Tärnsjö Garveri is a Swedish tannery which has hand-crafted leather accessories since 1873. Owned by Axel Bodén and Torbjörn Lundin since 1993, Tärnsjö Garveri employs 50 artisans and produces premium leather accessories for their own label and clients such as Our Legacy, Frederica Furniture and Gant Rugger.
We talked to its creative director, Simon Hjälte, to find out more about this iconic company.
Photos by Laura Iisalo.
Please tell us about yourself. What was your background before working at Tärnsjö Garveri?
Before my position as creative director at Tärnsjö Garveri I ran my own clothing store through which I came in contact with Tärnsjö Tannery and its unique possibilities. In fact, most of my experience comes from creating extraordinary retail experiences and professionally I have been working as a buyer as well as a tailor. To summarise, you could say that I curate experiences coming from more than the end product…
What are your main responsibilities at Tärnsjö Garveri?
My title is Marketing Director, My execution is as creative director and my dream is becoming a partner. This means that I have a finger in everything that leaves Tärnsjö Tannery if its purpose is to extend the tannery experience beyond our zip code. I see it as a responsibility to make our leather and products synonymous with a rustic elegance aesthetic, and our persona understood as affordable luxury.
While making it very clear that everything we do has a clear purpose and always shows the greatest respect towards Mother Nature by making our business and production process as sustainable and ecological as possible.
What makes Tärnsjö Garveri different from other leather manufacturers?
A lot of things. First and foremost, we are amongst the remaining 5% of tanneries still tanning vegetably using bark extract instead of chrome excel.
However, I wouldn´t limit our uniqueness as a company to being only involved in the tanning business. We have been around since 1873 and “time gone by” has developed us so that today we are a company manufacturing products in a near closed-loop model.
We receive raw hides and tan it to premium leather on the ground floor. On our second floor we finish to different type leathers varying greatly in thickness and suitable use. On the third floor we craft products out of this leather in our saddlery.
Tell us about The Icon Collection? How did this idea originate?
The idea originates out of the uniqueness described above. We felt that we should take more advantage of our closed-loop solution by adding the “end consumer” to our target group. Also, we felt that the time was right since, if we are reading trends right, the WTP (will to pay) is increasing. Gladly so!
What are Tärnsjö Garveri’s future plans?
Since we adhere to the concept of organic growth our future plan is to take it slow, leaning against our core values on our journey to increase awareness with the “common man” positioning us as “No mather what the intended use might be, Tärnsjö leather is the natural choice for high quality.”