, people would leave her office crying, etc
    - Lots of meetings, little follow through
    - End of the month desperation to make numbers
    - Lots of talk about values but the only real value was hitting unrealistic numbers
    - Really bureaucratic for a startup

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Your employees talk a lot more then you think they do. Everyone knows that you're spending way too much money and the revenue just isn't there. Spend less time trying to manipulate your people and more time helping them succeed. It's not about CEO cheerleading and making empty promises. Start 'Know(ing) your values and who you are and liv(ing) your li(ves) accordingly'. Stop copying everyone else a year too late and start doing something original. Decide if you care about moms. If you really do, then actually do something about it. Thank your lucky stars the people holding the purse strings haven't tossed you out yet.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Poor leadership and a business concept that is past its prime

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Plum District as a contractor for less than a year

    Pros

    At the beginning, the promise of working from home, being an entrepreneur, and earning a decent salary was very exciting. Management showed models of our earning potential that were motivational.

    Cons

    The team and workflow was very disorganized. In particular, the CEO, Megan Gardner, was an ineffective and inexperienced leader. She was terrific at selling staff members on the promise of Plum District. But once you scratched through her rah rah speeches, HBS jargon, ever-changing financials, and mindless productivity practices, you saw that she was an inexperienced manager who cared much more about making a dollar and a name for herself than the wellbeing of her team.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you are a potential investor, stay away. This company and business model are sure to implode in the coming year.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Employees are smart as a whip, but corrupt leadership tanks the startup.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Content Manager  in  San Francisco, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Content Manager in San Francisco, CA (US)

    I worked at Plum District full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    *Great coworkers - fun group of people to be around
    *Lots of talent, innovative thinkers, hard workers
    *Interesting idea that may have been effective if executed properly

    Cons

    *Utter disorganization, along with an overly bureaucratic mentality that prevents improvements in the structure and workflow of the company
    *Demoralizing senior level management
    *Awful team building exercises used to single out and humiliate individual employees
    *Unreasonable work expectations and hours
    *Insufficient training
    *Flash decisions made in a desperate attempt to inflate failing revenue targets with no regard for their impact on the future of the company

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to your employees and respond. They know what they're doing in the daily operation of the business better than you do. Don't lie about how things are going. Everybody knows, and dishonesty makes it unbearable.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    District Consultant

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - District Consultant  in  Boston, MA (US)
    Current Employee - District Consultant in Boston, MA (US)

    I have been working at Plum District part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    flex hours, great peer group

    Cons

    disorganized, no training, no direction, false promises of salary

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Originally inspiring and well intentioned start-up, turned into a disaster and horrific place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Former Corporate Office Employee  in  San Francisco, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Former Corporate Office Employee in San Francisco, CA (US)

    I worked at Plum District full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    - Good learning experience: Because there were not enough resources and I took on the roles of 2-3 people, I was able to learn a lot and crammed in what seemed like 4 years worth of work experience into my year and a half at Plum District.

    - Some great people: So many of the people working at Plum District are/were talented, interesting, smart and great to work with. The coworkers were what kept me at the company for nearly a year after I became extremely unhappy and first considered leaving (I eventually did leave, voluntarily).

    -Inspiring idea: I still love the idea of empowering moms to be able to work on their own time and schedule to earn money while still being present in their children's lives. It's unfortunate that it hasn't been executed well at Plum District.

    Cons

    -Brutal, toxic, practically abusive working environment and CEO management style. It was really an environment of fear - the CEO especially did not treat people with respect or dignity, and many people simply disappeared with no explanation or acknowledgment.

    -Hypocrisy: Management always spoke to maintaining a good work/life balance and being less chaotic at work, but didn't help the company make any changes to allow for this balance. When I worked at Plum District, I worked 70-90 hours a week. I was adequately compensated (although 10K under industry average for my position), but I know many of my co-workers worked the same hours and were horrifically underpaid, despite their attempt at negotiating a well deserved raise.

    -Absurd company goals that were not realistic and the desperate attempts to reach them led to shady and demotivating practices.

    -Poor internal communication and people quick to blame others or throw them under the bus. I believe much of this was due to the toxic and fearful environment created by management.

    -Extremely low morale and high turnover rate: Even when I was there, it was becoming clearer and clearer that the business model simply didn't work. Without discounts, nothing sold. Burn out rate was also extremely high. Between voluntarily and involuntary turn-over, it was rare that anyone lasted more than a year. Since its start in April of 2010, Plum District has gone through: 3 VPs of Marketing, 2 VPs of Sales, 2 VPs of Product, 1 VP of Technology and 1 VP of Business Development. And this is just the highest level management team - I can't even begin to count the number of Regional Managers & other corporate employees who have left / been forced to leave.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Remember your humanity and recognize the loyalty, dedication, and amazing work that people are giving to your company. Think about the long-term growth and stop making every decision based on the end of month goals. Stand up when you think an idea or practice is unethical or demoralizing. Listen - really listen - when people have the courage to express their opinions or offer constructive criticism. Find something original to do with the incredible network of moms that you have rather than trying to make the daily deal platform work - it won't.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Plum District is a BIG DISAPPOINTMENT!

    Former Employee - District Consultant  in  Austin, TX (US)
    Former Employee - District Consultant in Austin, TX (US)

    I worked at Plum District full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    A total fraud of a company. The article today was right on!

    Cons

    A horrible company. The CEO has a 0 % approval rating. Need I say more?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    Firing moms with no notice? How about pushing out pregnant moms!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  San Francisco, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA (US)

    I worked at Plum District full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    free food
    cool office
    mostly nice coworkers, hard working people.

    Cons

    CEO is a nightmare
    CEO Openly berated employees in a public setting
    CEO attempted to restructure comp when sales people were making too much.

    Company is a sham "for moms by moms" and the CEO is not even a mom

    Management threatened to fire 2 pregnant moms for non performance upon hearing they were pregnant.

    There is 0 work life balance at this company. If you don't have your phone under your pillow you will not survive.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take the money and run before your company fails outright.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

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