When I started in the sales and marketing department at Schiffer Publishing in January of 2011, I was astounded at the variety of books that I was now tasked with representing and the variety of categories as well. What intrigued me most, though, of any of the categories was their line of metaphysical titles. Since I came to the company with a knowledge and keen interest in subjects of that nature, I made it my mission to acquaint myself with the titles first, not only to promote them more effectively but also to understand the category better in order to help it grow. Within that first year, it occurred to me that a separate mind, body, spirit imprint under the Schiffer umbrella would be a great way for the line to prosper and flourish. Five years later and here we are: Red Feather Mind, Body, Spirit has taken flight. But how did Schiffer Publishing, a company that started over forty years ago with books on antiques and collectibles, come to publish titles such as these? It’s an interesting story, but first a bit about Schiffer’s origins.
The founding of Schiffer Publishing was a gradual process started when the research for the book Chester County, Pennsylvania, Inventories 1684-1850, by Margaret Schiffer, was discovered in a box in a basement in 1973. It seemed to the author’s son Peter, who was an antiques dealer with his father Herbert, and to Peter’s wife Nancy, who was a historical museum curator, that the information the research contained would be of interest to their clients for historical interpretation of antique furniture and accessories used in Chester County. Schiffer Publishing was started in 1974 to mimeograph, ring bind, and distribute that book, and to bring out-of-print historical books about antiques back into circulation. About the same time, Herbert and Peter had written a book about Chinese export porcelain, which they handled in the antiques business, and had sent the manuscript to a small publisher. When that publisher went out of business, before their book was completed, Schiffer Publishing took it on as another project.
Each day after closing their antiques business in Exton, Pennsylvania, Peter and Nancy would come home and work on preparing the books at their kitchen table. As their family grew, they began to write and produce a few books a year and sell them at the antique shows where they showed their inventory of antiques. The company gradually began publishing books on clocks, county history, ceramics, ironwork, mirrors, and miniature furniture.
Family members worked together in the antiques business while growing the publishing efforts. Publishing projects grew through the 80’and more employees were hired for distinct responsibilities.
By 1992, Schiffer Publishing continued to grow, and a new facility was built in Atglen, Pennsylvania, where it resides today. After the move to Atglen, the catalogs of Schiffer books grew in size and diversity of subjects including the acquisition of a highly-regarded line of metaphysical titles in the late 90s. That move brought in to the Schiffer fold classics such as Numerology and the Divine Triangle, The Planets series of astrology titles, as well as the RA series of channeled material among many others. These set the stage for the eventual move to Tarot and Oracle decks beginning with Major Tom’s Tarot of Marseilles and Sol Invictus: The God Tarot. In addition to the quality of the projects, the superior packaging of these and subsequent releases helped Schiffer gain a foothold in this growing market.
Fast forward to 2010 with the release of the innovative Transparent Tarot which took the divination community by storm followed by more success with the Mary-El Tarot and not long after The Beautiful Creature’s Tarot both of which were well received. Many other Schiffer decks have now become favorites among collectors. Along the way there have been a range of other metaphysical titles that have connected with the public from Develop Your Psychic skills to our Rupert Series of Pagan Children’s books plus many others.
Now, with the launch of Red Feather Mind, Body, Spirit the aim is to continue the Schiffer tradition of creating high-quality, intriguing titles and expand into an increasingly diverse range of topics related to metaphysics, religion, and spirituality. Honoring sacred traditions yet growing into new realms of spiritual discourse with the goal of helping to foster greater awareness, insight, and understanding while giving lift to cutting edge, thought-provoking voices in the metaphysical and other diverse communities. We are excited to begin what will no doubt be an exciting new journey and look forward to introducing new titles that will help spirits take flight.
Copyright 2017, Chris McClure