If you really think print is dead, you haven’t been looking in the right places my friend! Vellum & Bloom is a Vancouver based company that takes gifting printed books to the next level by having a real person choose a book and build a package according to the receiver’s personal tastes.
We spoke with Zoe Grams, founder of Vellum & Bloom, about what makes the gifting company special and why printed books are still relevant in our current age of technology.
Please introduce yourself
I’m Zoe Grams: the founder of Vellum & Bloom and an avid reader, lover of beautiful things, and passionate advocate for independent publishing!
I’m originally from Scotland, but moved to Vancouver six years ago and have since absolutely adored discovering the talented artists, authors and artisans in BC and beyond. I launched Vellum & Bloom this October to share their works more widely.
Please explain what Vellum & Bloom is.
Vellum & Bloom provides a literary twist to online gift packages. Customers using our service share their interests – in books and other items – by filling out a brief, fun survey on our website. We then hand-select a book and other special items – such as stationery, home wares, art or confectionary – uniquely tailored to their tastes.
We offer two services: the first is a book subscription where you can have a book specially chosen for you or a loved one. The second is a gift box, where we combine the book with other items tailored to you, such as as designer pens, scented candles, handmade chocolates, or luxurious teas from around the globe. Every package comes beautifully wrapped in our custom paper and ribbons, too.
For example, we’ve sent a book every month to an elderly gentleman who can no longer visit his library, we’ve created gift boxes for fiancé birthdays and family occasions, or simply chosen a book we think someone would love.
We are borne from the belief that beautiful things and surprises are important in life!
And, we launched to introduce readers to independent and small presses in Canada – to books and authors they may not have heard of before. There are so many hugely talented writers in our community, many of whom don’t receive the recognition they deserve. We hope to unite their words with more readers.
Who is Vellum & Bloom for?
The beauty of Vellum & Bloom is that there’s no essential customer. We ask every one of our customers to tell us about themselves – their hobbies, age range, interests, favourite books. Because each of our packages is specifically tailored to the individual, we don’t have a specific “type” of customer. We’ve packaged gifts for everyone from an older war veteran to a young gym franchise owner to a middle-aged creative mum to a twenty-something entrepreneur. We love what we do precisely because we get to source books and interesting items for a wide range of people!
Would you say that Vellum & Bloom gifts are somewhat made for a female receiver?
Because our gifts are complete customized, they can be for any gender. For example, as Christmas approaches we’re receiving lots of requests from people who aren’t sure what to buy for the man – father, partner, friend – in their life. Similarly, we have order for men who want to select a really special gift for someone but aren’t entirely sure what to choose.
So genuinely: V&B is really for anyone.
Why do you think receiving a printed book is an appealing gift that people are looking in this day and age of technology?
We’re so plugged in, aren’t we? On our computers every day, our phones – looking at screens. I think there’s something very special about experiencing a beautiful thing in real life, and in the tactile nature of books. A printed book is such a relaxing way to enjoy a story; it looks beautiful and stays with you for life. When you receive one from someone you love, that memory stays with you, too. I think we’re seeing that throughout society: a re-interest in tactile, real-world things in contract to how much we rely on technology.
Anything else you’d like to say?
Just that we really love getting each email from our customers (via our website), with messages to their loved ones or friends, and preferences for the books and items they may love. We really take pride in every package we select.
If anyone is looking for a personal yet effortless gift, we’d love them to consider Vellum & Bloom.