A little about our founders.
Bibliophilic Excursions was founded by two sisters- one a lawyer and one a professor. As children, growing up in the Oakland, CA, and East Bay Area, when we couldn't travel or do something new, our mom encouraged us to travel through a book. From then on, each of us has fostered a passion for the unique opportunity for adventure you can find in a book.
We started Bibliophilic Excursions for two reasons: we wanted to disrupt e-readers by making reading with real books an all-encompassing experience and we wanted to help foster tolerance by introducing people to cultures around the world. Along the way, we found that the most rewarding part of the business is receiving thank you notes from local artisans from all around the world. We realized that we could continue to help local entrepreneurs by introducing their products to a customer base in the United States.
In 2020, we feel that so much conflict in the world is based on our inability as human beings to understand one another. We hope, that by introducing our customers to relatable cultural struggles, strong heroines, towering historical figures, and great stories, that we can inspire everyone in our little corner of the world to be just a little better to one another.
Thanks for visiting our website! We would be delighted to take you on any of our excursions with us. We pride ourselves on our customer service and our curation of each theme. If it's not your cup of tea, we understand. Please pass on the word and please check out how you can give back.
Hi There! Thanks for stopping by!
Here at Bibliophilic Excursions, we are committed to supporting local artisans across the globe. For those of you who have been with us for quite some time, you may have noticed this commitment grow. Here's why. We started this business at a time when the nation (the United States for all our kindhearted Canadians) was experiencing unprecedented turmoil. We were discouraged seeing constant news about how we're supposed to hate someone because they vote blue or red. We were discouraged by constant news that the country is headed towards a Second Civil War. Being two young African American professionals with a host of... well interesting... experiences between us, we have come to believe that tolerance and appreciation for the "other" begin with common understanding. What better way to do that than through books?! So, we set out to design these little experiences with the hope that we could deliver the world to our neighbors in neat little packages. When we went to Peru, your pottery and gloves really did come from a small lakeside village. When we went to Guatemala, your worry dolls truly were made by women who survived domestic abuse and poverty by becoming entrepreneurs right in their small town. When we went to Ghana, your baskets were really handwoven and when we went to Haiti, we did indeed include gifts whose proceeds go straight to orphans whose parents were victims of the 2010 earthquake. We don't just say these things because they're a neat story. We mean them because we really do believe in compassion and global responsibility.
We understand that our newest destination has been a long time coming for many of our faithful subscribers. We hear your concerns and we share many of them. We've been working hard to address the ones we can reasonably impact. Now, a little bit of revealing behind the veil. As you may know, we use Cratejoy to manage our backend services. They will not allow any business to post their email address or website directly on their platform for fear that they will miss out on the commission we pay them for referring you as a customer. We understand that some folks have reached out to us through Cratejoy and feel we were unresponsive. This was not intentional. It simply means we did not get the message. We've asked why we cannot get messages directly rather than being routed through the Cratejoy system. We have yet to receive a response. Additionally, we are not allowed to send out mass emails, including those with shipping updates, through their system. We tried. Instead, we've been updating our social media page, website and responding to individual emails. We do not intentionally ignore anyone. We do not intentionally abandon our excursioners. Instead, we try to have lovely chats with as many of you as we possibly can. If you call us, we do our best to answer or get right back to you. If you email us, we may take a day or two, but we do our best to find a solution for your concerns. We also love chatting about the new teas you found, the books you enjoyed or just the world in this new normal. Recently we've discussed religion with one of our kind customers in Arizona, knitting with one of our excursioners in a nursing home in Florida, and politics with one of our Canadian neighbors. That's actually who we are as a company- just people who appreciate great books and great people.
We typically order our excursions a few months before we plan to ship. We sometimes wait for artisans who have to wait for their children to come from another village where they attend school so that they can translate our requests to their mom. We read as many books as we can and choose the perfect option for each and every country. We make sure that small local shops can handle the volume we're requesting (many cannot or have to hire new workers to get the task accomplished). And, in this new normal, we have to wait for customs in the San Francisco Bay Area to clear our packages from COVID quarantine. We have to wait for publishers in New York whose warehouses are shut down to ship our books. We have to do our best and that is what these times have called each of us to do- our best. We are aware that our best has not been seen as "good enough" for some customers and we understand that you have been patiently awaiting your boxes during the pandemic. That is heartwarming for us- that our little adventures are something to wait for.
Over the past couple of months, many people have made assumptions about us or drawn their own uninformed conclusions. We've received a lot of yelling emails and posts. So, we wanted to share a few details. We're two sisters, one lawyer and one history professor (sorry for so many history books...kind of... they're really great books!) We're from the San Francisco Bay Area- Oakland, CA, though both of us went to college away and came back to start our careers with the hopes of serving our own communities. We have a dog- a Yorkipoo named Malcolm who reviews literature on Instagram, and a one-year-old pineapple conure named Ollie who's recently gained a bit of quarantine weight to hit a whopping 65 grams. When we were children, without a budget for vacations, we saw the world through books. This planted the seed for a lifelong passion in each of us, one that we wanted to share with our neighbors, near and far. During the holiday season, when our shipment of books was delayed out of New York (it still hasn't arrived and its now March) we enlisted our friends and family to buy every copy one title at local bookstores we could possibly find simply because we hated the prospect of anyone missing Christmas. We're small, and we run our business like a local establishment. Proceeds go right back into the company for expansions of our ideas. We keep our day jobs and plan to for the foreseeable future because we believe in what we're doing and want to continue to grow. Why? Because we have a very simple message- look for common understanding in others wherever you can find it.
California is indeed finally reopening and we're getting our items at a quicker rate so we're expecting to be shipping regularly shortly. This experience has taught us some valuable lessons that we wanted to share with each of you. First, reach out to those you appreciate (We appreciate not just your order, but you!). Second, plan for disaster. Ok, sometimes you can't. We're still doing the whole "Two weeks to stop the spread" thing a year later. But, what we can do is address some of our platform and communication concerns- a step we're taking as you read this. Third, be nimble. We might not be for everyone and we're perfectly happy with that. We hope to foster a community of excursioners who are truly interested in experiencing the world through books. We're hoping to build that community into an affirming environment of excursioners. If you're not interested, please send us an email and we'd be happy to issue a refund. We don't force relationships here. And finally, try our best to come to some understanding before assuming anything about one another. Our inbox is slowing down now that we're shipping again. Please send us a note about something you'd like us to do differently, the blanket you're knitting for your granddaughter, what you think about the most recent book, or anything else. I promise we'll do our very best to respond and find common ground. And, if you'd still like to internet yell at us, please proceed with the understanding that we are doing our best to get the boxes out to you in a timely fashion. We can't make supply chains reappear, though we certainly would for our excursioners if we could.
We're so happy to have you on each and every journey with us!
Erika & Yvette
P.S. We're up for an award! Please consider voting for us. It'll be a big help since we don't pay for any advertising. If you don't want to, please feel free not to participate. It's all anonymous! Pandemic New