What was initially born 4 years ago (2014) as an idea amongst friends in a bar, has since been carried through by qualified chef and career changer Christoph Oberreiter. Even though it often requires huge amounts of stamina and a high level of perseverance, the young man from Flachau lives and loves his handicraft with passion.
Just recently I was able to visit him in his workshop in the Hofgasse in Flachau and chat to him about “being creative“, about the stable value of traditional handicraft, about reducing instead of overloading and of course about handbags – women’s favourite accessories.
By the way, talking to each other has a very high value for Christoph. “By talking people get together” and already in the short time he told me what he has seen, experienced and learned, I know why.
Sturdy, simple, solid – how you can translate the tried and tested from bygone days into “now“
Intrigued and fascinated I let Christoph tell me all about the raw material leather. For example that small material faults and signs of use make a bag or belt really beautiful and unique. Using an old saddlebag dating back to 1904, he explains that in the past the date was stamped on all workpieces and that the manufacturer even had to give a three year guarantee on the “handmade“ seam. Thus ensuring the work was done properly. Proudly, he also shows me a cute small bag from 1964, which I’ve fallen in love with.
All these treasures from bygone days are his inspiration for today’s work. Simple design, solid workmanship and their timeless durability are all important to him. He only uses zips, for example, in exceptional cases and against his inner conviction and then only when the customer explicitly desires one. “A zip has an expiry date and when it’s broken repairing it is complicated and therefore very expensive. That’s exactly what I want to avoid. I find it important that my customers enjoy my products for a very long time.”
His portfolio of hand-made leather goods is already quite considerable. The assortment of goods ranges from coffee cup holders, champagne coolers, various belts, mobile phone covers, key fobs, handbags of all descriptions to special belts for photographers or even cute baby shoes. The products are all skilfully crafted and timeless in their design, yet in no way boring, and always very special.
Where does the name “2tmann“ come from and who’s the man in the logo?
I found a very charming answer to this question on the 2tmann website (www.2tmann.at) : “Every woman loves her man, but her handbag just a little bit more. As a loyal 2nd man, a robust leather handbag accompanies a woman on all her journeys…“
Christoph Oberreiter’s roots are important to him and it’s no surprise, therefore, that a portrait of his great-grandfather makes up part of the 2tmann-Logo. He particularly cherishes his ancestor, once mayor of Flachau, for his way of creating big things together with others.
Another 2tmann motto: “Helping each other achieves much more that working against each other“
“We’ve got to know and appreciate each other, we chat with and motivate each other and also recommend each other, if we can’t fulfill a customer request. That’s what I value and it’s a bonus for all of us.“
That he’s ready and willing to learn more and develop was something I felt during my visit to his workshop full of creative ideas.
photo credits: Elisabeth Hartl