Woman of the year

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - NEWS - So­phie Moore

Clas­sic Book­binders was hand­picked by the WA Catholic Church to de­sign and pro­duce a com­ment book for dis­play in the Vat­i­can, fol­low­ing the death of Pope John Paul II.

Sams said the Bel­mont busi­ness has re­mained un­af­fected by the dig­i­tal rev­o­lu­tion, with peo­ple con­tin­u­ing to trea­sure hav­ing some­thing to hold, or leave as a legacy for the next gen­er­a­tion.

“Our work comes from all quar­ters. Wed­ding al­bums, 21st birthdays. We re­store many fam­ily bibles, bind fam­ily his­to­ries and col­lec­tions of clip­pings; if some­one likes race­horses and wants the magazine pages they’ve col­lected put into a book... we get all sorts,” she said.

BEL­MONT Busi­ness Woman of the Year Nita Sams still loves a good book, even af­ter 30 years in the book­bind­ing busi­ness.

“I’m an avid reader and we get some beau­ti­ful books, re­ally lovely hand-drawn ones; I never get tired,” she said.

Sams was de­lighted to re­ceive recog­ni­tion for her work at the 23rd Bel­mont West Aus­tralian Small Busi­ness Awards, at the Perth Con­ven­tion and Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre last month.

“Ev­ery­body likes to feel ap­pre­ci­ated, es­pe­cially in a room full of such tal­ented peo­ple,” she said.

Sams com­pleted an ap­pren­tice­ship in hard case bind­ing in the UK at a time when the book­bind­ing and restora­tion in­dus­try was run by men.

“When I went for a job with a lo­cal printer (in Aus­tralia), I was told no.

“I said, is there any job of any kind and he said, you can work on the bench... fold­ing pa­per ba­si­cally.”

When the man em­ployed to re­store the books went on leave, her em­ployer asked Sams to cover his job.

“I asked, ‘do I get the same pay?’ and he went ‘no’!”

It was while work­ing for Snap Print­ing that Sams was con­vinced by her co­worker to quit her job and start a busi­ness to­gether.

“As though it were that easy,” she said.

More than 30 years later, Clas­sic Book­binders is still a suc­cess­ful, lo­cal fam­ily busi­ness. Along with her hus­band, son and daugh­ter, Sams cred­its a loyal and tal­ented team for her suc­cess.

“We have an in-house train­ing pro­gram be­cause the cour­ses at Tafe aren’t good enough, the gov­ern­ment just doesn’t pro­vide enough fund­ing,” she said.

com­mu­ni­tynews.com.au 461639

Ar­ti­san book­binder Nita Sams won the Bel­mont Busi­ness Woman of the Year award.

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