About this project
We'd love to have your support in trying to make FITT a reality and as makers who spend all our time creating things we don't really know much about marketing, so if you like what you see please consider spreading the word because it would help us a lot! Thank you!
- Materials: Knit Elastic from Prym, Ripstop Nylon from Seattle Fabrics, Hook and Loop Fastener from Velcro, Number 5 Thread.
- Dimensions (with 1 card): 3.44" tall x 2.38" wide. Effective thickness is 0.10", except in the Velcro area which is about .23" thick.
- Capacity: 8 cards with 10 bills, 6 cards with 13 bills, 2-4 cards with 15 bills. It will hold more, but that will put unwanted stress on the seams.
- Colors: Red, Blue, Green, Pink, Grey.
The long story short is that we tried a bunch of slim wallets and thought their small size was amazing, but using them with cash or multiple cards was a pain. We spent a few hundred hours trying to design a better slim wallet because that's what we do, and we think our efforts finally paid off when we had the idea for FITT. For the all-inclusive story read on :)
I first learned about 'Slim Wallets' on Kickstarter earlier this year and was immediately on a mission to find the best one for myself. So I spent maybe 4-5 hours researching the countless number of wallet designs out there and narrowed them down a handful I wanted to try. Buying each one would have run almost a couple hundred bucks, and I love to make stuff anyways, so I ended up re-creating each design with my 3D printer and sewing machine.
After a couple weeks of testing the various wallets had gone by, two things were clear:
- The tiny size of slim wallets was like a breath of fresh air in my pockets and I knew I'd never go back to my huge old leather wallet.
- Slim wallets were a pain to use, especially for cash transactions since bills had to be folded into 1/4's (unless the wallet itself was significantly larger than a credit card, which I didn't want either). Card transactions were just fine until I wanted to use a 2nd or 3rd card, which I often do. Some wallets were a little better than others no doubt, but they all lacked ease of use IMHO, at least for my personal needs.
Now I work as a product design engineer for a living and this seemed like an opportunity to try my hand at designing a better slim wallet. I told my designer friend Atiim about it and he decided to help out, which was great because two heads are better than one and he's more knowledgeable than I am with what's called 'Interaction Design'.
It was a really fun design process because from an engineering standpoint a wallet is a very simple system, which means we could isolate variables (wallet features) and iterate designs easily compared to the more complex products we usually work on (see bio for past work references). We got pretty obsessed with trying out every possible option for typical wallet features such as materials, pocket orientations, cash pocket size, card/cash access features, closure methods etc. Because of this we ended up making and testing a ton of different prototypes for both existing designs as well as our own unique concepts.
After a couple months of work Atiim and I were a little bummed... we had a lot of unique designs and a couple were pretty good, but they weren't all that superior to what was already available. Around this time a good idea finally came to me late one night while playing around with one of the initial prototypes; just make a folding design with elastic card pockets on the outside and keep the inner cash pocket as thin as possible. I was too excited to sleep that night and by 6 o'clock the next morning I'd sewn a couple different versions of wallets based on the new idea. Testing quickly confirmed those first FITT wallets had clear ease-of-use advantages when it came to handling both cash and multiple cards. In our line of work, coming up with a novel design that provides such advantages is absolutely the best feeling there is, so we were really happy at that point.
After a couple more weeks of detailed design/testing we had FITT dialed in to its best embodiment and met with local manufacturers in San Diego who could make it in production volumes. The manufacturer we chose is a full-service sewing contractor that specializes in making things like backpacks, outdoor gear, accessories, and pretty much anything else that can be sewn. We've met with them five times now and they've made five different sample wallets in order to ensure our tolerances and quality standards can be met in production volumes. They're ready to start production as soon as we give the go-ahead and we plan to take out a loan to begin making wallets as soon as the goal is met, not after the Kickstarter campaign has ended.
A huge thank you to Travis Morgan for his fantastic song 'Cafe Connection' (instrumental version), which was featured in the video. Travis you are awesome and so is your work!
Risks and challenges
We understand that on-time delivery of orders is important to backers. We have nearly 8 years of experience engineering various products and taking them through production, so the process is pretty familiar and we've done everything we can to mitigate risk. Our preparation for manufacturing has included an FMEA analysis and detailed review of assembly instructions with the manufacturer.We also added a few weeks to pad the delivery date, so hopefully you'll receive FITT ahead of schedule. Despite all this, there are often delays during production... it just happens and it's very common from our experience.
If problems do arise we will certainly put all our effort into fixing them, you can be sure of that. We have a few other designs in the pipeline and want to be here for the long haul, not disappear after the campaign ends.
Scaling production will be challenging if the volumes go far above the goal, which is why we've limited the number of awards for earlier delivery dates based on manufacturer lead times.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
We did over 4000 cycles of opening and closing the Velcro on the green wallet you saw in the video and after that it still opens and closes nearly as well as new Velcro. 4000 cycles is over 11 years of use if you're like us and use cash about once a day, or 5.5 years if you use cash an average of twice a day.
Sorry, but we can only offer 1 wallet per backer according to the rules set out by Kickstarter for Product Design campaigns. After the campaign ends we will have a website where you can order more FITT wallets if you like.
At the end of the campaign we will send out a survey where you can tell us which color wallet you'd like.
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