Cell phone covers galore, handmade accessories, our own wool felt blend, and two guys from Hamburg:
HURRAY, THIS IS 10 YEARS PACK & SMOOCH!
Wow, where has the time gone? Probably well packed in the many cuddly tailor-made suit cases for iPhones, iPads, Notebooks & Co. In any case, we're happy that you're part of ten years of Pack & Smooch - after all, without fans like you, our Hamburg-based custom-made production of purist design pieces would not exist. We have looked for you a little bit in the past, what has happened since 2010. Let's go!
A FEW STORIES ABOUT OUR HISTORY
“You have to work hard, go through a creative process of development, use the best materials available, have good workmanship, and create something unique. That's how success stories begin.“
Clemens Burkert, our philosopher ;-), designer and founder, in probably the first interview of his life (2010)
All beginning is mother. And sheep and cattle.
Hardly off from university, with the product design degree in his pocket, Clemens decided directly to become self-employed. He wanted to create something special and unique, made of really high-quality, sustainable materials. After a lot of design fiddling around, the first Pack & Smooch product was born in 2010: The Hampshire laptop sleeve. Made of wool felt from Merino sheep and vegetable tanned Bavarian cowhide. Even then, nothing was running off the assembly line, but mother's sewing machine, with which Clemens sewed the first batches completely by himself.
Hey brother, please come on board
Apparently, Clemens had hit a nerve. The idea of custom-fit sleeves for the chic Apple device found so many supporters so quickly that reinforcements were needed as early as 2011, and they came with brother Matthias from the family. While Clemens finally had more time to get behind the drawing table and the sewing machine, Matthias built up his own web store and took care of the further marketing in a very businesslike way. Real bro-business, and from here on it's "we".
First Hamburg, then Honolulu
Okay, we never dreamed that we would ever use the words "international expansion", especially not in our early days. But thanks to the anti-mainstream sales platform etsy, the other end of the world waved over to us like out of nowhere: It was simply crazy if you had never sold outside of Germany before and then suddenly orders came in from Hawaii, Australia and New Zealand. We owe a lot to this great platform and are also a bit proud that we are still among the top ten German etsy sellers today.
Do you want to be rich or to be able to look at yourself in the mirror?
We experienced a particularly instructive chapter in 2014: We were able to show our products on a joint stand at the IFA in Berlin. The quality standard "handcrafted", the custom-made Apple accessories and the special combination of 100% Merino wool felt and leather made many buyers from all over the world curious. But we are completely unsuitable for the mass market because we are simply too high quality. We could not stand up to the price comparison with poor quality from the Far East. So what? We remained true to our idea of sustainability and don't regret it one day!
Better small, but fine
But the exhibition fever had gripped us from the beginning. We were particularly taken with the smaller local trade fairs and live design platforms. The DesignGift in Hamburg or the St. Pauli Wintergarten were such creative meetups where we always had a valuable exchange with you, our customers. Just "snapping" directly over the sales counter and listening to what you wish for was and is a thousand times better than any boring market research.
300 and not an end
After iPhone, iPad and MacBook cases that fit perfectly like gloves, various accessories were soon added. In 2018, we launched our first product through a kickstarter project: our innovative leather iPad holder.
Meanwhile our assortment of handmade lifestyle products counts about 300 styles and variants, from key rings to laptop camera patches made of leather. We guarantee the predicate "handmade in Germany" for every single one of them.
SUSTAINABILITY, THE BIG WORD
(we find that one must live in more dimensions)
Sustainability has many facets for us. A sustainable, i.e. durable, timeless design is an absolute must. Clemens once explained it like this: "There comes a time when you are satisfied with the design, but the future constantly brings new inspiring ideas. There are always new materials, trends and manufacturing processes that make the design look old-fashioned very quickly. Maybe that's why I'm a lover of rather simple, restrained forms".
"If someone tells me that the Pack & Smooch designs are rather reserved, I take that as a compliment. Simplicity is in the design
a great challenge."
(Clemens Burkert, responsible for product design)
Quality of materials
Right from the start, Clemens' credo was not to go for the average. This applies to our selection of purely vegetable tanned leather, which we only obtain from selected handcrafted producers. And it also applies to wool felt, almost a science in itself, as many variations and wool blends as there are. We have always relied on 100% merino wool, since 2018 we have been using a merino wool felt mixture developed just for us, since 2019/2020 with mulesing-free wool.
By the way: In 2012 we even went to the Stylectrical (Apple industrial design exhibition) with our sustainable felt and leather sleeves and accessories at the Museum Hamburger Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe.
Do you forget people because of all the products? Not at all possible. When the number of orders started to grow, we enlisted the help of a model from Hamburg to help us reintegrate into the first job market. This was not only a great support for us, but also the beginning of a cooperation that continues to this day: We were able to take over our wonderful seamstress Aneta from the program that ended in 2016.
Growing slowly and organically, from within and not with financial injections from investors - this is also part of our sustainable ideas. We quickly realized that no one has to come up with the money watering can to allow us to grow at our own pace. Maintaining the producer's perspective is very important to us. The move in 2016 to rooms of the former Schokoladenwerke Hamburg Wandsbek was therefore just right: production, warehouse and office in one place.
Sam procedure as every day!
Our company dog Sam is really a lot of fun for us every day, and also takes work off our hands.
As an active postal dog he brings letters and small packages directly to our desk. A very responsible task as he finds. Never anything has ever been lost ;-)