Celebrated, not forgotten: Bespoke History helps capture your family story

By Steven V. Dubin

As one of 10 children, Tom Hostage first wrote a book about his own large and lively family as a gift to his parents and their descendants. That book became the foundation for his second business, Bespoke History.
Already the owner/operator of a successful commercial printing business – Hostage Brothers Printing – established in 1995, Tom put out a shingle for Bespoke History in 2006. Since then, Bespoke has worked with families and captains of industry – including two NFL families – producing more than 30 privately commissioned books to capture family and institutional legacies.
Makes you think. What have you done to preserve your family’s history? Have you recorded interviews with great-grandpa and grandma? Gathered up shoeboxes full of old family black-and-white photographs? Converted backyard movies from VHS to digital files? Or sit back and hope that someone else in the family pursues it?
Tom Hostage saw the apathy for family history written on the wall.
“As you can imagine, we had large family dinners, and it was a bit chaotic. I’d ask my dad a question about, you know, where do we come from? Who was grandpa? What did he do for work? Out of 10 kids, one of us had to give a hoot. So, I guess it was me. And I asked a lot of questions growing up.”
Tom continued, “My dad had absolutely no idea of where our family comes from. So, I decided at that time, knowing my parents’ anniversary was coming soon, to start researching and writing a book. I put my history major and writing to use. I had wanted to be a journalist in college before I went into business. So, I worked on that book for a year, then I watched people react to that book for two years. Eventually, I figured out that maybe just maybe this was a business idea.”
From those humble beginnings, Bespoke History now helps families and organizations preserve and celebrate their history and memories for the enrichment and enjoyment of future generations.
The process involves exhaustive online and professionally contracted research to explore the full depth and scope of each story. They record interviews to capture the voices and perspectives of the people who are part of that story. Hundreds of hours are lavished on each project.
The Bespoke History team includes a core group of researchers, writers, designers, photographers, and print production specialists. Their comprehensive, full-service model is what sets Bespoke History apart. They touch every aspect of the project to shape and customize the final product to fit their client like a fine-tailored suit.
Bespoke History project quotes are provided after extensive consultation to determine the requirements and challenges specific to the desired book. The price point has a broad range with projects typically falling within $20K-$150K.
Need help capturing your family history? Bespoke History can be reached at www.BespokeHistory.com.

If you are or know of a senior who is doing something interesting with their retirement, I look forward to hearing from you! Please email me at SDubin@PRWorkZone.com.

Steven V. Dubin is the founder of PR Works, a lightly used Public Relations firm based in Plymouth, MA which helps small to mid-sized nonprofit organizations and for-profit companies navigate the overwhelming options of advertising. Steve lives in Plymouth with his wife, Wendy. He is a contributing author to “Get Slightly Famous” and “Tricks of the Trade,” the complete guide to succeeding in the advice business. He recently authored “PR 101,” an E-book.