We take some time to learn a little about about 'carrying better' with Australian wallet-making company, Bellroy.
It might not be something you think about all that much, or it might drive you crazy, but your wallett is something you most likely take everywhere with you. We take a few minutes to talk to Bellroy’s Andy Fallshaw about the things that carry our things…
How did Bellroy come to be? What’s your story?
We’re a group of friends that want to improve the way we carry. It’s crazy to think how prehistoric most wallets and bags are; the way they bulge and gape and frequently fail us.
So we figured we should start from first principles, and rethink how our daily things are best carried.
Who are you?
I guess Hadrien and I seeded the idea, having designed bags and wallets together for a major surf company. We both have a long design history in the carry area, and yet have never worked for the sort of brand that suited what we really want to design.
We also have some crazy talented friends, so pretty soon we were recruiting all sorts of crew to help with the vision. There’s no agencies or design houses, just a group of friends that hate bulging pockets.
You seem to believe in more than just wallets, what’s your philosophy?
Haha, that’s a trick question… how can we not sound silly and full of ourselves? I guess the root of it is that we want to carry better. We want to be able to mix work and play, remain impulsive, and yet always have the right things by our sides.
(These wallets have the same contents!)
We want to wear skinny jeans or suit pants without our wallet bulging, and we want to get home from a surf trip without sand all through our things. So that’s what we call ‘carrying better’, and I guess you could call it a philosophy.
What inspires you?
Human creativeness… but that’s a cheat answer.
Great craft inspires me, and I don’t mean the ‘craft look’. I mean the objects that have had real thought and understanding put into them, that are meant to be used by humans and form a connection with that use. I guess great craftsfolk were the original geeks, dedicating themselves to deep understanding in a particular area. That’s kinda inspiring to me.
Are you a Design Hunter™?
If 234 blog subscriptions (is it that many?!), 32 podcast subscriptions, frequent design travel and a house full of things I love qualifies me, then yeah, I’m a Design Hunter™. For me, it’s about insights.
I love when someone has seen the world in a way that others never saw, and then managed to capture that in an object or picture or story or business. It helps you feel stoke for humankind, knowing that there are great minds still pushing our potential.
Can you tell us a bit about the materials you use?
We’re suckers for leather, because for wallets, there’s still nothing that performs so well for so long. We then make life harder for ourselves by only using vegetable tanned leathers, which have a lower impact on both the planet and the people tanning the hides.
While for us these leathers are both harder to work with and more expensive, for the customer they show more character with age, developing a rich patina unique to the owner. There’s also recycled polyester linings and paper packaging, but it’s the leather that matters most with a wallet.
What next for Bellroy?
We have a couple of new wallets we are in the final stages of refining, and then you might see a bag or two if all goes well. However we’re not rushing. We really want to make sure that every single product we release is interesting, well thought through, and brings something new to the carry world. And that takes time!
One of the things we have been most delighted by is how strongly the Carry community is growing. We spend a lot of time exploring ideas with carryology.com, and the crew that are finding it are incredible. All sorts of bag and wallets lovers are sharing ideas, giving feedback to thoughts and theories, and even contributing articles. If you’re looking for ideas to slim down your wallet, find a new backpack, or learn about leather care, it’s well worth a check.