The Story of

Premium Quality leather goods since 1926

1926

The Van der Spek Family business began in The Hague with Bertus van der Spek. He started the VDS artisan workshop that manufactured all sorts of antique painting and picture frames.

The Workshop in 1926

Expansion

Joined by his son Henk van der Spek in 1929, the focus shifted to the exclusive production of leather goods, including photo frames, photo albums, and office supplies. A continuous demand for more luxury leather goods added organizers, agenda covers, and writing cases to the collection.

A wide range of Leather Office Supplies

New Atelier

René van der Spek has been active in the family business since 1962. Under his lead the atelier moved to the village of Puttershoek in 1982, where it remains today. 4th generation Petra van der Spek is now leading the VDS legacy and works side by side with her father, mother, and the extended ‘family’ members active in the factory that include our seamstresses and supporting staff.

René and Petra van der Spek

Custom Made

With Petra as the head of the company VDS became ever more dedicated to the creation of Custom Made items, with planner covers as the leading niche. Her mission was to enable customers to design their own planner covers and other leather goods through a wide selection of leather, stitching, and ring choices as well as offering additional options to the main lay-out.

 I wanted to provide our clients with a highly personal cover to accommodate their planner goals with a beautiful and durable product that they co-created. - Petra van der Spek

Our custom-made planner covers include Ring Binders, Traveler’s Notebook covers and covers to accommodate inserts like Hobonichi and Stalogy. More details about our planner collections can be found here.

Behind the Scenes at VDS

Premium Quality

For the production of our leather goods quality comes first at Van der Spek. This includes the choice of the leather hides as well as all other indispensable materials and components used in the manufacturing process. Every piece of leather we use to create your VDS items is unique because we only work with 1st quality genuine leather; what is known in the industry as full-grain (the top layer of the hide that includes all of the natural grain). This allows the hides to retain their natural look and feel, including imperfections that are part of the beauty and authenticity of this natural product.

We work with a small variety of carefully selected tanneries from The Netherlands, France, and Italy that operate within the highest standards that are licensed and awarded by official industry certification. 

Leather is a product to be experienced by a variety of senses. At VDS special attention is paid to the touch (structure, suppleness), smell (natural), and visual (rich, deep colours) experience when selecting the leather for your items. In this link you can find all our different leathers and their specific characteristics.

Personal and Committed Customer Service

At Van der Spek you won't be sent through to an impersonal help desk center. Instead, owner Petra van der Spek will assist you personally in selecting the perfect item for you and respond to all your custom-made and special requests. Since she is also one of the craftswomen to hand-make the product for you, she'll know exactly how to answer all your questions.

If you have any questions related to a VDS product you purchased or a leather product you are interested in, please email Petra at  hello@vdsshop.com*. She can advise you on (custom) options, inform you about prices regarding special requests, and offer assistance in the decision-making process. You can also find extensive information about our products in our FAQ, Blog, and Private Facebook Group, where fans help each other with questions.

 * We respond to our wide variety of emails with care and attention, therefore please allow around 2 workdays to pass before receiving a reply.

Craftsmanship

By working exclusively with talented and experienced crafts(wo)men, both at home and abroad, we ensure a unique personal touch that is part and parcel of the handmade process while guaranteeing a finished product that is impeccable. No two pieces of leather are the same and no two Van der Spek items are the same. We carefully select and match all the different pieces that go into your finished product. Our custom-made items are handmade in our workshop in The Netherlands. Our ready-made products are handmade in collaboration with our carefully selected partners.

Bespoke Specials | The tailor-made of leather goods. Experience the authentic luxury of artisanal leather products designed by you and handmade by us with craftsmanship and attention to detail.

Handmade production in our own workshop gives us the flexibility to move beyond the creation of collection items. If you are interested in a leather product that is not available on our webshop, just send us an email. We can make (almost ;) anything. You can also request adjustments or additional options added to the lay-out of our collection items.

Client Testimonials

Customer Service is absolutely the best in the industry, you can not get better than Van der Spek for friendly and efficient customer service along with excellent products

Steve Morton – France

Fantastic product and superb customer service. I can't recommend highly enough. Petra is a great advocate and her company is first class. You wil not be disappointed with their products, support and help.

Tracey - UK

Love my VDS binders and the excellent customer service. Petra is wonderful and always there with prompt responses and helpful info. Have received a total of 4 binders in the past year and all are great. Very well crafted and very handsome. Thanks! Mark

Mark S - United States

I'm absolutely in love with my planner. The leather is gorgous and the craftsmanship extraordinary. And - last but not least - Van der Spek has the best customer service!

Eliane Stauffiger - France/Switzerland

Unbelievable customer service. Planning my custom order was such a pleasant experience thanks to Petra. She is there for the customer every step of the way and is willing to answer any questions you may have. True dedication to her craft and genuine concern for the customer's happiness has earned a life-long customer in me.

Elena C - United States

You could not ask for any better Customer Service in the world. Petra is so wonderful to work with when you are doing a custom planner. I have 2 customs planners and 2 TM in purple and love all 4 of them. Petra does her best to make anything happen that you want that I can't say enough good things about her help.

Barbara Sullivan – USA

I take it every where with me. It is the most beautifull and well constructed wallet I have ever owned. Such a super service as well.

Isabel Winstanley

Love my VDS binders and the excellent customer service. Petra is wonderful and always there with prompt responses and helpful info. Have received a total of 4 binders in the past year and all are great. Very well crafted and very handsome. Thanks! Mark

Mark Srebnik – United States

This isn't just customer service - it's customer dedication! Petra is incredible during the design phase. Advising, answering questions. But most of all being patient! Updates during production - she does it all. Then ANY problem with your VDS she is just an email away. Rock solid product back up. You can't go wrong!

Suzi Kahn – United States

I'm absolutely in love with my planner. The leather is gorgous and the craftsmanship extraordinary. And - last but not least - Van der Spek has the best customer service!

Eliane Stauffiger – France/Switzerland

I could not be any happier nor could I have any more praise for PETRA, HER FATHER AND THE VAN DER SPEK COMPANY!! Their patience with their customers who anguish over every little detail and decision, as I did, is both astonishing and refreshing. They put the customers needs and wants first and that is definitely something that seems to be disappearing in our world today and a quality to be cherished. I believe Petra and I started communication several months ago and not once did she treat me with anything less that professionalism and kindness -even during her vacation. Their attention to detail before, during and after is unparalleled and sets them far above any company that I have ever dealt with. The Van Der Spek Company is a very rare GEM to find these days and definitely to "GOLD STANDARD" for all other companies to aspire to be like

Susan C. – United States

I wish there were more stars! Better customer service than I have ever experienced anywhere. Petra is always available at the other end of an email and is very patient and willing to give everyything a try and make her customers happy.

Janet Carr – Sweden

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