From Ukraine to North Carolina via Leather Goods: The olpr. Story
When looking at a mass-produced high-street product do you ever think to yourself “man, I could do better than that!”? I certainly do. In truth, I definitely couldn’t do better than that, and I won’t even try. Thankfully, there are people out there who proactively respond to their desire for high-quality goods by taking the plunge and making things for themselves—people like the guys at olpr.
Founded in 2014, olpr. is a family-run leather goods brand born from an appreciation of quality and attention to detail, something we at Heddels can certainly relate to. Originally hailing from Ukraine, the brand relocated to North Carolina in 2015 where they produce a wide array of leather goods, from duffel bags to dog collars. We’re taking a closer look at olpr. and the story behind the brand’s quest for quality.
The First Stitches
Years before the birth of olpr., brand co-founder Viktor Oleksyn was notorious within his family for scrutinizing the construction of products. Whether it was shoes, shirts, or wallets, Viktor would only buy goods with perfectly straight seams. Accepting his meticulous standards may not always be met by high street product, Viktor eventually decided to begin making his own goods.
He began by crafting something that he himself had always wanted, a well-made wallet with straight seams. Using books and online resources, Viktor crafted his first pocket wallet. It became clear that Viktor was a dab hand at leather crafting, and before long, he and his family were making all kinds of leather goods and selling them at local art markets.
The creative workflow of crafting leather goods felt completely right for all of those involved in olpr. This statement from the brand’s website reflects on this:
“We want to create. It’s important to us that we know who we are. Our parents encouraged us, from our early childhood in Ukraine, to find our true calling in life. They told us it wouldn’t just appear one day; it would take trial and error. It was not until we were grown and had developed more of a sense of who we are that we began to understand that our calling was in creating. By creating, my family and I share who we are with others.”
Viktor went on to co-found olpr. with his brother-in-law, Pavlo Prannyk. The brand name itself is an abbreviation of the pair’s surnames, Oleksyn and Prannyk. Olpr. gained popularity in Ukraine and soon began receiving e-commerce orders from The States. While this was a positive step for the brand, it would take up to a month to ship their leather goods overseas. With orders coming thick and fast, olpr. made the decision to relocate to North Carolina, where they remain stationed to this day.
Olpr. is now a fully fledged leather goods company with almost four years of business under their belt. All of their leather goods are produced in-house with Viktor overseeing production as the master tailor. In addition to a wide range of products spanning from the humble money wallet to leather aprons and watch cases, the brand also welcomes and encourages the production of bespoke, private label products. Olpr. works closely with clients to create a truly unique product that is tailored to their needs.
In addition to their exacting standards of construction, olpr. also sources their leather from some of the best in the business. The majority of their leather hides from the esteemed Horween tannery in Chicago. Working so closely with such a prestigious tannery gives olpr. access to some of the finest leathers in the world, including Horween’s legendary Chromexcel leather. Olpr. also works with Pan American Leathers Inc. to source their more exotic hides like Caiman leather.
If you’re looking for a leather watch band, olpr. has a solid collection of customizable straps that can be made to fit classic watches as well as the Apple watch. Olpr. offers them in a range of leathers like Horween’s Dublin leather and their storied shell cordovan, all of which have the potential to develop a rich patina over years of wear. Customers can even customize their watch band by choosing what thread color the band is stitched with and choosing the width and length of the band for the perfect fit. Each watch band is handmade in the U.S.A and ships within 5 days.
For the full range of options and to order one for yourself, click here.
To learn more about the olpr., and to see the rest of their leather goods, visit their website.