Browsing Category

Looking back

Looking back

When the leather guy knocked on the door

February 5, 2015


Billede 13-05-14 22.47.17

Some weeks ago I visited Jasper and Christian at their new showroom. Well, what was going to turn into their new showroom. At the old dairy outside of Roskilde. More about that later.

They showed me around and told me about the old place. That is, however, a different story.

At one point Jasper told me a story.

He and his girlfriend were sleeping in his old room. The 16 m2 room that for the last half year had been the main sewing room. They had spent the morning sleeping on his teen sofa after a rough night at the Danish rock and indie festival Roskilde Festival. Jasper’s girlfriend was cleaning up in front of the mirror, when she noticed somebody outside the only half open door.

It was the leather guy. The guy who sells leather and skin to all the grand and infamous designer brands In Denmark.

There he was. With hides worth thousands of kroner for Overgaard & Dyrman. Peaking through a door to an old teenage room with two hung over young people sleeping on a couch.

But he was cool and not weird about it.

“Five years from now, when we’re drinking champagne, we will laugh about it,” he said.

“It puts a nice perspective on the contrasts in our life back then. And right now as well,” Jasper says.

Looking back

Metal widgets and kind favors

January 10, 2015


Christian and I grew up together. Well, that might be a bit of an exaggeration. But we went to school together and lived in the same area.

When this whole thing started – and by ’this whole thing’ I mean the idea of me blogging about Overgaard & Dyrman and how you build up a brand – I visited Christian in a town nearby our hometown. Far away from where I live now.

It was in the industrial neighborhood of a small town with around 3000 people. I had borrowed my parents’ car and turned down a narrow street trying to spot a house number somewhere.

Finally I found my way around the back of a huge hall. Or machine house. Or workshop. Anyway, it was huge with a lot of machinery and work stations for people working with metal. I’m not sure. I think they were making springs or screws or whatever kind of metal widgets.

The owner, an old friend from when Christian was a blacksmith apprentice, had offered to let Christian use one of their work stations in the hall.

”Nobody really understood what I was doing there, but at least I didn’t get electrified like in the hen house,” he told me.

And in general I think Christian was just grateful that he could borrow this for free, even though it wasn’t forever.

He talked me through the whole process. Showed me the iron moulds. Told me how they tried having the chairs produced in India. How nobody could do the leather work they wanted. How they had foam delivered from one place in Denmark, thread from another, furniture leather from one place and full-grain leather from another. How they created their own photo studio, when they couldn’t afford to hire one. How expensive the small metal widgets at the bottom of the chair were and that they were made by a guy we once went to school with. And how this was really their dream.

And on the parking lot his Berlingo was parked. The seats in the back were removed, and the car was now loaded with four Wire-chairs.

”A lady in Copenhagen bought them,” Christian said with a smile.


Looking back

Doing it yourself

January 9, 2015

IMG_3684 IMG_3712

Quite a few of the stories of Overgaard & Dyrman ends with ”…and then, ultimately, we just had to do it ourselves.” This has been their way out. Or their way forward if you like. Every time something wasn’t as good as they hoped it would be, every time something was too expensive, every time something wasn’t possible, Christian and Jasper took it upon themselves to do it on their own. Make it possible.

Starting this company as young designers and not being willing to compromise with jobs on the side, you have to find some other ways out. When Overgaard & Dyrman needed a website for their universe, they made it themselves. It was the cheapest solution and also the only way to ensure that it was going to be exactly the way they wanted it to be. And it’s indisputable – they are quite particular about every little detail concerning their brand, business and product. Maybe an important factor in the story of success?

The same happened when they need commercial shots of their products. A photographer can be a costly affair when you have leather worth of $10.000 and metal components worth of $10.000 lying around and you don’t actually have an income. So what did the boys do? They bought a camera and a big tripod-light and covered the old dairy in white linen and with a little Photoshop magic, they had their pack shots and a new set of skills.

Generally this is what happens all the time. If the finest upholsterers in the country say they can’t do it, Christian and Jasper do it themselves. If they don’t think the lacquering or the tanning is good enough, they start wondering if they could do it themselves. And that’s how everything becomes exactly like they want it to be.


The pictures above are not from the dairy, but from a small castle in Norther Zealand, where the guys got the chance to shoot some pictures.




Looking back

The hen house

January 9, 2015

IMG_3586 IMG_3761

At one point, around the last part of 2012, Christian was doing his blacksmith work in his sister’s henhouse. Surrounded by chicken crap and bad lighting and with no heat and no useful tools or machinery he was shaping the skeleton of the Wire Collection – the iron frame.

But it wasn’t easy.

”I kept getting zapped by electricity,” Christian tells me.

And now it gets a bit complicated for a writer girl like me. But the thing is that when you are welding, you need to have electricity going through whatever you’re welding. You need a ground cable connected to your subject, so that you’re creating a closed electric circuit. Usually you’d put the ground cable on the table, which is normally made of steel. And then that’s all you have to do.

But Christian was working at a wooden garden table, and since wood does not conduct electricity, he had to connect the ground cable to the subject every time he wanted to work.

“When you try to weld without the ground cable, you can get a small schock from the initial spark. That’s not too bad, but still makes you kind of nervous, when you tried it enough times. However, what you really don’t want to do is touch the ground cable. Then you get around 100 ampere through your body and it’s not really a lot of fun anymore.”

Jasper, on the other hand, was not bothered by fast electricity. Quite the opposite you could say. Jasper was at home in his two-bedroom apartment. From here he was experimenting with a beautiful, but very old Singer sewing machine – a secondhand buy from some relatives of a deceased stranger. It was also at this time that Jasper managed to sew the first full-grain leather upholstery for the Wire chair.

”It took a few days,” he says smiling.

The story of the two entrepreneurs truly had its bohemian ”you-gotta-crawl-before-you-walk” moments. But there is nothing sentimental about it for Jasper and Christian. Those were the circumstances, the actual options, if they wanted to pursue their dream. Even if a henhouse and an old sewing machine were to get them there.