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HELDTH X MYVAN: Visiting Leevenstein.

A man and a woman are standing in the front door of Leevenstein

Leevenstein can best be described as authentic craftsmanship. In a Berlin side street is the workshop where Mona Gottschling and David Biene have been producing their special leather goods since 2011.

Meticulous craftsmanship with traditional methods

Mona Gottschling has a passion for leather. The fascination for this unique material awoke during her apprenticeship as a made-to-measure shoe maker. Subsequently, she expanded her knowledge of tanned hides by teaching herself how to hallmark leather. With this old handicraft one can bring motifs and patterns into the surface of the leather, and in meticulous craftsmanship very special individual pieces are created. In 2011, Mona Gottschling deceided to dive in: together with David Biene, she founded her small company Leevenstein in Berlin-Wedding. At Leevenstein there are a whole range of motifs that adorn different products, but of course, special designs are also possible. After all, every cut and every stroke is done by hand.

A leather purse is placed next to other leather goods on a shelf

With the help of an age-old handicraft, hallmarking motifs and patterns can be worked into the leather.

Charm in every single detail

At Leevenstein, craftwork is always a top priority – this starts with sewing. In one corner there is a sewing machine, but it hasn’t been used for years. Whether it’s belts, wallets, telephone cases or key rings – everything is sewn by hand. This may take longer, but it also makes the products much more durable. It is such small details that define the charm of Leevenstein. There is at least one drop of lifeblood in every single piece – and you can feel it.

Full commitment in the workshop at Leevenstein: Each piece is unique.

Instead of machines, there are still real tools for manual use.

Leevenstein Leatherworks is written on a pane of glass.

Leevenstein - Mona Gottschling and David Biene's labor of love.

Traces of wear and tear are inevitable over time - and give leather goods an additional personal touch.

Every mark a reminder

The custom-made belts, the sturdy wallets and the rustic telephone cases receive traces of the wearer with every touch and every additional day of use. The famous patina makes the unique pieces even more special for the owners. If, after a few years you look  at the once smooth and new shimmering leather, you can feel the care that has gone into its manufacture.

Big plans for the future

But with these small leather goods the possibilities at Leevenstein are far from over. A collection of bags is about to be launched – and this will certainly not be the last idea from Mona and David to pass on their claim to the world. “Made in Wedding” is a real sign of quality; after all, it is an honest working-class district in Berlin.

A woman draws a pattern on a template.

Craftsmanship is a top priority at Leevenstein: No machines are used from design to implementation.

Photos: Heldth (Marie Staggat)

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