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GRANDPA FAMILY


Smålands Skinnmanufaktur

 

In the Grandpa Family editorials we highlight creative, exciting, and ambitious people close to us. This time we met up with the creative duo and couple behind Smålands Skinnmanufaktur: Hillevi and Johan.

SSmålands Skinnmanufaktur is a design studio with its own production facility in Småland, Sweden. They design furniture, details and accessories from leather. And not just any leather, the highest premium vegetable tanned leather there is: from Tärnsjö Garveri.

In 2019 we launched a collaboration with Smålands Skinnmanufaktur under our in-house brand Low Key Goods. The aim for that collaboration was to create accessories that you carry around daily, protecting the things that matter to you. For every passing year they gain patina and turn even more beautiful.

It’s a classic Swedish foggy November day when we walk into Hillevi and Johans Studio / showroom / office in Jönköping, and later into their factory in Nissafors. Read the interview below.

- Tell us a bit about your background?

Hillevi:
I’m currently working as an Art Director and creative, both at an agency and with my own business. Earlier I’ve worked with creating stage environments and visual merchandising. I’ve studied at Textilakademin, and also undertaken studies within graphic design and communication.

Johan:
I’ve worked in Sales and as a Pedagogic Counsellor. I’ve always enjoyed developing businesses. I’ve been employed within this sector before, but now run my own business.

- When was Smålands Skinnmanufaktur founded and how did you start up in the first place?

Just about ten years ago we got in contact with someone who was running a leather factory. He let us spend a lot of time there, and we soon saw the business opportunity. We started making products for other companies, and leant a great deal about the craft and the business.

The goal of the venture was to earn enough to start up our own brand and to package that in a beautiful manner. SSM Smålands Skinnmanufaktur began taking shape during 2015. Today we make all our furniture and other products here in Småland, but they’re sold both nationally and internationally. We’re now also a design studio, creating new concepts, striking up collaborations and helping our customers to design the products they need from us.

We’ve learnt a lot by trial and error, and by keeping our eyes on a mutual goal. Over the years we’ve collaborated and gotten to know many different factories. That we were to take over one of them and run it by ourselves wasn’t something we could have ever dreamed about. The previous owners used to tease us about it. But when the offer came it was really a no-brainer, even if it was a bit scary. So about three years ago, we teamed up with our friend Rickard and took over the esteemed company Kallfeldts Läderfabrik.

- What are the pros and cons of running both a business and a family together?

We’re very similar in many ways, but also a bit different – which is a good thing. We can have different perspectives on designs and details, while sharing our idea of the big picture. I think we’re a great team, both at home and at work. We talk a lot about everything.

We’re both a bit reckless in terms of jumping on new products, which has its pros and cons, but our mutual feeling is often ”This could be fun!”

Hillevi: ”Even if the line between work and our private life is really blurry, there’s no one else I’d rather do this with than with Johan.”

Johan: ”Sometimes I get a creative dip during the Champions League. The burdens of being a fan.”

- How come you started working with leather?

It was chance, really. It’s not really the story I’d prefer to tell, but it’s the truth. That we then came to love the material and its attributes is also the truth. The patina that changes a leather product over the years; it’s a hard thing to beat.



LOW KEY GOODS X SMÅLANDS SKINNMANUFAKTUR



Camera Strap
108376_Natural
Sustainable choice
Card Wallet
108382_Natural
Sustainable choice
Key Holder
108381_Natural
Sustainable choice
Eyeglass Case
108380_Natural
Sustainable choice
Laptop Case
108383_Natural
Sustainable choice
Camera Strap
108376_Natural
Sustainable choice
Card Wallet
108382_Natural
Sustainable choice
Key Holder
108381_Natural
Sustainable choice
Eyeglass Case
108380_Natural
Sustainable choice
Laptop Case
108383_Natural
Sustainable choice
Notebook Case A5
108377_Natural
Sustainable choice
Belt, 20 mm Cognac
110189_Cognac
Sustainable choice
Tote Bag
108384_Natural
Sustainable choice
Belt, 30 mm Cognac
110185_Cognac
Sustainable choice
Notebook Case A6
108378_Natural
Sustainable choice
Belt, 20 mm Cognac
110189_Cognac
Sustainable choice
Tote Bag
108384_Natural
Sustainable choice
Belt, 30 mm Cognac
110185_Cognac
Sustainable choice

- What are your plans and goals for the future?

We’ve established a good foundation, and the goal is to improve upon that. We want to keep doing things we love, on our own or with others. At the moment we’re looking to have our products and our brand to be more visible abroad. We’ve also just refurbished our office in Jönköping and turned it into SSSM Studio where we show up and sell our own products.

Hillevi: ”If I were to let myself dream big, I’d love to build more showrooms. How about one in Copenhagen, Berlin or New York?”



