Helen Exley Giftbooks produces books, designed as gifts. We sell the giftbooks in more than thirty languages.
And our average book, since we began over 3o years ago has sold over 150,000 copies. Four of our titles have sold over a million books and over fifty of our titles have sold over half a million copies.
These numbers are important to us, because the whole raison d'etre of our business is to make a change in as many people's lives as we can. "My aim is to help families communicate, to find the words which they can use to express their love for those who are close to them", says Helen Exley. Very often the message of the books is simply, "I love You, and "Thank you for all that you are and have given to me."
Helen Exley Giftbooks is a family company, started by Richard and Helen Exley, and subsequently expanded by their sons, Lincoln and Dalton, who both work in the company.
Apart from direct family members, several people on our team have worked with us for more than ten years, some even for more than twenty. We are a strong team of people dedicated to the values of the company, and driven by these values.
Starting the business over thirty years ago, Richard and Helen had always worked for charities, including Oxfam and Help the Aged, mainly raising funds and preparing campaign documents for overseas aid causes. At first they worked together helping and campaigning if apartheid South Africa. And they have worked together since the day they married; the company really started with their joint aim of trying to help and understand people.
Their first book, Grandmas and Grandpas was put together on their kitchen table. Now there are seven people on the editing and design side helping Helen design, proof and check her books and there are 43 people in the team.
Helen Exley is the CEO and creates the books - and she still does some of her editing on the same kitchen table! "I love my work and take work with me on planes, over weekends and even on holiday. Mine is simply the most rewarding kind of job you could possibly have."
Helen only appoints her staff if they have a great smile and her first principle for people in the company is kindness. High skills and intelligence are vital - but we only settle on these when people convince us they will really can be part of the team.
The books sell four million copies a year in over thirty languages and in over eighty countries across the world.