We're a handmade leather goods company raising $20k to build something the industry has never seen before.
We’re creating a web app that will allow people anywhere in the world to build their own premium-quality, handcrafted wallet made in Portland. Think NikeID but for US-made wallets. When it’s built, you’ll get to fully customize the wallet you’ll own for years using an interface that’s beautiful, freeform, user friendly...and fun!
To get there, we need your help! Back our project and get our most popular wallet designed by you and made for you.
A super quick background on Woolly
- Jake Fromer, a former Nike apparel innovator, and Jeff Heil, a freelance user interface designer, officially started the brand in 2017, six years after meeting in product design school at University of Oregon.
- Started making wallets in their basement using a unique blend of high technology and old school craft. The wallets are designed digitally, laser cut and then hand sewn and finished.
- Built an online store at www.woollymade.com.
- Developed a product line that is now carried by 25 boutique retailers in nearly 100 store locations in the US, Canada and Japan.
Problem 1: Most people don't love their wallet.
We've talked to A LOT of people about their wallets in the last 3 years. We've learned most people don't love their wallet because either they have a wallet that's just like everyone else's or they have so much stuff packed in it that they're embarrassed every time they take it out. We think you should love the products in your life, especially those you carry with you every day.
Problem 2: People want their handmade products made personal, but custom is inefficient and expensive.
People want custom, especially for a personal handmade item like a wallet. But the process is inefficient and expensive on both ends. The customer has to order in person, by phone or email, usually with back and forth negotiations on price and design, and all without ever seeing what it will look like until it's made. And the maker has to adjust their process, agonize about how to value their time and hold their breath when they ship it hoping it's what the customer had in mind. Something's missing...
WoollyLab is a new experience that lets you be the designer of your own handcrafted wallet. Imagine NikeID but for US-made wallets. Choose your leather colors, stitching, pattern and inscription. Watch your idea come to life right before your eyes until it’s perfectly yours.
The interface works like the creative process. It's freeform and iterative, full of feedback and inspiration, and, best of all, it gives you all the control. The options are curated so it's easy to get started and arrive at something beautiful. Still, the possibilities are endless.
Choose your leather colors, stitching, pattern and inscription.
We tested our concept in a pilot study...and it worked!
To test our idea, we made a paper version of the app we're now developing and ran a 2-phase pilot study where a total of 32 participants each had the option to submit up to 3 designs before narrowing down to their favorite. Here are a few key things we learned that help inform the design of our web app:
- Everybody wants something different. Out of 90 total designs received, not one person had the same design as another.
- People want to see their designs and iterate. 29/32 sent in all 3 design forms we gave them and 10 of them asked to design more.
- People are more creative with inspiration. We gave the second group the first group’s designs as inspiration. The second group produced more unique designs as a result.
How we make our products
Our production process blends high technology with old school craft techniques. We design our patterns digitally, laser cut the parts, carefully hand sew and edge-finish. It's a process that makes our wallets distinctly precise, but with handcraft character. We use premium leather from Wickett & Craig, one of the last vegetable tanneries in the US. Our products soften, stretch and patina beautifully over time.
We're designing a complete process that's integrated and built for scale.
Our unique production method enables us to scale handmade. With the push of a button, we can cut wallet parts and engrave patterns and custom inscriptions all on one machine. The wallet parts have precut stitch holes that allow for faster and more precise hand sewing. We're now training a network of on-demand, independent hand sewers to assemble custom designed wallets, allowing us to manage 70% of our production process off-site.
The app will automate the process of receiving custom orders and delivering them to us in a format that fits seamlessly with our production process.
**Father’s Day Gift Option** Give a customizable wallet as a gift for Father’s Day! Father’s Day is just around the corner and we’re giving you the option to make a custom Half wallet reward a gift for a dad in your life. We’ll send our survey at the end of the campaign on May 27 and, if you choose this option, we’ll send a digital gift card to the person of your choice with all the details and a promo code to customize when WoollyLab is live.
OUR GRATITUDE – Pledge $5 or more
To show our gratitude for your support, you'll get a thank you note from us and behind-the-scenes updates on WoollyLab as we build the app.
STICKERS AND PIN – Pledge $12 or more
Rep the Woolly brand with swag! You'll receive 2 premium kiss-cut stickers (one mammoth sticker and one logo sticker) each about 3x3" and a 1/2" enamel pin (your choice of black or white).
