The Fascinating History of Olek

Immerse yourself in our company's rich history. We would like to honor our founder Olek Lejbzon, our President Peter Triestman, and every one of our team members that have put countless hours into making our company one that you can count on.

Angelina Russo- Marketing Specialist

6/24/20244 min read

The Remarkable Journey of Olek Lejbzon: Founder of Olek Restoration

Intro: Olek Lejbzon, the visionary founder of Olek Restoration (formerly Olek Lejbzon & Co.), came from a lineage of skilled woodworkers in Poland. For three generations, woodworking had been a cherished family tradition, and Olek, the son of a dedicated woodworker, was poised to continue this legacy.

A Tumultuous Beginning

The backdrop to Olek's early life was the onset of World War II. As Germany invaded Poland, the world plunged into chaos, with countries rapidly declaring war. At the tender age of 13, just as Olek's interest in his father’s craft began to blossom, his life took a drastic turn. The Lejbzon family, like many others, was swept into the horrors of the Holocaust, becoming prisoners in Nazi concentration camps.

Surviving the Unimaginable

In the camps, Olek endured the unimaginable, witnessing the tragic loss of his entire family. The Nazis, recognizing his physical capability, spared his life to work in the perilous minefields. For six grueling years, Olek survived the inhumane conditions of the camps. In the final weeks before liberation, he suffered a severe injury in the mines, resulting in the loss of his leg. Despite the immense physical and emotional scars, Olek emerged as one of the few survivors of this horrific period.

A New Beginning

Liberated but alone, Olek was determined to rebuild his life. After a few years of recovery and reflection, he began to reconnect with his roots in woodworking, both as a tribute to his family and a means of personal restoration. During this time, Olek also served as the mayor of a small town in Germany, where he found fulfillment in leadership and community service. However, his true passion for woodworking and furniture restoration remained undiminished.

The American Dream

In pursuit of his dreams, Olek decided to embark on a new chapter in the United States. In 1950, he relocated to New York City, a move that would define his legacy. That same year, he established his company, Olek Lejbzon & Co., laying the foundation for what would become a renowned name in the restoration industry.

Building a Legacy

Olek's company quickly gained a reputation for exceptional craftsmanship and dedication to quality. His work not only honored his family's legacy but also set new standards in the restoration field. Over the years, Olek Restoration has grown and evolved, continuing to embody the values and passion that Olek instilled from the very beginning.

Today, as we reflect on Olek Lejbzon’s incredible journey, we honor the resilience, determination, and skill that have shaped our company’s history. Olek's story is a powerful reminder of the enduring human spirit and the transformative power of dedication and hard work. His legacy lives on through the exceptional work we continue to deliver, serving our customers with the same integrity and excellence that Olek championed.

Our President, Peter Triestman, has a fascinating background that has shaped his approach to business and leadership. "I was a nerd into technology from the moment I learned to read," Triestman recalls. Excelling academically from a young age, Peter found school easy and somewhat boring, being far ahead of his classmates. Just after his 15th birthday, he decided to quit school to pursue something spontaneous and personally enriching.

This desire for adventure led him to hitchhike and backpack throughout the Rocky Mountains. During his journey, he encountered a variety of people and experiences that broadened his horizons, including picking up the practice of Zen meditation.

A year after his adventure, Peter returned to high school but quickly realized he needed a greater challenge. He applied to Yale University and enrolled that same year, majoring in Economics and minoring in Physics. Peter excelled in college, and his degree led him to a position managing litigation and acquisition for various properties across the U.S. After five years in this role, he moved on to create his own private payphone business in New York City.

Peter's payphone business was located next to Olek Lejbzon's woodworking and restoration business. The two quickly became friends, and Olek also grew close to Peter's father, who was skilled in woodworking and restoration. Peter's father helped Olek for about a year before purchasing the business from him.

Tragically, on the day Peter's father bought the business, he discovered he had a cancerous tumor from asbestos exposure during WWII and had limited time to live. In response, Peter decided to join his father in running the business, hoping it would help take his mind off his condition. Within the first year, they expanded the team, hiring 14 people. Over the next four years, the company grew to 60 employees. Peter, his father, and Olek ran the business together for two years until his father passed away, leaving the business in Peter's hands.

Ten years later, under Peter's leadership, the company expanded its expertise beyond woodworking and furniture restoration. It now specializes in architectural millwork restoration, commercial furniture restoration for major corporations throughout NYC, and metalwork restoration and fabrication. The company has handled significant public works projects, including Grand Central Station, Fortune 100 headquarters, major law firms, investment banks, money centers, and various courts.

Peter Triestman's journey from a tech-savvy teenager to the president of a successful restoration company is a testament to his adaptability, resilience, and dedication to excellence. His leadership continues to drive our company's growth and success, honoring the legacy of those who came before him.

About Our President, Peter Triestman

Special Thanks:

Thank you to all of those that invested your precious time into our customer-centric company. We would not be here today without the help of our artisans, architects, engineers, business development personnel, etc. We are honored to have such brilliant people by our side as we continue to grow!

metal bar
metal bar
a black and white photo of a person in a kitchen
a black and white photo of a person in a kitchen