Franziska Klee – reduced, timeless, functional
We have visited Franzi and Flo from the label Franziska Klee in their shop in Georg-Schumann-Str. and we have spoken about leather, the move into independence and surprises on the Georg-Schumann-Str.
Franziska is a trained laboratory-assistant and worked for a pharmaceutical company in the area of quality management in Munich. The development of the label Franziska Klee and the processing and manufacturing of leather was therefore a lateral entry. The experiences of her former job are immensely valuable because she needed a high level of organizing and accuracy. This is worthwhile for her current situation of independence, beginning with the communication with her suppliers as well as the production itself. With her independence Franziska is able to combine important things like: creativity, freedom and self-determination.
The quality of her work is extremely important for the founder. Her products are not mass-produced items but are only manufactured on request of the client. A conscious and resource- conserving working procedure. Thus, every customer will receive a real Klee-uniqum which is stitched with care. Her products are located in the upmarket price sector and the concept is based on a conscious purchase and wherefore you will just find few exhibits in her store. First information such as prize and origin of material can be found on the website. Here you can also find a configurator that allows the customer to play with colours and combinations. This is the first step to come in contact with her individual work.
All the designs are done by Franziska herself and starts with a rough sketch on her work table because she prefers the practical work instead of endless preliminary considerations.
Vegetable tanned leather from Bavaria is raw material of her work. Due to the withdrawal of chemical additives the material becomes an individual charm by the time. That is one of the characteristics of the product and makes every item unique.
Franziska got enthusiastic about stitching long time ago. Her former projects were summarized in blogs and tutorials. Special attention was elicited by one clutch that she made for the wedding of a good friend. It was the first piece of work in which she used leather instead of textile. The response was huge and thus the first step into independence. In 2012, she founded the eponymous label and the related homepage. In 2015, the label was relocated from Munich to Leipzig and in that year the store opened in Georg-Schumann-Str. in Gohlis. The couple already lived in Gohlis but had to move away because it´s hard to combine two adults, two children and a workshop in one flat. The new shop allows Franziska to unfold herself. The refurbishment of the shop was supported by the “Georg-Schumann-Straße” fund and got visual inspirations by the neighbour studio Oink. Today the store is an overall concept and provides an ideal setting for the products of the label. What was once a counter has become an interesting view at the sewing table. The larger space allows them to have their daughter at work. By only having one child they reconcile work and parental leave easily. With the second they decided for another solution: a joint parental leave, which helps them to support one another with children and work. This helps cope with the workload and avoids night shifts. On top of that, it helps to manage the situation should both children fall ill. In future, Flo wants to reduce his job to work in part-time at the shop to expand the label. Franziska describes her label as her third child that can be strenuous but is worth every exertion because she loves it.
The lessons from the past years? Do it yourself! In retrospect, both of them say that they had to learn it the hard way, but it was worth it. Meanwhile they are doing most of the tasks on their own- from managing the homepage to the marketing and the production. In addition, as founder you should look carefully at what is relevant for the business. For example, they are not visiting every fair anymore. Therefore, you need good instincts and experiences.
In the future, they will be supported by the first employee. Contract manufacturing is currently no option for Franziska. For her it is still important to have a personal relationship to the production and to provide good quality. The label Franziska Klee is characterized by an awareness of products and their production.
3 questions to Franzi & Flo from Franziska Klee
How long have you been here?
We moved to Leipzig in 2015.
Originally, we came from the region. I´m from Thüringen and Flo is from Saxony. We really like Leipzig, but also because of our children we wanted to be close to our families. On top of that, Leipzig as a location offers some advantages from a logistical and infrastructural point of view. In comparison to Munich you can also afford the rent for the shop.
Your insider tip of Leipzig?
The Georg-Schumann-Street! In our neighborhood is an interior design studio “Oink”, the Hart&Herzlich patisserie and le caphe. It is a great combination and therefore to be recommended. If you want you can combine sweet and savoury within few meters.