I had been aware of Galen Leather through Instagram and seeing others review their products, but didn’t know much about the company at all than that they make really great looking pen cases. After they very kindly offered to send me a product to try, I read a bit more about them and found it to actually be quite a heartbreaking story. Galen Leather was started in Turkey by Zeynep, who had to make a career change when treatment for a rare cancer caused her to lose her voice. Initially working with other crafts people to make goods, she eventually found they couldn’t make exactly what she wanted and her and her brother learned how to make leather goods themselves instead. Sadly, Zeynep died in 2019 but her brother, Yusuf, and husband, Yunus, are continuing her legacy making leather notebook covers and accessories. You can read the full story here.
I know packaging might be unimportant for some people but I do believe, especially when you’re buying a higher priced item, that it can really set items apart from others. The experience of opening this package was such a pleasure. It comes in a super sturdy box (that I’ll find some use for because I’m that sort of a person).
Inside there’s also a certificate giving you care information and telling you who made your item and when, along with – and i thought this was such a lovely touch – a little drawstring bag with some Turkish tea, coffee and a little evil eye charm.
The Pencil Case
When they very kindly asked me if I’d like to choose an item to review, although they’re probably mostly known for their notebook covers or pen cases, I wanted to make sure I chose something I needed and would definitely use for a long time. As a vegetarian I have a complicated relationship with using leather goods. I do use them, but either choose second hand, or make sure I’m choosing high quality goods that I’ll use forever.
With that in mind, I chose an XLarge Zipper Leather Pencil Case. Although these come in a great selection of colours, I decided to go with a classic tan.
I know it’s called XLarge, but the first thing that struck me was that it’s a really great size. The perfect size for all of your everyday stash. And – the test I always use – just about fits a new Blackwing (after one sharpen).
I could fit all of this stuff in – with room to spare! I probably wouldn’t normally carry big scissors around with me but thought it’s a good illustration of how big it is.
The leather itself is beautiful. The “crazy horse tan” is vegetable dyed and has lovely distressed, brushed quality that I know will look even better the more it gets used. The stitching is impeccable. I just really like it, basically! And I know it’ll be something I use forever. Also, I think it’s really reasonably priced at £25.
(Please note Galen Leather sent me this item for review purposes, but all opinions are my own.)