Years ago, a few of us had made some primitive versions from leather scraps for personal use. We’d gotten used to the format, but hadn’t seriously considered refining them until we saw how the minimalist genre had really picked up on Kickstarter. The problem with what we found there was that they were all very similar, relying on elastic bands and straps. We thought we could find a better solution.
Like all Grovemade products, it took collaboration from every member of our team to make the wallet what it is. And that journey was as much about refining the process itself, as the product.
Sean Kelly’s first job at Grovemade was hand-sanding wooden iPhone cases in the early days of the company, and he was named Lead Designer in 2014 as part of a restructuring of the design department, which included diversifying our product offering.
“The piece is really special because it was one of our first as a new design team. We all pushed each other to strive for the best; to make something that we hadn’t before. This was the first step in where we wanted to go and what we wanted to do.”
We brought the debate up to Stefan and he proposed a race. Ken would use a traditional wallet and pick out the third card and Stefan would use our wallet.
Ready. Set. Go...
The results weren't even close. As Ken fumbled with the traditional wallet, Stefan had already slammed his third card down on the table emphatically. The debate was over. The Grovemade Minimalist Wallet was approved for production!
That’s where engineer Galen Lee came in to help fine-tune the design. Galen worked with the production team to ensure the thumbhole on the back of the wallet was just the right size. He worked with metal vendors to identify materials that would offer the perfect balance of elegance and durability. And he worked with the machinists to ensure that holes in the steel faceplate were the perfect size and orientation to countersink the screw heads while maintaining a snug fit to the aluminum frame.