Hey, everyone! I’m Nick Mankey. About two years ago (almost to the day, actually) I became fed up with all of the wallet designs out there; They were all either too thick, too stiff, too gimmicky, didn’t carry enough, got stretched out, or made of cheap materials that would inevitably fail after a few months of use. Since then, I’ve been building, testing, and refining my take on the ultimate solution to carrying our precious currency. I call it, the Sumo.
What exactly is the Sumo Wallet?
A truly expanding, low-profile wallet made from high quality materials that aims to redefine the term "minimalist" entirely.
Some fun facts about the Sumo Wallet:
- They're Fully Customizable! Build your own from 160+ unique color combos.
- It's made from Full-Grain Vegetable Tanned Leather & Military-Grade Woven Elastic.
- Easily holds 10+ Cards and 10+ Bills.
- Flexes for comfort in the pocket.
- Grants easy access to common cards (even with a gloved hand).
- Uses NO metallic hardware to destroy your favorite jeans.
- Proudly built right here in the USA.
How does it work?
Very simply! Cards are inserted down the front of the elastic “T” in a stack formation, and cash is folded in half and inserted behind the elastic flap in the rear. Both sides will stretch accordingly for a guaranteed fit no matter how much or how little you have tucked inside.
Ok, cool. But why do I need one?
Glad you asked! Here’s the breakdown:
Leather, Meet Elastic: The Boxer and the Ballerina; With a history that reaches clear back to the beginnings of mankind, no material on Earth is more rugged-proven than full-grain Leather. And at nearly 200 years old now, Elastic, in its strong but stretchy ways, is nothing short of a tried and true game-changer in the industrial and textile sectors. Upon extensive testing, it was the marriage of these two incredibly versatile materials that gave way to the ultimate wallet recipe.
Size Matters: Minimalism done right; At 3 ¾” x 2 ¾” x ⅜” in dimension (empty), there is no fat to be found on the gorgeous 4 oz Hermann Oak vegetable tanned leather body. It’s a size built to fit into any pocket, for any occasion, and hold whatever you’re brave enough to stuff within its comfy Mil-Spec Elastic grasp. Default capacities are: 10+ Cards, 10+ Folded Bills.
It’s in the Details: A quality over quantity approach; Even a seemingly negligible choice of going with Polyester instead of Nylon thread to hand-stitch this prototype is one not made hastily. Polyester is more resistant to UV rays and moisture, whereas Nylon can stretch and degrade more quickly out in the elements.
My leather of choice derives from one of the best tanneries in the USA, if not the world, (Hermann Oak, check 'em out) and each piece is selected carefully in terms of appropriate thickness, quality, and grain structure before being hand-cut straight out of the hide, and left to tan in the California sun for a full day. After assembly, the leather edges are then sanded, burnished, and sealed for a smooth, premium fit and feel- an effort not often made in the leather industry due to the labor involved. The choice to construct the entire body out of one solid piece of leather was also made in an effort to reduce the amount of potential breaking points; The less stitching, the better.
The Elastic being used is constructed from Woven Polyester and Rubber fibers in a Twill pattern (for the a e s t h e t i c), instead of the usual Knit elastic you're probably used to seeing, which has a tendency to weaken upon being stitched. And as another Fun Fact: This Elastic actually meets and exceeds some of the standards in which the U.S. Military set forth when they started using this stuff. The same material can be seen on modern day parachute gear and EMS equipment as well.
The Best Wallet: Is the one you always have with you, and doesn’t destroy your spine; The slimmer and more flexible your wallet, the more comfortable it is in any pocket. Gone are the days of sitting on a brick and ruining your back, or destroying your denim from other wallets with sharp edges and pocket clips. Thanks again to the characteristics of leather and elastic, the Sumo has just the right amount of flexibility to protect and contain your currency while remaining practically unnoticeable.
Make it Yours: Get personal with it; If you're going to be using a particular item every day for years to come, it will quickly become a part of you, so why not give it a little injection of your unique personality? Build your own Sumo Wallet v2 from your choice of:
- FIVE (5) Leather Colors: Natural Sun Dye, Walnut, Mahogany, Chocolate, and Black.
- SIXTEEN (16) Elastic Colors: Rose Pink, Baby Blue, Red, Orange, Neon Green, Army Green, Fuchsia, Aqua Blue, Purple, Black, White, Gray, Khaki, and Navy Blue.
- TWO (2) Stitch Colors: Black and White.
Ok, I'll bite. Now what do I get as a backer?
'Super Early-Bird!' backersget 1x Custom Sumo Wallet v2 at 60% off the future retail price (limited to the first 25 backers).
'Early Bird!' backers get 1x Custom Sumo Wallet v2 at 50% off the future retail price (limited to the next 50 backers).
'Kickstarter Special!' backers get 1x Custom Sumo Wallet v2 at 40% off the future retail price (unlimited)!
'Double Feature!' backers get 2x Custom Sumo Wallet v2's at 50% off the future retail price (unlimited).
'Triple Play!' backers get 3x Custom Sumo Wallet v2's at 50% off the future retail price (unlimited).
'Four Pack!' backers get 4x Custom Sumo Wallet v2's at 50% off the future retail price (unlimited).
Sweet! Now when do I get my stuff?
Once the Kickstarter campaign ends in June, I go and order all of the materials/supplies/equipment needed to complete the mass-production. Then I get to work! All orders should be out and on their way to you by August 2018. Keep in mind, this is a complete one-man operation with just me at the helm to handle all operations. So, please bare with me if there are any delays :)
Shipping times should be about as follows:
Domestic USA: 2-5 business days.
International: 5-20 business days.
How are the funds being used?
Great question! As a solo-man crafter/designer in my small-but-growing shop, there is only so much one can accomplish without going a little crazy. I plan to use most of the funds earned in this campaign to obtain the space, materials, and equipment needed to manufacture leather goods in a much more efficient and cost-effective manner.
Who are you?
I'm a former graphic designer and photographer turned product designer out of sheer passion for the trade. I started my business, Nick Mankey Designs, officially in July of last year, but I've been learning and crafting all sorts of things since 2014.
With over 100 unique completed projects under my belt and an unquenchable urge to create new and original things, I feel right at home taking on the challenges brought about by Kickstarter.
Risks and challenges
I've been handling custom orders of varying sizes for many years now (retail sales, Etsy, large Massdrop orders, etc.), and can absolutely confirm that there are always things that 'pop-up' on you when they're least expected. That said, I've never missed a deadline, and I always come through when a challenge is presented.
Specifically, things I can see happening from prior experience with this project: Potential delays in materials being obtained in the case of high volume bulk orders. Shop relocation down-time. Minor hang-ups if certain vital equipment needs fixing. Taking extra time to address any community questions, comments or concerns. And carefully updating this campaign to reflect any potential stretch goals/changes.
I'm prepared to handle and seek guidance if necessary upon running into any major issues. But I'm hoping for the best. Now let's get to it!
Thank You All!
- NickLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)