This project's funding goal was not reached on September 30, 2012.
About this project
First things first, Thank you and Welcome!
A little something to break the ice!
Shelter Wallet Co. is ready. Ready to grow, ready to reach, and most importantly, ready to Shelter. Technically, the product is a soft shelled 4 card slot with cash pocket wallet, but that’s like describing the sun as simply being “a light”. Tarp Wallets leap over their leathery predecessors by thinning out the bulge, protecting moisture vulnerable goods and potentially protecting your identity!
Beyond their physical value, 25% of Shelter Wallet Co. revenue is forwarded to charitable foundations serving the needs of the homeless in communities near and far. We want create a path for budding entrepreneurs to follow by building a sense of civic pride and community support into new business plans from beginning. Your support of Shelter Wallet Co. WILL have an impact!
How'd all this happen?
What started out as an exercise to break up designers-block for a completely different product, has grown into a strong contender in the "Slim Wallet" segment. We believe we've put it on a strict diet and grueling workout regimen! After months of perfecting the design and assembly process, Tarp Wallets were handed out to a diverse range of "testers". From blue collar workers to blue chip traders, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Both Standards and Slims have tested well for front and rear pants pocket use, as well as a purse, hand bag, gym bag, bra, backpack, running shorts, guitar case, surf shorts, fanny pack, man bag (or satchel if you prefer), spandex, saddle bags, Kaboodles, and counter tops!
As requests for wallets increased, so has the need to develop a company around the product. Not wanting to simply create a “me me me” organization, we looked to other companies that have inspired us to think a bit more of my local community. How could we build a business while also building a movement and inspire other entrepreneurs to do the same? From day 1 of the organizational foot print, we committed to automatically donating a minimum of 25% of the company’s profits to charitable foundations supporting the needs of the homeless. Rather than it being an after-thought, or a “nice to do once we’re established”, it was more important to be proactive with this message from the beginning. Shelter Wallet Co. isn’t just named after our core material, but more importantly as a symbol of what our core mission is. Helping to shelter those who go without!
The material of choice for Tarp Wallets is either a Polyethylene or Polypropylene, which are both recyclable. Stitching is by way of a Polyethylene thread, which is also recyclable. The retail market currently provides the raw materials in a standard color palette of around a half dozen colors. We ‘re looking to expand on this and engage local manufacturers to produce new varieties specifically for our use. This will include various non-retail colors and custom prints. Additionally, in an effort to minimize waste from other applications, we’re also discussing opportunities to purchase remnant material from larger projects that currently gets discarded. This not only decreases waste but will also allow for small runs of specialized wallets due limited materials.
How are Tarp Wallets different?:
Tarp Wallets provide a long and distinguished list of upgrades from the traditional hide of choice. Here’s a few:
-Safe and Dry! C'mon, It's Tarp! Whether your protecting your cards, cash, receipts, or the number of that hottie written on a napkin, it'll make it out and back in solid condition. No more bellying up to the bar on the mountain for a brew after boarding with soggy dollars. No more sweat soaked biz cards (or the leather they're wrapped in). Get it dirty? No problem, just wipe it down!
- It's rugged, but with a sense of whimsy! The material is surprisingly resilient to daily use, in and out of pockets and purses! The thread and stitching have stood up proudly to aggressive use, without the hint of weakness! The material is highly recognizable and known as a trusted source of protection from the elements. Unlike the fad of duct-tape wallets, Tarp doesn't peel back as the adhesive wears out, leaving sticky edges!
- Secure! With all 4 cards slots facing to the center (on both the Standards and Slims), it creates a closed end when stored. Thus eliminating virtually all risk of losing your goods in the event of an untimely drop! Who hasn't dropped a wallet and seen all their cards go flying out the top! Even if you’ve reduced your card count and the slots seem a smidge sloppy? You're still safe!
- It's Green! (Even if it's blue, white, brown, etc.) Did you know that you're worn out blue tarp you've used for the last 4 winters is recyclable? Yep! The traditional "blue tarp" is made of either polyethylene (RIC 2 & 4) or polypropylene (RIC 5) and are both commonly recyclable in most communities. That's right; you can carry your "green" in a wallet that's green! While there are other options, we're sourcing ONLY recyclable materials to allow for that fateful day when it's time to retire your Tarp Wallet.
- Mix & Match With growing options in tarp color and prints, we will continue to create new variations and release limited edition runs, some by invite only to prior purchasers. With the growing trend of swapping out men’s accessories on a frequent basis, the Tarp Wallet is ideal for mixing and matching with moods and fashion. You can choose to have multiple items in the same material but different formats. We want your wallet to be an interchangeable piece of your wardrobe. Some days it’s best to have a bit more room (The Standards), and others you want to be a minimalist (The Slims). We give that choice to you!
- Intercontinental! The cash pocket of The Standards is small enough to fit comfortably in your pocket, but large enough to conceal most international paper currency. Perfect for the globetrotting tourist!
- The cash pocket of The Standards holds up to 16 Oz. of liquid. Perfect for an impromptu beer chug, water bowl for Fido, or wash basin!
- A rain/sun visor (Just like Tarpee McTarpster!)
- A book mark
- A business card holder (The Slims is PERFECT for this one!)
