Erwin’s Leather Balm is a small family-owned business from the small Dutch village of Woerden in northwest Europe. Founder and name-giver Erwin Giezen is an artisan who handcrafts all kinds of durable leather goods. Therefore, he always used this natural hand-blended (old family recipe) to proof and finish his leather items before they were sold.
Next, he always delivered his goods with a small tin of this traditional blend to its customers so they could repeatedly nourish their leather heritage goods and extend their good looks and lifetime. After a while, people asked specifically for this unique blend and what it was called. From that incredible moment on, he called it “Erwin’s Leather Balm” and shared this tradition with the world.
Nowadays, we strive to make the world a little better place for our kids and the next generations. We want to be the best alternative and counterweight to all the unnatural and industrial-made balms available in stores all over the globe. Our ingredients are fair, simple and absolutely no secret. We use 100% pure pine oil, almond oil, cacao butter & organic beeswax, which will preserve, restore and waterproof all your leather goods. It will give back your leather’s original gleam, keep it supple and protect it against the elements that dry and age leather.
The blend we use is much older than we might know, but 1983 is the year this family tradition and the old recipe was put on paper for the first time.
This year has a special place in our hearts. It has a featured place on our logo to honour this incredible year. It’s also meant to give a good fortune to whoever Erwin might use.
I’m Erwin Giezen, 36 years old and the founder of Erwin’s Leather Balm.
After studying engineering architecture and business & retail management, I worked as a bartender and technical designer at an architect and stand constructor. As of today, I still work as Head of Marketing & Communications with an international plant breeding company.
As we said, we are a small family business. As Erwin’s name is associated with the company, we do things as a family.
My wife Marieka and I also have two lovely, petite, and headstrong children, a girl and a boy.
We are also the people behind the famous leather aprons brand SPEKLAB®.
Woerden was founded as a settlement or castellum called Laurum (Laurium) by the Romans. It was part of the Roman Empire’s northern (Limes) border along the (old) Rhine River. It’s on the 2021 list for nomination to UNESCO World Heritage. Woerden lies near the beautiful and famous (tourist) cities of Linschoten, Oudewater & Gouda.
The green heart of Holland is a typical Dutch nature area in the centre of the Netherlands. Residents and urban visitors can often find rest and many green spaces with dikes, windmills, Dutch cows, cheese, farms and traditional crafts. It has picturesque villages, vast nature reserves and leisure lakes, ideal for water sports. Cities inside “The Green Heart” include Zoetermeer, Alphen aan den Rijn, Gouda, Woerden and the smaller towns of Schoonhoven, Oudewater, Haastrecht, Nieuwkoop, Montfoort, Waddinxveen, Bodegraven and Boskoop.
As we are proud and thankful to the Dutch people, we want to tell you something about this tiny country we owe much to. It’s called The Netherlands, Kingdom of the Netherlands, Nederland, Holland, les Pays-Bas, lower countries, lowlands etc. It’s located in the north-western of Europe, and they call us Dutch, which is also our language. Not to be confused with Deutsch, this is what our neighbours in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland speak. The largest cities are Amsterdam (capital), Rotterdam, The Hague or s‑Gravenhage “if you can pronounce that” and Utrecht.
SPEKLAB® leather aprons is also founded by Erwin Giezen and his wife and photographer Marieka Ratsma.
SPEKLAB® aprons are made of the best quality leather. Every apron is handmade by order in our small workshop and only sold through our store and Etsy shop; therefore, it is limited and unique. The rough appearance indicates that wearing one is more than just an apron; it’s a Way of Life. It stands for a Burgundian lifestyle and nature in general. This also reflects our motto: Enjoy life, but respect all that lives or has lived.
A SPEKLAB® apron is raw & simplistic, it will only be more beautiful as it is used more frequently. We also want to limit our ecological footprint by working as efficiently as possible with our high-quality leather, and therefore, we buy our hides in small (rest) parties. And that makes our aprons timeless.