CLIP KEYCHAIN BY WOOLLY – Pledge $23 or more
Save $5 on one of our most popular products. Made with vegetable tanned leather and durable steel, Clip Keychain holds your keys on one end and connects securely to your belt, bag or purse on the other. Standard product. Choose from select colors later.
WOOLLYLAB: HALF WALLET (EARLY BIRD) – Pledge $50 or more
Regularly $75 (a $23 early bird savings). Be the first to experience WoollyLab. Design your own minimal, premium-quality wallet handcrafted in Portland. Choose your leather colors, thread color, pattern and inscription. All supporters will have the opportunity to be listed on our website when WoollyLab launches this summer.
PORTLAND GEAR COLLAB HALF WALLET – Pledge $55 or more
Here by popular demand, we're offering a limited run of Half wallets from the Portland Gear collab line. It features a pocket with the signature state of Oregon outline and teal thread. Save $20 when you choose this reward available in Natural or Black leather.
PORTLAND GEAR COLLAB LANDSCAPE/PORTRAIT/PASSPORT WALLET – Pledge $75 or more
We're offering a limited run of Portland Gear collab wallets. Each one features a pocket with a signature state of Oregon outline and teal thread. Save up to $55 when you choose from one of the following styles available in Natural or Black leather: Landscape wallet, Portrait wallet or Passport wallet.
THE PAT CONNAUGHTON HALF WALLET – Pledge $75 or more
NBA guard Pat Connaughton of the Portland Trailblazers designed his own Half wallet and we're offering a limited run. Pat's wallet features natural and burgundy leather, etched moon and perforated dot patterns, off-white stitching and his logo.
Back this reward and the proceeds will be shared with Pat and his With Us Foundation (withusfoundation.com) which is helping kids access sports.
WOOLLYLAB: 2 HALF WALLETS (EARLY BIRD) – Pledge $96 or more
Regularly $150 (a $54 early bird savings). Be the first to experience WoollyLab. Design 2 minimal, premium-quality wallets handcrafted in Portland. Choose your leather colors, thread color, pattern and inscription. All supporters will have the opportunity to be listed on our website when WoollyLab launches this summer.
WOOLLYLAB: 1 HALF WALLET + PRODUCT PACK – Pledge $230 or more
Regularly $300 (a $70 savings). Be among the first to experience WoollyLab. Design your own minimal, premium-quality Half wallet handcrafted in Portland. Choose your leather colors, thread color, pattern and inscription. Also you'll get a Passport wallet, Coaster set, Stick-On wallet and Clip Keychain. Choose colors later. All supporters will have the opportunity to be listed on our website when WoollyLab launches this summer.
MAKER DAY WITH WOOLLY – Pledge $750 or more
Spend a day with WOOLLY's co-founders! Come to our Portland studio to design and make your own custom Half wallet PLUS a custom Product Pack including the Passport wallet, Stick-On wallet and Clip keychain. Choose your leather colors, thread color, pattern and inscription for all products. We'll spend some time brainstorming ideas and making new products in our studio. We'll even take you out to lunch at one of our favorite Portland restaurants, hang out and have a good time! We'll find a date that works for you.
VIP PORTLAND TRIP – Pledge $2,000 or more
Get a 2-night stay in downtown Portland. Have a Maker Day with Woolly where you'll get to design and make your own custom Half wallet PLUS a custom Product Pack including the Passport wallet, Stick-On wallet and Clip keychain. Choose your leather colors, thread color, pattern and inscription for all products. Enjoy an adventure in the city including a coffee and brew tour and a $250 Portland Gear shopping spree. Take away Portland gifts from Jacobsen Salt Co., Moonstruck Chocolate, Bee Local Honey and Water Avenue Coffee. We'll find a date that works for you. *airfare not included
Risks and challenges
We’ve been filling orders worldwide through periods of high and low demand for 18 months. We anticipate production will increase following this campaign and have taken steps to prepare. We have hired full-time production assistance, trained a network of on-demand independent sewers and moved production into a larger commercial space.
WEB APP DEVELOPMENT
We are experienced with user interface design and development. We’re working with a web and mobile app development firm that specializes in projects like this one and we're on a schedule to deliver the app at the end of June. While unlikely, it’s possible the launch of the app is delayed due to unexpected technical issues encountered during the build. If these issues occur, it’s possible our delivery dates will be postponed.
- (30 days)