Ardis Books is owned by parent company Ardis Systems Limited, which was established in 1989 to provide system design services to customers such as EDS, Accenture, Lombard and The Ministry of Defence.
More recently the company has designed web-sites for a number of traditional and e-commerce businesses, including Ardis Books, which was set up as a subsidiary of the company in 2003, and is now its main business.
The name 'Ardis' was chosen for the business in some frustration when trying to register the company name. We tried dozens of different names which were all turned down by the Business Names Registry, as similar businesses operating in similar areas were already registered. Eventually we tried Ardis Systems Limited, Ardis being the name of the country mansion in the magnificent book 'Ada' by Vladimir Nabokov. The BNR man didn't even bother to look it up, as he knew that no other company existed in the UK with the same name.
Twenty years on, and the name has become surprisingly apt, as the original systems design business has been overtaken by the internet book business. It has also led us into some interesting email exchanges with members of the Ardis family in the USA, and occasional confusion with Ardis Publishers, now owned by the Overlook Press of New York, who actively promote the works of the best Russian authors such as Vladimir Nabokov, and whose name presumably has the same root as ours. It's a funny old world.
Finally, you can see links to our media mentions and a little bit more history of the book business in our Ardis Books News Archive.