Meet Steve Honan, “The Wolf” of leather repair.
Steve is equal parts “fixer”, artisan, technician, and humanitarian.
He saved me from what could have potentially been my last day on earth, the day I decided to try and do something thoughtful and get my apartment cleaned by a professional cleaning company. I’m going to reiterate for fairness sake towards the cleaning company that accidents and damage are a simple fact of life and that this company did take full and immediate responsibility for what, under any sort of normal circumstances, would be a very small and inconsequential mistake.
Regardless, should my roommate ever find out that I had let a human being within 10 feet of her prized leather couch, and that the steam cleaner being used had accidentally caused a long, white mark along the side, my life might still be in danger, so please don’t say anything.
I should explain that the relationship I have with my current roommate is tense at best. When we moved in together, and she moved her leather couch in, she told me that it was simply not an option to even have the possibility of damage occurring to this couch. For months, I have conscientiously tried to remember to lay a huge board across the seats of this leather couch every time I get up from it to avoid the chance of my dog jumping on it. Lately, it has just become easier for both me and my dog to avoid that couch and that room all together. As far as I can tell, my roommate does not use the room either. We effectively have a two bedroom in Logan Square with a front parlor from the Victorian era, something that is meant to be seen but not used.
Anyway, I only sketch things out with this level of detail in order to illustrate that in someone’s (somewhat obsessive and unreasonable) eyes, this leather couch is more precious than life (my life, specifically) itself.
Damage was not an option. But yet it had occurred. My life was flashing before my eyes, grade school, swimming lessons, seeing a solar eclipse through the shadows of a tree on the playground in 7th grade, my first concert, my first kiss, my first day at my first real job after college…the air suddenly felt very syrupy and hard to breathe, the room began to spin, my arms and legs were turning into concrete. Then I realized that I might be fainting, which would do nothing for me as far as any possibility of saving my own skin was concerned.
Enter Steve Honan of Technique, Inc. Leather Furniture Restoration Cleaning and Repair. In the world of leather restoration he is somewhat of a celebrity, flying around the country doing repairs on $30,000 sofas and cars that are so rare and one of a kind that he nor anyone below a 7 figure earning bracket “has never even heard of” before. Ferrari Maserati and Rolls Royce Bentley are regular clients of his, and he is normally booked out two weeks in advance. He is extremely modest about all of this, and sweetly mentions none of it when I call and ask him in earnest if he can come out that day and fix my room mate’s $600 sofa. He was able to squeeze me in between appointments, came to my home within 2 hours of my initial, panicked call, and magically made that white mark disappear in about 5 minutes. At a rate which works out to approximately $35 a minute, I will maintain that that his service was worth every penny. He cleaned and conditioned the couch and cushions, and left my roommate’s $600 couch looking like it cost twice as much.
The somewhat happy ending to this story is that I am alive to write this review. My roommate came home that evening, walked through the sparkling clean house and luminous leather couch, and said nothing before walking into her room and proceeding to wash her body with bleach (or so I imagine her doing, knowing the vigilance she attacks cleaning all other surfaces with). She is moving out of the apartment at the end of this month, due to my lack of commitment to keeping our house a “sanctuary”, and all I can feel is relief that I will no longer have to exist within a sterile mortuary with such precious taxiderm