- G.I. Joe’s Tent
How will our “Kickstart” be used:
With a successful funding campaign, your support will go a long way to establishing the foundation for producing a great product from right here in the U.S.A. Keeping the entire process of material sourcing, manufacturing, distribution and more, helps set the tone for what we care about, our neighbors. The time has come to get Shelter Wallet Co.’s Tarp Wallets off the dining room table and have the first major order produced under professional guidance. After tracking down local resources for both raw materials and contract manufacturing, a minimum order and production value has been estimated. In addition to the base product costs, we’re also working towards distribution terms with worldwide reach.
With the tracking availability via the Kickstarter program we’ll monitor ordering trends and compile a top 5 regions that orders are generated from. Based at the time of funding and fulfillment of orders, we’ll identify where the highest volume of sales were received from and focus our search for foundations working with the homeless to those areas first! Locally, we have identified a handful of trusted services in the Seattle area that we are in the early stages of engaging with.
Timeline following funding delivery (ideal scenario, If goal reached)
Day 1: Stare at computer screen in complete disbelief. Get a little emotional realizing that “rewards” orders from our pledgers will turn the key to empower others and potentially change lives for the better! Update our social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) with the news.
Week 1: Complete assembly of pledger details. Add “Thank Yous!” to www.tarpwallets.com special page. Determine top 5 regions pledges have been received from and investigate charitable foundations focusing on homeless services in these areas. Finalize negotiations for raw materials. As a serious buyer, we’ll leverage the power of our funding to bring costs down and develop long term relationships. Sewing contractors will also be narrowed down by way of a bidding and quality process. Once again, we’re striving to use local resources to cut down on transportation needs. Samples will be requested and received as a part of the vetting process. Packaging options will also be investigated (all options are currently quoting a 2 week lead time at most). Issue press releases on the successful Kickstarter experience and increase in production. Follow up with prior retail contacts to advise of ramp up in production and future order thresholds.
Week 2: Manufacturing contract will be awarded to “best quality-to-cost” contractor. Having designed and manufactured the first 100 or so, we’ll provide direct instruction to maintain the standards already established. A back-up manufacturer will also be notified, in the event of the first selection defaulting. Raw materials source will be named and first order placed (delivered to manufacturer). Continued sourcing for remnant material. Packaging decision made and order placed for volume to cover 2X rewards count. Continued follow up with retail contacts in an effort to develop brand awareness and familiarity. Distribution sources will also be investigated.
Week 3: (Depending on final count) “Rewards” still in manufacturing stage. Random quality samples taken from inventory to ensure they are up to our high standards. Follow up on packaging materials to ensure delivery expected as scheduled. Contact charitable foundations within the most active 5 areas from “Rewards” orders. Learn more of issues affecting their area and how best to help give shelter! Continued distribution sourcing.
Week 4: Delivery of packaging materials. Begin packing and shipping of completed Tarp Wallets to pledgers! Continued discussion with retailers, wholesalers, distributors, etc. Begin investigation into international markets, to proudly ship “Made in the U.S.A.” around the world! Confirm remnant suppliers and establish deliverable commitments.
Week 5: Continued (depending on final count, completion) packing and shipping of completed Tarp Wallets to pledgers.
Week 6: Manufacturing continues in an effort to compile a retail viable stockpile. Expectation is to manufacture 2 – 3X the “Rewards” count.
Week 7+: Shelter Wallet Co. will schedule donation allotments to be issued out on a quarterly basis, until revenue levels deem it worthwhile to increase to monthly. We will continue to manufacture and distribute Tarp Wallets, knowing that each one sold will help someone in a very real way. The www.tarpwallets.com web site will also be requiring a re-vamp at some point in the not-too-distant future, depending on demand. Special edition runs will be entered into the manufacturing queue (count to be determined based on material availability.) The story of Shelter Wallet Co. will hopefully inspire others who are actively developing companies to include a level of community support into their financial stream.
Thank you once again for reading a bit about Shelter Wallet Co. and (fingers crossed) supporting us! We hope you enjoyed Tarpee McTarpster's tale!
Don't forget: Tarp is the new Leather!
Ryan Anderson - Founder / Lead Creationist
Born into an entrepreneurial family, Ryan has always looked at items of interest with a bit of a skewed angle, "I'm a strong supporter of Free Enterprise! If there's a way to tweak something and market it, I'm looking for it!"
Lemonade stands and paper routes weren't enough to entertain, he knew there were bigger fish to be caught. Around 13 years old, he wrote first business proposal by hand and illustrated a clothing concept, "RAW" (Ryan Anderson Wear) with colored pencils and crayons. It was on a whim while on summer vacation and that was the extent of his resources at the time. It turned out to be an indicator for other plans to follow: work with what you have! Throughout the years dozens of ideas have come and gone. From technical applications, to web based services, to clothing and accessories, the spectrum has been wide over the years. "Mom taught me to sew when I was young, so that's always been a bit of a skill I go to. The stitching is the easy part, it's the designing and replication that can get ya!". Even if there's not much of a market to direct his energies toward, sometimes you just need to see an idea become a reality, no matter how bad! "I generally just have to move forward with an idea, merely to get it out of my head. Otherwise, the What-ifs get in there and drive me crazy! If something comes of it, Great! If not, I have a clear mind to move on to the next one."
- Tarpee McTarpster - Ryan Anderson
- Shot entirely on: an iPhone
- Editing/Music: CatEater's "Silent Movie" app. Get it in the iTunes Apps!
- Shot on location: Snohomish, WA
If/When funding is successful, we'll reach out to you to take your order for color as well as get shipping details! We look forward to contacting you!
- (30 days)