Michael and Barbara Strauss, baptized as Jehovah's Witnesses in 1969 and 1970, heard about a former Bethelite who had a binding business to sell. People told Michael, you're artistic, you can learn to be a bookbinder! Well, for a meager investment, they threw caution to the wind and became the owners of C&H Bookbinding. The business consisted of a package of needles, a few spools of thread, 6 skins of leather, and a small foil stamping machine. It also included instructions, written by hand, on binding a New World Translation Bible and Make Sure book together, soon to be followed by the Reasoning book. In addition, a 25 lb. Bag of potatoes was included to weigh down the books and a shiny new dime to learn to make round corners on the covers. All of this started in a corner of their bedroom in their Brooklyn apartment, with shelves from floor to ceiling, so they could go to bed and wake up looking at their dream.
Through the years, Michael, in addition to serving as an elder, has worked hard to learn the art of bookbinding and teach it to our staff. As the printing of the books has changed, we have continued to improve the quality and lifespan of the books we bind for our customers. We have added many new leather colors, varied page edges and introduced many other products like book covers, briefcases, etc. to equip the friends for meetings and field service.
In addition to offering binding and ministry products to Jehovah's Witnesses, we do custom bookbinding and book restoration for the public. This is now considered a dying art and it does take fine skill and craftsmanship. We consider every book we do, including yours, to be deserving of special attention and detail, right down to matching your ribbon markers and treating them one at a time so they won't fray.
We are still a family owned and operated business, with the next generation beginning to run the business as we begin to step into retirement. This vital step will help us keep pace with a rapidly changing business. We have also partnered with PDH Artistic Design. PDH is a family owned and operated business in Canada that supplies similar products to Jehovah’s Witnesses. Like us, the owners and employees are all Jehovah’s Witnesses. We hope that this partnership will allow us to supply our customers with products that are more timely and practical. It will also allow us to improve the quality, and in some cases, reduce the price of some of the products we currently offer.
We want to thank our customers for the support they have offered over the decades. While a lot has changed recently, we hope that one thing doesn’t change; that we can continue to serve our customers, helping them to be organized and equipped for every good work.