coterie books toronto

Toronto startup just launched a new kind of photo book you can create with friends

A Toronto-based startup, Coterie Books, is revolutionizing the way people reflect on past shared memories, photos, and emotions through an innovative and collaborative way. 

Coterie, which is defined as "an intimate, often exclusive group of persons with a unifying common interest or purpose," is the prime goal of this startup, founded by Ariel Vinizki. 

While the inspiration behind the company is heartbreaking, Vinizki decided to turn a negative into a positive and spread the joy of memories. When his dear friend Brett died of brain cancer, his newborn son, Mateo, was only 4 months old. 

coterie books

The inside of a Coterie book.

"I know how fleeting memory is, how inaccurate memory is, and I couldn't help think about the fact that Mateo would never get to meet his dad," Vinizki told blogTO. "And by the time he was old enough that we could tell him great stories about his dad, I was worried about my own ability to remember all the great stories." 

According to Vinizki, Brett had many chapters in his life, and friends around the world, and so he decided to unite them under a common cause. 

"I started getting this idea of well, what if we pulled together a book of several people, of all the different people that knew and love Brett," he said to blogTO. 

After creating a few books himself, Vinizki found that most people were intimidated by a blank page, and many of the conventional photobook sites relied too heavily on photos and captions. This resulted in a headache crafting each book, and required lots of editing, and correcting low resolution photos. 

Citing inspiration from magazines like Vanity Fair, Vinizki said he tapped into the concept of asking people questions to see how different answers would pull out unique stories. 

coterie books

Coterie Books allows multiple people to collaborate on a photo book.

Coterie Books officially launched in 2022, and according to Vinizki, the reception has already been heartwarming. "I just get the warmest, most wonderful messages that just kind of remind me why I took this all on," he said. 

Customers are creating books to celebrate a variety of causes, whether it'd be birthdays, anniversaries, sobriety milestones, athletic teams, family trips, tributes, business achievements, or shared experiences. 

The standard durable hardcover Coterie Book runs for $64.99 and includes up to 30 printed pages, and requires a minimum of 20 printed pages. Up to 14 contributors can join in to create the book, with each of them answering your six questions and uploading 1 to 4 photos. 

"It just gives people an opportunity and excuse to share our feelings about each other," Vinizki told blogTO. "There is still an appreciation for tactile, beautiful, curated, tangible things, and these books really are a beautiful product." 

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