GET THE LOOK - WOMEN'S:


Expand Dress Black
112622_920
Sustainable choice
The Blixa Black
112657_Svart
Sustainable choice
Small Twisted Hoops Sterling Silver
109791_Silver
Sustainable choice
Soil Pendant
110725_Silver
Sustainable choice
Expand Dress Black
112622_920
Sustainable choice
The Blixa Black
112657_Svart
Sustainable choice
Sea Shell Necklace
110720_Silver
Sustainable choice
Soil Pendant
110725_Silver
Sustainable choice
Small Twisted Hoops Sterling Silver
109791_Silver
Sustainable choice
Basic LS Tee Ivory
109741_Ivory
Sustainable choice
New Moon Necklace Gold Plated
110601_Goldplated
Sustainable choice
Daylight Earrings
109676_Goldplated
Sustainable choice
Basic LS Tee Ivory
109741_Ivory
Sustainable choice
New Moon Necklace Gold Plated
110601_Goldplated
Sustainable choice
Daylight Earrings
109676_Goldplated
Sustainable choice
Mini Daylight Necklace
111351_Gold
Sustainable choice
Sandler Black
106571_Black
Sustainable choice
The Mira Black
112340_Svart
Sustainable choice
Paris Ring Gold Plated
109671_Goldplated
Sustainable choice
Sandler Black
106571_Black
Sustainable choice
The Mira Black
112340_Svart
Sustainable choice
Paris Ring Gold Plated
109671_Goldplated
Sustainable choice
Elma Shirt Grey Stripe Grey Stripe
112628_260
Sustainable choice
Kimmy West Black
113446_B01
Sustainable choice
Ribcage Straight Ankle - Jazz Jive 72693-0099
112366_jazzjive
Sustainable choice
V-10 Camel Camel
112997_Camel
Sustainable choice
Mini Daylight Necklace
111351_Gold
Sustainable choice
Elma Shirt Grey Stripe Grey Stripe
112628_260
Sustainable choice
Kimmy West Black
113446_B01
Sustainable choice
Ribcage Straight Ankle - Jazz Jive 72693-0099
112366_jazzjive
Sustainable choice
V-10 Camel Camel
112997_Camel
Sustainable choice
Mini Daylight Necklace
111352_Silver
Sustainable choice


GET THE LOOK - MEN'S:


Wool Shirt Dk Green
104175_DkGreen
Sustainable choice
Wool Crew Neck Oat Melange
113656_Oat-Melang
Sustainable choice
BD Oxford Shirt Light Blue
109331_LightBlue
Sustainable choice
501 Original - Stonewash
113524_80684
Sustainable choice
Shadow 6000 White/Clay
112816_03
Sustainable choice
Wool Shirt Dk Green
104175_DkGreen
Sustainable choice
Wool Crew Neck Oat Melange
113656_Oat-Melang
Sustainable choice
BD Oxford Shirt Light Blue
109331_LightBlue
Sustainable choice
501 Original - Stonewash
113524_80684
Sustainable choice
Shadow 6000 White/Clay
112816_03
Sustainable choice


GET THE LOOK - LIFE STORE:


Factory Numbers Clock 45 cm Black
113667_Black
Sustainable choice
Throw Kimbie
111506
Sustainable choice
Notebook Grey
106088_Grey
Sustainable choice
Checklist Red
111541
Sustainable choice
Ljusfat, litet Mörkgrå
109326_Morkgra
Sustainable choice
Square 1 Oak Green
111347_Oakgreen
Sustainable choice
Stainless Scissors S Ivory
113744_Ivory
Sustainable choice
MD Color Pencils 6pcs set
111235
Sustainable choice
Drawing 6, Ronan Bouroullec
113708
Sustainable choice
Penco Stapler Ivory
107918_Ivory
Sustainable choice
Kinfolk Travel
114161
Sustainable choice
Factory Numbers Clock 45 cm Black
113667_Black
Sustainable choice
Throw Kimbie
111506
Sustainable choice
Notebook Grey
106088_Grey
Sustainable choice
Ballograf Epoca Deskset Ljung
111228_Ljung
Sustainable choice
Stainless Scissors S Ivory
113744_Ivory
Sustainable choice
MD Color Pencils 6pcs set
111235
Sustainable choice
Drawing 6, Ronan Bouroullec
113708
Sustainable choice
Penco Stapler Ivory
107918_Ivory
Sustainable choice
Ballograf Epoca Deskset Ljung
111228_Ljung
Sustainable choice
Square 1 Oak Green
111347_Oakgreen
Sustainable choice


FOLLOW SMÅLANDS SKINNMANUFAKTUR:

smalandsskinnmanufaktur.se
@ssm_skinnmanufaktur