Wirecutter featureThe year started off on a high note with SlimFold being featured by Wirecutter as their top pick in 2 categories for minimalist wallets. Since we don’t make leather wallets (the 3rd category) this was doing pretty good! It was a great honor to be recognized and I was so happy that this helped more people find out about us.
The Mask Project that Wasn’tThe San Francisco Bay Area was one of the first in the US to go on complete lockdown. It felt like the world stopped and I wanted to find a way I could help. When folks were struggling to find masks I thought maybe this would be a way I could contribute. But ultimately I didn’t feel like the solutions I came up with were significantly better than what was available. So I stopped the project (ultimately so so could develop the Sling Pack).
Fulfilling the Coin KickstarterWhen it came time to ship our Coin wallet Kickstarter rewards, they arrived like clockwork from Japan. But our fulfillment house was struggling to stay open and send things out. So we literally brought fulfillment “in house” from my home office in the converted garage. My four year old loved it and keeps asking me when we’re going to pack envelopes again!
Make Masks 2020When I found this group of distributed sewers making masks at home, I pitched in with to help with operations, material sourcing, and helped with their postage expenses. I also connected them with some sewing factories to help them scale their impact even more.
Running the Sling Pack KickstarterWhen the Sling Pack was ready to go I really wasn’t sure whether to move forward with it or just hold off until sometime in 2021. I had been using prototypes for months and found it extremely useful as a daily bag even during the pandemic. So ultimately I decided to release it. The campaign was successful, we’re producing the rewards, and they’re available for pre-order here.
WildfiresThe wildfires also struck Northern California particularly hard. Some folks in the artist community where my studio is located had to evacuate from their homes in the Santa Cruz mountains. The skies were surreal and it only added to the apocalyptic atmosphere of the lockdown.
New York Times featureAfter all was said and one, we had very strong demand during Christmas, fueled by being featured in the online gift guide of the New York Times. There was a big extra push to get orders out and my wife and son had to jump back in to help with shipping. But we made it through the rush of Black Friday. Wheew!
The rest of the holiday season is typically a bit slower so I started winding down and planning for 2021. But then all of a sudden we had a spike of orders... but I couldn’t tell where they were coming from. Usually things show referrals in tools like Google Analytics but there was nothing unusual. Were they fraud? I thought. Should I even ship these wallets? So I started asking some customers how they heard about us. The New York Times they said. This was still confusing because that feature had run a few weeks ago and I could see the traffic at the time.
Well, it turned out it was in the print edition! After figuring out which date it ran on, I asked both my mom and sister if they had it. My mom had already cleared out all her newspapers but because of that big snowstorm in New York, my sister still had her copy and sent it to me.
It’s a small piece of paper, but it was a nice little high note to end the year on.
Since it was so close to Christmas, I packed and sent most of the orders myself from my studio and my son got his wish to pack some more envelopes!
The Year AheadI’ve got a couple of really cool projects I’m working on that I’m really excited about. One in particular is really challenging and I’m learning a lot about prototyping with 3D printing and laser cutting. I’m spending most afternoons in my studio doing R&D on them and can’t wait to share them...
Thanks to each of you for helping us get through the year… hopefully if you got a product from us it helped make your year just a bit better too.