Since we launched TROVE on Kickstarter just less than two weeks ago I have been connecting and reconnecting with friends and family all over the world trying to share this fantastic little card case that we created. It has been amazing to receive messages from people who have been out of touch for so long, and yet have their total support and encouragement for what we're doing. Thank you to all of you who hit up those like and share links on Facebook, for spreading the word and for backing us!
Many of you have asked me about how the TROVE came about and why I didn't do this any earlier? So after telling and retelling the story to about a dozen people I thought it would be best to put it in a post on our Journal.
Over a year ago, Paul and I started experimenting with different constructions using excess leather that we had lying around from production, we were looking for something that would proudly represent the factory. We spent many hours after work trying different ideas and made phone cases, folios, pouches, key rings, wallets and even a cup holder! Most of the creations looked nice and well crafted but lacked a certain flair, they were very similar to a lot of other leather products on the market. So we took a trip to London for some inspiration, we visited shops all around town and it just seemed everybody was doing the same old things like bill-fold wallets and slotted card cases. There was a standard mould of shapes and designs where the only thing different was branding and colour play. We came back to the factory wanting then to create something different to the norm but still applying traditional leather working skills.
We started focusing on wallet constructions because its something everyone needs and carries around with them everyday, but normally a good quality leather wallet is over £100 (we know the difference because we make them for our customers). Looking at how we used our own bill-fold wallets and all the unnecessary receipts, cards and bits of paper we carry around with us and we concluded it was just causing a big bulge in our pockets. It boiled down to asking what do we really need to have in our wallets for everyday use? Some regularly used cards and some cash, everything else could be left at home. We tried various leather constructions and even had a completely stitchless wallet at one point, but it still wasn't right.
There were a number of elastic band type wallets on Kickstarter that were doing quite well at the time, but they all looked flimsy and essentially just a branded elastic band with one slot for cards. We knew we could do something better but also using leather, because we are leather craftsmen, but also because it gives structure and solidity to the elastic on its own. Back in February I had an idea for constructing the leather and elastic together and worked with Paul to sketch out and create the first prototype of TROVE (we called it IMP at first for our initials). The concept was to have three folds in the leather to form three compartments held together with elastic webbing. After testing it out for a couple of months I found that I did not once miss my old wallet and TROVE could hold everything I needed and more! One noticeable difference was that I could sit down without having to push my wallet out of the way. From there we started trying out different colours and using our technique of bonding leather to achieve another colour on the inside. I thought the prototypes looked great and wanted to get it out into people's pockets as soon as possible. The name TROVE, suggested by our friends @Ajoto, means treasure found and I think it perfectly describes what this fantastic slim wallet is and what it means to us. It is a true treasure that we have found whilst searching amongst all of the prototypes before it.
Keep checking back here for more details about the processes and materials we use for each TROVE. Thank you for reading, and if you haven't done so go get your very own TROVE here.