Interview with Scout Books
Based in Portland, Scout Books does all of its design, editorial work, printing, and binding under one roof. It’s a refreshing approach to publishing, and one that sticks to the principles of good design, collaboration, and sustainability. So, obviously, we love them. We spoke to Laura Whipple, who, along with her husband, Austin, started Scout Books at the tender age of 23.
What have been the major milestones in your career?
Signing the lease for our first storefront / studio space in Portland, Oregon
Publishing a collection of poetry by Casey Kwang that was nominated for an Oregon Book Award.
Printing a chapbook by Tom Waits
Introducing the Scout Books format
Making A Scout Books Series for the Center for Civic Design to help Design better Elections
Presenting for Creative Mornings Portland
Making our first million Scout Books
Becoming B Corp Certified.
If you could spend one day being mentored by any person, past or present, who would it be? — Asked by Elena Miska
The one and only Michelle Obama.
- — Where do you go / What do you do to get re-energized?
1. How much of your day do you spend working?
Seven to eight hours.
2. Where is your ideal work environment?
At my home studio twice a week, then with my amazing team at our Scout Books Headquarters three times a week.
3. What do you hope to get across with your work?
That we’re all in this together.
4. What inspires you?
5. What's the secret to a successful day's work?
Smiling, turning off notifications, listening to my intuition.
6. Is there anything in your life that you can't live without?
Family, friends, books, color, plants, time outdoors.
7. Is there anything about you that people might not know?
I was a Fulbright Scholar in Damascus, Syria when I was 22. My partner and I started a publishing business when we were 23 that grew into Scout Books. Interestingly, I now live with my family in a forested area outside of Portland called Damascus.
8. What would be your dream project?
I’d like to plant a tree for every custom order we make. I’d love to design and build a net positive Scout Books Factory that is beautiful, efficient, and has renewable energy sources, green building materials, a big garden attached, and, of course, book-making equipment, and amazing humans working together to bring it all to life.
9. What is the most time-consuming aspect of your work?
10. What legacy would you like to leave behind?
IA library full of small, empowering books.