This week, Phil Davies joined the American Booksellers Association as the new director of IndieCommerce. He is jumping right into his new role this weekend, when he will be attending Winter Institute 11 in Denver to meet with stores in the IndieCommerce program and to get to know ABA’s membership.
As IndieCommerce director, Davies will be responsible for leading the IndieCommerce team in managing ABA’s dedicated e-commerce web platform for independent booksellers. “I plan to work with the team to figure out how we can make IndieCommerce into an even stronger system,” he said.
Davies brings experience in e-commerce and in the book business to his position at ABA.
Davies grew up in Santa Barbara, California, where his parents owned the iconic Earthling Bookshop for more than 20 years. Davies studied communications at the University of California at San Diego, then worked as a photojournalist for the San Diego edition of the L.A. Times and later for Newsday, a job that brought him to the East Coast.
Davies’ most recent work married his lifelong hobby of antiquing with the entrepreneurial spirit he acquired from working at his family’s bookstore. In the 1990s, Davies set up an online database for his collection of antiques, which opened up the opportunity to sell his inventory to dealers across the country.
As they came to understand the innovation and efficiency behind his online database, “antique dealers from around the country then asked for my help,” he said. Davies secured funding, hired employees, and founded a business that developed and managed an online antiques and collectibles marketplace of independent sellers, a business he maintained for nearly two decades.
“One of the reasons I was interested in this position with ABA is because it’s so similar to what I was doing before,” said Davies. “I’ve got the book background and I’ve got the independent seller background, so to me it seemed like the perfect fit.”
Davies remembers attending ABA’s annual convention several times with his parents during Earthling Bookshop’s heyday. In his early teens, when the bookshop was a simple stall in a public marketplace, “I used to go down to the store on Saturday and Sunday mornings and open it up,” said Davies.
Earthling grew into a full-sized bookstore occupying a former Woolworth’s location in the 1980s, with a second location later opening in San Luis Obispo. It remained an ABA member and a family-run operation until the store closed in 1998.
Phil Davies can be reached at (800) 637-0037, ext. 7527, or via e-mail at email@example.com.