The Idea of Skinny Wallet was a long time coming but it went from concept to design after a small incident in beautiful and awesome - Cancun, Mexico.
My beautiful wife and I planned a week long and first ever trip to Mexico after hearing about it from everyone raving about the Resorts, the Beach, the Mayan Pyramids, the Tequila and other general awesomeness. We looked up on Expedia and Oh man! What a Great Deal we got for an All-Inclusive.
We finally reached Cancun and first 2 days we decided to relax at the resort, lazing on the beach, pool, buffets, bars. The 3rd day we had just about had enough of relaxation and were craving to go outside, explore exotic Mexico as new adventures came calling. That day we explored the famous and one of the New Wonder's of the World " Chichen Itza" Pyramid or "Chicken Pizza" as popularly called by bumbling Tourist like us. Everything was going fine till later in the evening when we decided to check out the Coco-Bongo Club. We reached the club had couple of drinks, with me taking care of both of our overstuffed bags, cameras, iPhones and of-course my big wallet which had all the cards such as my Driver's License and most importantly Visa Credit Card - "One Card to Pay (Rule) them All". At some point in time we decided to go back to our resort and with me being a Gentleman volunteering to pick everything up as wife was just exhausted with our day long adventures. I thought I got everything... well almost everything till the time came to pay the cab driver. I had forgotten my wallet at the club or simply dropped it somewhere.
Cutting long story short, I had to jump through hoops to get all my Credit Cards cancelled all thanks to the fear induced by those pesky "Identity Theft" ads. Atleast the credit card was taken care off, but what was lost was those membership cards, gift cards, transit cards that I had no back-up of. Luckily for me, my wife was with me to take care of all other stuff at Cancun.
I could feel the pain of all the folks who have ever lost their wallets or belongings and the stress that comes with it as cash in wallet can be earned back, it’s those cards that are sometimes irreplaceable. Of course, the blame was also mine as my wallet was stuffed with things of no actual use to me in either Mexico or back home as I had a few cards which were rarely ever used. At the same time I have had the same problem at the Gym as well where I lose my membership card half a dozen times an year as I don't like to carry my monster of a wallet everywhere and usually end up taking the card, forgetting it on the Gym floor.
Long process short, when I was back from our vacation, I started sketching a few version of a slimmer and smaller wallet which I can carry around and still have everything I would need for my day to day routine. During the design process of the wallet there was a lot of refining with inputs from my designer colleagues, which joined me to have this project to share with the world. Checkout the design process below.
The wallet prototyping process started with first creating couple of versions on Adobe Illustrator. Every version was made with Canvas first to test the real world usage with enough durability to hold atleast 7 cards with cash. Initially the plan as below was to just create a simple wallet in optimum size which got later converted to do a lot more. We created a wider "keyhole" for not just keys but also the ability to hang your Lanyards and Office ID holders.
We have been testing the prototypes with a sample of about 25 people in different age groups for about five months and so far the wallet has been holding out quite well with no wear or tear.
Versions: Mark 1 to 5 (Wallet Size to Functionality changes over-time)
Project Timeline: As part of our observing other Kickstarter Projects we realized one thing which is that all Backers expect to have their shipments in on time. To prevent the time over-runs and quality issues we have partnered with an amazing manufacturer overseas which has been producing products for big brands such as Gucci and Coach.
Our manufacturer specializes in wallets production and would be able to handle larger orders.
We plan to start off production as soon as we hit a minimum required quantity to be able to ship on time and before our Kickstarter project closes. Our timeline is as follows:
This is our first Kickstarter Project and the challenge is mainly to be able to have mass production and the final product shipped in a timely manner. We have been prototyping for quite a few months and have found a reliable manufacturer who would be able to handle any quantity increments without affecting the product quality. We have also been observing other Kickstarter project executions with the plan being to learn something from what was done right and what were the shortcomings.
We will be monitoring the project progress every moment to meet any challenges.Thanks for giving us the opportunity, as this could not have been possible without your support.