👋 Hello Helium Family,
We have made the difficult and emotional decision to close the book on Helium Books. As of May 1, 2022, Helium Books will shut down. (Watch our goodbye video)
Now, we understand this may come as a surprise to many and we owe it to each and every one of you to explain how we got here. Over the past few months, we have tried our absolute hardest to grow our business. Expanding our customer base, attempting to sell our library-as-a-service and rotating library programs to schools, learning centers, recreation centers, and assisted living and retirement homes, searching for growth in new areas, nothing came easy and we simply could not gain any traction. While I wish we were a pair of unflappable, tirelessly persistent founders, we are not, and the feelings of burn out slowly began to creep in.
After months of little to no progress and years at the helm, coupled with a growing exhaustion, it came time to reevaluate. We'd given the business all we had and, on a personal level, needed to consider what was best for us going forward. So, we put some finality behind our thoughts and feelings and decided to wind down the business.
As you may imagine, the realization that something you have been working on for 2.5+ years (and close to 5 years for Ian) will be no more—will not reach your ultimate vision—is one met with many emotions. You never think of this day coming when you set out on such a journey. Yet, despite the overwhelming emotion, the internal strife, the uncertainty of what comes next, we both know that we did something good here.
Helium Books made an impact. And, that is because we had all of you on our side.
🙏 Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you, customers. Thank you, supporters, Thank you, friends. Thank you, family. Thank you to everyone who so selflessly contributed to our crowdfunding campaign back in the spring of 2021. Thank you to the talented, insightful individuals that came alongside and brought to life our vision. Thank you to everyone that joined the Helium Books team—your contributions mean the world. Thank you to anyone who lent a helping hand. Thank you, Helium Family!
As mentioned above, it's been an emotional time for us. But, the loudest of all these emotions has been that of gratitude, for you all, and for what we have been able to accomplish together...
Over the course of these last 2.5+ years, we have been able to:
📚 Deliver approximately 2,000 books to readers
💸 Contribute close to $800 to local libraries and causes
👷 Participate in a handful of volunteering opportunities together
🤝 Welcome 6 talented individuals to the Helium Books team
🎉 Enjoy ourselves at 26 Helium Book Club events
🎤 Record and publish over 50 episodes of the Journeymen podcast
These are no small feats and we all should be incredibly proud.
Now, as of us writing this, May 1st is fast approaching, and we understand you may have some questions about certain specifics about how we'll be winding down our operations. Here's what you need to know:
We will not be accepting new book rental orders as of May 1st.
All outstanding books as of May 1st will be treated just as they always have. Due dates will remain unchanged, we will send standard reminders, and you will still be able to return and renew your books as you please. You can still contact us, as well, with any and all questions.
We will fulfill and complete our existing B2B contracts with Eastbrook Academy and La Revo Books.
We will make a final donation, to our current Elevation Partner, Nia Imani Family, and local libraries prior to our official dissolution.
The Journeymen podcast will be taking a break and, after we have time to evaluate, may continue. You can follow the pod on social media (@journeymenpdcst on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn).
After May 1st, we will begin the sad, but necessary process of winding down our social media presence (including our Helium Book Club Facebook group), our website, and, with it, our blog. You can always still reach us both on Instagram (Ian | Jacob) and LinkedIn (Ian | Jacob).
Although you may no longer be able to get your books with Helium Books, there are an abundance of local booksellers that deserve your attention. Some of our favorites are:
And, of course, be sure to pay some visits to your local library! We are truly blessed to have such vibrant gathering places in our community.
As we close out our goodbye, to those that may be wondering what we (Ian and Jacob) have planned next, well, we're both looking to head back to the workforce full-time, Ian looking to stay involved in the startup/innovation space with a focus on operations, and Jacob exploring options in the marketing world. (Yes, we're open to any opportunities you have in mind! Reach out via LinkedIn!)
Look, this isn't the letter we wanted to write, nor is it the letter you wanted to read. But, we'll look back on this journey with smiles on our faces, no regrets, and immense gratitude for the experiences we lived, the people we met, and the joy we were able to spread, feel, and create.
We can go out confident that we fulfilled our mission to elevate lives through the power of reading.
Thank you and goodbye,
Ian and Jacob, co-founders of Helium Books