by Michelle M. Haas
Labor Day is always a working weekend for us. There are a few reasons for this.
1) It’s the perfect time to tie up loose ends to get ready for Christmas shipping.
2) When you live on the coast, the best ways to avoid the throng of tourists are to be a shut-in or go to work.
3) It’s a tradition as old as Copano Bay Press. Here’s why:
Fifteen years ago, just before Labor Day, I received the hard copy proof of our first book. After months of teaching myself book layout and many rejections of my files by the book printer because of my technical errors, I was face to face with the fruits of my labor.
“Look, Ma, I made a real book!”
That copy of Reasonover’s Land Measures in my hands meant that I could now try to sell it…Copano Bay Press could move forward. To me, that’s the day the Press was born.
That moment was the springboard for 15 years of growth, fear, exploring uncharted waters, change and a deepening love for Texas. Not long after that day, Mark came on board with his knowledge and creative ideas. Together, our combined skills made the Press a thing that could withstand a decade and a half of life. And it has taken on a life of its own.
In 15 years we have:
- Brought nearly 50 Texas history titles back to life
- Launched a line of prints & maps
- Launched a lifestyle brand, Semper Texas
- Rebounded from a massive hurricane hit
- Personally answered thousands of customer questions (no canned emails here!)
- Opened a Texas history gallery in downtown Corpus Christi
- Entered the arena in earnest to fight for honest Texas history
In 15 years we haven’t:
- Raised our book prices
- Raised our shipping rates
- Had anything designed outside Texas
- Had anything printed or produced overseas
- Strayed from our mission
We’re older and (somewhat) wiser, and not much worse for wear, and our mission remains the same: we will keep honest Texas history alive for generations to come. Whatever that means, that’s what we’ll do. The road ahead looks bumpy, but we came prepared, and we pray you’ll come along for the ride. Big things are on the horizon!
When you set the standards and values of a business, and create the systems that make it run, it’s hard to find good help. For us, “good help” means understanding what it means to each customer to open a box and to be greeted by one of our burlap book bags.
It means understanding Texas values…and the role history plays in those values. It means coming in early or staying late, staying up all night or whatever needs to be done to finish the task at hand. It means getting things right or putting them right when you mess up. Essentially, “good help” is someone who cares about the future of Copano Bay Press as much as the person who founded it: me.
To commemorate our 15th, I’d like to introduce our new Production Assistant, Walker. A native of South Texas and future firefighter, Walker has proven a natural fit for our crazy work environment. He shows up, knocks out his work and looks ahead to what needs to be done tomorrow. He’s naturally curious, efficient, a careful planner and takes his work very seriously. In short, he’s one of us. He gets it. Welcome, Walker!
Please accept a hug from me and our most heartfelt thanks for sustaining us for 15 years. Without your love for Texas, we wouldn’t have anyone to share ours with. It has been our honor and absolute pleasure to know y’all and share a fellowship that’s uniquely Texan.
Categories: Texas Exceptionalism, Texas history