Welcome Enterprises was established in 1980 by cartoonist Tom Wilson and Lena Tabori, one of the co-founders of the illustrated publisher Stewart, Tabori & Chang. Welcome quickly evolved into a vehicle to create and develop visual book projects for other publishers. Among the first projects Welcome produced is its most successful title to date: Grandmother Remembers. Published in 1983, Grandmothers has sold more than two million copies and remains a perennial seller. During the 1980s, Welcome was also very closely involved with the licensing of Tom's popular cartoon character Ziggy, and in 1984 produced “Ziggy’s Gift,” an animated television special, for which Lena received an Emmy Award as its Executive Producer.
In early 1989, Clark Wakabayashi joined Welcome, and this began a long period of growth in which Welcome’s client base expanded and its packaging and, after the creation of its imprint Welcome Book®, its publishing output also steadily increased.
In 1993 Lena returned to Stewart, Tabori & Chang (a company she had co-founded in 1981) as Publisher and Welcome Enterprises began publishing illustrated books (distributing them through STC) as well as continuing to package for others. Starting with just four titles in STC’s 1994 Fall catalog, Welcome moved its distribution first to Andrews McMeel (2000) and then Random House (2005) creating a backlist of 4 limited editions and more than 75 currently in-print titles under the imprint of Welcome Books®. Among them are the best-selling Little Big Book series—with 14 in-print titles, including The Little Big Book for Moms, which now has more than 400,000 copies in print; as well has numerous high-end photography books, including Jon Ortner’s Buddha, Michel Tcherevkoff’s Shoe Fleur, Paul Mobley’s American Farmer, Richard Berenholtz’ New York Deco, and Amy Arbus’ On The Street; and art books such as Artists in Love, China: 3000 Years in Art and Literature, and the venerable Sam Fink’s Constitution of the United States.
In its third decade of existence and fifteenth year as a publisher, Welcome remains close to its roots as a creator of exquisitely crafted illustrated books. Its staff consists of a closely- knit team of dedicated and experienced professionals who bring, first and foremost, a passion and love to their work. From Grandmother Remembers back in 1983 to the publication of Peter Feldstein and Stephen G Bloom’s The Oxford Project in 2008 and Eric Meola’s monumental India in 2013, Welcome continues to strive for excellence—in ideas, design, craftsmanship, and service.
In July 2014, Welcome Books was sold to Rizzoli. For more information, please view the press release here or contact Jim Muschett, Associate Publisher, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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