Cyber Weekend is ON! November 27 2015, 0 Comments
We couldn't wait 'til Monday! Cyber Weekend starts right meow.
Use code CYBERWEEKEND and take 40% off your entire order – including sale items!
This once-a-year offer is not applicable to previous purchases, and cannot be combined with other offers. Expires Monday at midnight.
Holiday Shipping is on Us! November 24 2015, 0 Comments
To help make holiday shopping a little easier on the ol' bank account, we're treating all our US customers to FREE SHIPPING! No code necessary. Free Shipping Offer Details: Depending on weight, your order will ship via USPS First-Class or USPS Priority. Offer available to US addresses only. Here's a handy infographic with carrier deadlines for holiday shipments. Offer expires Thursday, Dec. 17th
Objective Design Shop by Distil Union is now open! November 24 2015, 0 Comments
Last week was the grand opening of our long-awaited Objective Design Shop! To celebrate our freshly open (and freshly painted) doors, we invited close friends and family to come and preview the store. To make it a real party we served popcorn, Pop Rocks, and popped champagne as our first-ever Sip of the Day.
What's Objective Design Shop you ask? Over the holidays, we’re bringing Charleston a taste of what inspires us. Influenced by design stores in Hong Kong and museum gift shops in New York, our goal for Objective Design Shop pop-up store is to fulfill the need for a modern design source in our community. Every item we’ve selected for our shelves is purposeful, desirable, and simply delightful. Brands we carry include Braun, Lexon, Fellow, Umbra Shift, Most Modest, Areaware, Yield, Leff, and so much more. We’re thrilled to present this global pop-up experience within our local design studio. Check our Instagram for shop hours. We're located at 525 King Street above Magnifilous Toy Emporium.
Design That Inspires | Fellow Products November 10 2015, 0 Comments
In 2014, we backed the Duo by Fellow when it was making its way into the production realm via Kickstarter. After some heart-wrenching production challenges, ours finally arrived – and we shared our experience in the kitchen. Success!
Since the debut of the Duo, they've expanded their product line to include the Stagg Kettle in Matte Black or Chrome, and the beautiful copper-bottomed Joey Mug. These lovelies are DU Approved, and you can see why: Their fluid yet sturdy lines. Their clever mix of materials and finishes. And last but not least, the beauty of these objects is inherent to their functionality. Well done, Fellow!
To stay up-to-date with our latest design that inspires finds, follow our Pinterest board.
DU's Favorite Crowd-Funding Campaigns in November November 09 2015, 0 Comments
As our own Kickstarter campaign for Wally Micro is coming to an end this Friday, we've collected our favorite projects on Kickstarter that are still open for backing.
The Maya Angelou Documentary Bob Hercules and Rita Coburn Whack have been working to create the first Maya Angelou documentary. Thus far they've put their own resources and earned grants to fund it, but need help on Kickstarter with the remaining production costs.
The Transformer Rail: World's First Transformable Grind Rail Another Kickstarter out of Charleston this month is the Transformer Rail. A skateboarder's dream, this grind rail turns into various sizes and configurations.
Hatch Pet Carrier This pet carrier looks a bit more practical than our catbackpack... Hatch allows you to not only discretely and stylishly transport your furry friend, but their patented direct reach feature allows you to pet your animal or give them a treat without unzipping any openings large enough for them to escape from. Treat hatch!
Freedesk – The World's Most Available Standing Desk We love using our standing desks in our office, so we're quite impressed by this little invention that makes it easy make any workspace a standing one.
TStand Tablet Stand The TStand is a lightweight tablet stand that makes tablet use hands free in almost any position. Ergonomically genius, this makes for efficient pop-corn eating while traveling or vegging out.
To stay up-to-date with our latest crowd-funded finds, follow our Pinterest board.Visit Distil Union's Pinterest.
Distil Union's October Instagram Highlights November 03 2015, 0 Comments
October came at us in full force. We're glad we documented it all on Instagram, because it flew by. But you know what they say about time flying...
We're workin' hard and having fun, with lots in store for the upcoming holiday season. So be sure to follow @distilunion on Instagram for sneak peeks, insider info, and exclusive holiday promotions! Here's a snapshot of last month at Distil Union:
+ We sampled some delicious sips, great noms and short films at the New Belgium's Clips Beer & Film Tour in Marion Square. Proceeds went to benefit Charleston Moves, one of our favorite local organizations with a vision for Charleston of safe, connected, livable streets.
+ The crowning achievement of the month for us was launching Wally Micro on Kickstarter! This was our 5th Kickstarter campaign, and we can't thank our backers enough for funding us in just three hours, a Distil Union record. The campaign will run through November 13th, so there's still time to order yours!
+ Our friends at Ink Meets Paper and Fink Toys, welcomed us into their new studio space (Fink and Ink) for a tour! These creative minds had an amazing vision for an empty warehouse in Park Circle up in North Charleston, and brought their shop to life with some amazing and inspiring details.
+ After 4 years of ho-hum business cards, we stepped up our game with some handsome cards printed by Crayton Heritage in North Carolina. The crisp white-foil printing looks pretty darn sharp on the muted chipboard, which has a great weight without being too snobby – hey, just like us!
+ Joaquin overstayed his welcome here in South Carolina with historic amounts of rain and unprecedented flooding. We were lucky to have experienced minimal damage in Charleston, but other parts of our state were not so fortunate. If you are able to help, we encourage you to donate time or resources to the Red Cross who continues to work hard to provide disaster relief.
