BW&A’s bookmakers, left to right: Chris Crochetière, Julia “Illana” Illana, Julie Allred, and Patch, December 2021

History is one of our specialties. Here’s ours!

The studio began in Durham, NC, in 1988, when Barbara Williams decided that going it alone just wouldn’t cut it; quality bookmaking is easier and more fun when you have help. B. Williams & Associates was well established when Julie Allred and Chris Crochetière joined in 1995. They became minority partners in 2004, when the studio incorporated as BW&A Books. Barbara retired and sold the studio to Chris and Julie in 2014. In the fall of 2016, we moved to a historic building in downtown Oxford, NC, where the good bookmaking continues!

In the early days, the studio offered design, editorial, and production services. We are a bit obsessed with controlling the details (in a good way, we think), so we continue to cultivate new skills. BW&A is now a full-service shop. We take care of whatever our clients need, which might include turning an unedited manuscript into a beautiful finished book, or simply typesetting for an in-house designer.

Chris Crochetière

“Am I giving away my age if I admit that I’ve been working in book publishing for more than thirty years? No? Okay, then… The publishing part of my resume includes textbook design and production at PWS-Kent in Boston, sales and marketing at Chelsea Green Publishing in Vermont, and now more than twenty years here at BW&A. My work here includes design, typesetting, and production, as well as managing the finances of the business. My favorite thing about our work at BW&A is helping people with a manuscript (who have no idea what to do with it), transforming their words and art into a book of enduring quality. Outside of the studio, I enjoy yoga, traveling, and growing (and cooking) a lot of our food at our historic bungalow in Duke Park. Four hens round out our little urban farm.”

Julie Allred

“My favorite thing about making books at BW&A is that I don’t need to settle on one favorite thing. I love the variety of books and people. It’s quite rewarding when I can be involved from the early planning stages all the way through to finished books. I particularly enjoy heavily illustrated books and big complicated messes (really!). I’m our techie by default. My hobbies include gardening, sprucing up our historic Oxford home, and spending time with my two children, husband, and Sheltie Patch.”

Julia “Illana” Illana

“I’m the production assistant at BW&A, and I prepare images for print, assist Chris and Julie with typesetting, and carefully check over our files before they go to press. My favorite books to work on are the ones that have to do with art or art history. When I’m not in my office at BW&A, I spend my time sketching in museums, selling my paintings at art markets, playing the mandolin, and collecting comics and zines.”