Levenger is a specialty retail company established in 1987 in the Boston suburb of Belmont, Massachusetts. Products include leather bags and briefbags, folios and other products to hold tablets and other personal electronics, fine writing instruments, and an extensive line of note-taking products, in particular its Circa disc-binding notebooks. Levenger also has a publishing imprint, Levenger Press, which publishes a small line of specialty books.
Levenger designs many of its products, with approximately 75% of its product line being proprietary. The company describes itself as a champion of Slow Tech. One example of the mix of old and new technologies, or dual technologies, is the company’s Shirt Pocket Briefcase. The product was introduced in 1992. Levenger is still selling variations of it in 2013, including one with a pocket for holding a smartphone.
Levenger CEO and co-founder Steve Leveen has aligned the company with the Conscious Capitalism movement. To that end, the company has created an initiative called Partnering for Good, which pays product-based royalties to nonprofit institutions whose missions are connected to reading or learning. Among these institutions are the Library of Congress, the Bodleian Library of Oxford University, and The Morgan Library & Museum. The initiative also links specific products with contributions to literacy programs, including one in Thailand through the International Reading Association.
Levenger is a privately held company owned by Steve and Lori Leveen. Headquarters are in Delray Beach, Florida. Fulfillment and customer service operations in Memphis, Tennessee, with all customer service handled domestically.
Levenger was established in 1987 by Steve Leveen and his wife, Lori Granger Leveen. The name “Levenger” was derived from their surnames, Leveen (Leve-) and Granger (-nger). Noticing a need for a good beside-the-bed reading lamp in their first home together in Belmont, Massachusetts, and aware of the up-and-coming halogen lighting technology, the Leveens placed an ad in The New Yorker magazine and began selling lamps, using their neighbor’s garage as the fulfillment center and their own spare bedroom as the main office. The first tagline was “Serious Lighting for Serious Readers.” Two months after running the ad, Levenger had 47 customers. The tagline later changed to “Tools for Serious Readers.”
Events and milestones
- 1987 First “Levenger Design Company” catalog
- 1988 First Levenger catalog with tagline “Tools for Serious Readers”
- 1989 Levenger moves from Belmont, Mass., to Delray Beach, Fla.
- 1993 First year on the Inc. (magazine) 500 List of Fastest Growing Private Companies (No. 8)
- 1996 Levenger.com launches
- 1999 Levenger Press launches
- 2003 First store opens, in Chicago: a store-in-a-store within the Marshall Field’s department store (now Macy’s)
- 2004 First freestanding store opens, in the Shops at Prudential Center in Boston
- 2006 Third store opens, in Tysons Corner, Virginia, outside of Washington, D.C.
- 2006 Fulfillment and Customer Service move to Memphis, Tennessee
- 2011 Levenger brands its Partnering for Good licensing & literacy programs
- 2012 Levenger marks 25 years
- Circa System
- Chicago Sun-Times
- Conscious Capitalism: Steve Leveen
- Harvard Business Review, Myra M. Hart et al., Levenger Case Study, Dec. 17, 2004, 18 pp.
- The New Yorker, Oct. 12, 1987 issue.
- CNN Money
- Company history at Levenger.com.
- Inc. Magazine, Oct. 1993 issue, p. 113.
- Partnering for Good