Born in Holland in 1983, Gerrie's passion for design was fostered early. As a child, her mother taught her to use a sewing machine; and in her teen years, she enjoyed many a sewing project. Upon completing her high school education, Gerrie gained admission to art school, where she first encountered industrial sewing machines. Impressed by the size and sheer power of the machines, Gerrie was inspired to one day develop a project that would allow for her to use them. After a five-year stint in art school, however, the young student grew restless. Sensing a change of direction was needed, she left before graduation; and went travelling. It was during this time that inspiration struck; and Gerrie enrolled herself in a series of leather working and bag-making courses. Fast forward a decade, and this education - combined with Gerrie's passion both for working with leather and handbag crafting/design - coalesced in Gerrie Jansen, the brand.
Each handbag sold is designed by Gerrie, personally, in her London studio. What starts as a rough sketch is fleshed out in a technical drawing, and then brought to life by a team of skilled professionals in a small factory in Romania. Taking into account a month-long leather work process, as well as the diligent craftsmanship of the workers, it can take up to eight weeks, from start to finish, for a bag to be created. Each is made to order. The Gerrie aesthetic is one of geometry and minimalism. Clean lines and simple shapes meet a colour palette of earthy tones - reminiscent of the continually shifting harmonic balance, the push-and-pull between architecture and nature.
Gerrie Janssen bags can be seen on Instagram @gjleatherbags.