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[BKARTS] Bookmakers vs. Talas vs. Hewit

Dear RJMiller,

I am not sure if you are aware that I am one of the owners of Talas and am a
regular contributor of the list, but either way I look at your post more as
an opportunity to tell you a bit more about ourselves and the company we

First off we are in no way a big company.  My mother Marge, my father Jake,
my sister Jill, and Zoe the dog all cornerstones of this business and we
have poured our hearts and souls into it from day one.  When my family
purchased this company from Herbert and Elaine Haas about 18 years ago this
was a company which was literally loosing money every day, but we saw
something great and something that we wanted to be part of.  Yes it is a
fair statement that we have emerged as the largest supplier in the hand
bookbinding market, but I don't think that we abuse this in any way, have
squashed our vendors over prices, degraded our products choosing profit over
quality, or cut employee pay and benefits to get there.  Our success has
been almost by chance, as the last few years we have seen quite an expansion
in book arts and we were at the right place at the right time.  And it has
been our hard work and responsibility to our customers and our field that
have given people the comfort in sending business our way.

Today we employ eleven additional people all of whom we consider part of the
Talas family.  It should also be known that one of our biggest FEARS is
becoming too big, and loosing the personal touch that we have.  One thing we
have always pledged is that we will never have a pre-recorded message that
answers the phone when you call - there will always be a real person,
always.  I know this isn't huge but I think it speaks to the mentality we
have and the type of people that we are.  My father and I love to be the
first ones to pick up the phone when it rings and talk to customers, it's
how we stay in tune.  I don't know many businesses that can make such

I also thank others on the list for chiming in about their dealings with us,
and the company that we are.  These are the greatest compliments we can
receive.  Thank you.

I would also like to address the presses from Hewit.  Hewit is a tannery;
they make bookbinding as well as other types of leather and this is their
main business.  When you go to their web site and you go to the online
catalog the first selection you have to make is leather or non-leather
goods.  The non-leather goods are supplemental items that they started
carrying to round out their supply of leather to bookbinders.  They too have
done a very good job of this for the European market, but by definition they
are tanners and leather dressers.  And as a distributor of Hewits' we
distribute the products they make, which is their leather. 

I am unsure why us only inventorying Hewit leather is such a big issue or
concern.  And on MANY other occasions people have contacted us saying we
know you bring over large orders from Hewits regularly and I would like to
see if it is more economical to purchase a Hewit item that you don't stock
from you (Talas) rather than going direct to Hewit.  We are happy to do this
for people, as it is mutually beneficial.  This would certainly be an option
for you as well.

We have a philosophy here that my father learned from his father in our
office supply business that he ran, and that is if you are going to
advertise an item, put in a catalog and make it part of your offering, then
you must physically have it and make it available so people can count on you
for it.  Once or twice a year on this list there is a frantic email asking
if someone has Talas item ****** as we are out of stock.  While these emails
are gutting to us, given the amount of people that are on this list it
speaks to how infrequently we are out of stock on items, and how people do
order from us with complete confidence that we are going to have what they
need when they need it.  

RJ, I am not sure if you have had a bad experience with us (we do make
mistakes) or there is another underlying reason that I am unaware of for
your feelings to us, but I do hope that we can work on making you feel
otherwise.  We do listen and we do care.  

I do also hope that the length and time I spent on constructing this email
speaks to how seriously and comprehensively we try to do things here. 

Aaron Salik
20 West 20th Street
New York, NY 10011
212-219-0770 Phone
212-219-0735 Fax

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