+ Mary attended the Revolve Conference at Wild Dunes Resort where she heard speakers and practitioners give presentations on marketing and human-centered UX design. Wally made his way into the swag bags for a little love for the conference guests from the locals.
Feature Friday: Wally Micro on Everyday Carry October 30 2015, 0 Comments
This week our favorite minimalist site Everyday Carry reviewed our latest product, Wally Micro. Earlier this month, Micro hit the ground running on Kickstarter and achieved full funding in just three hours.
Thanks, Mikey! Needless to say, we're super thrilled to gain EDC's approval of our newest Wally pull-tab wallet.
"Carrying a bland, bulky wallet is no fun. Today's gear of the day is an interesting little wallet with plenty of character. It's got a few more features than you'd expect from something so small. Distil Union's signature tab is front and center on the Wally Micro. This makes it accessible and easy to find in a pocket, and smoothly retrieves your essentials with a quick pull." –Mikey Bautista, Everydaycarry.com
With just 2 weeks left in the Kickstarter campaign, we'll be headed into production soon. Don't miss your chance to become a Backer and score a Wally Micro or 2-pack at a great discount.
Join our mailing list for 20% off! October 28 2015, 0 Comments
First-time subscribers to our mailing list get 20% off their first order! Sign up now, offer ends 10/31/2015 at midnight PDT.
Alon David's Everyday Carry October 23 2015, 0 Comments
Earlier this month, photographer Alon David shared his everyday carry on Instagram. A photographer that travels the world, he keeps his items light and simple with the Apple Watch, Passion Planner, USB, Panerai 372 watch, iPhone, and Wally Sleeve in Ninja Black!
To keep up with our everyday carry finds, follow along on our EDC Pinterest board.Visit Distil Union's Pinterest.
DU's Favorite Crowd-Funding Campaigns in October October 21 2015, 0 Comments
It's been the best experience being part of the Kickstarter community over the past four years. The platform it provides for small start-ups is an innovative development that has leveled the playing field for designers around the globe. Kickstarter gives designers the opportunity to put their creative products into production that otherwise may have remained drawings in a sketchbook. We've collected some of our favorite projects that are campaigning this month, and be sure to check out our own Wally Micro that launched on Kickstarter a few weeks ago!
solidLUUV camera stabilizer This brilliantly engineered camera stabilizer eliminates shake from your videos. It fits GoPro, smart phones, and compact digital cameras.
SOS 20K is a durable and solar powered battery that acts as a charger where ever you are. Imagine not worrying about charging your GoPro on those week-long backpacking trips.
Raincheck Google technologist Nick Jonas has designed and developed a beautiful umbrella stand that indicates rain in the day's forecast with LEDs. You'll always know when to bring your umbrella.
Wildcard is a handy multi-tool complete with a knife, pry bar, ruler, bottle opener, and screwdriver in the size of a credit card so it fits easily in your wallet for a more versatile everyday carry. The knife blade is detachable so you can leave it at home while you're air traveling – something many multi-tools don't offer.
Coffee & Tea Diagrams Jason Haynes has created a series of useful, infographical posters that tell the story of the origins of coffee and tea. Now you can be a smarter sipper of the caffeinated beverages that are basically your lifeblood.
To stay up-to-date with our latest crowd-funded finds, follow our Pinterest board.Visit Distil Union's Pinterest.
Design That Inspires: Braun Watches October 20 2015, 0 Comments
For 95 years, industrial design powerhouse, Braun, has given us timeless, quality products. Some of our favorites are in their line of beautifully simple watches. These small timepieces are honest in form and material which embodies all of the design principles the company represents.
Speaking of design principles, the author of the 10 Principles of Good Design, Dieter Rams was an early contributor to the success of Braun. In 1955 at the age of 23, Rams was hired by Braun as an interior designer. Soon after, he helped springboard the company's product line into the iconic modern design style it's known for today.
A bit of trivia: the first watch released by Braun in the 1970s was digital, not analog! We'd wear it.
The Braun timepieces (and calculators) that we know today are licensed produced by Zeon Ltd., which has successfully bolstered the brand and kept it a forerunner in the modern watch market. The products are sold by design retailers all over the world.
RFID: To Block, or Not To Block October 19 2015, 0 Comments
These days, it seems like it's easier than ever to fall victim to identity theft. Hacking is an ever-advancing art, and it's hard to believe that a thief can electronically gather your information with RFID readers from several feet away. However, it can be done, and there are many companies who have created foil-lined pouches that block RFID scanning from individual credit and debit cards.
While wrapping your cards in metal may be effective in blocking skimming, the question is: Are these little credit-card "foil hats" truly necessary?
Luckily, these days RFID chips in credit and debit cards only send a one-time code for each transaction made, keeping unencrypted credit card numbers from transmitting anywhere. This limits any thief to only one potential stolen transaction. Additionally, major credit card companies do not hold customers accountable for fraudulent payments made in this manner. So at most, a foil RFID blocker would prevent one transaction that you're already protected from.
The real threat to credit card hacking is in the form of ATM skimmers. Thieves place readers into any ATM or point of sale device where cards are read, and all of your data is collected. For them, it's much more efficient and they can gather thorough data in large quantities this way. Unfortunately, a foil sleeve or lined wallet can't protect you from this. The good news is the U.S. is finally adopting the Euro-style chip and pin pairing called EMV cards. They've been using this across the pond for nearly a decade, and it seems to be an effective redesign for minimizing fraud.
"...RFID-based contactless payment systems have recently fallen out of favor among U.S. credit card companies. They’re focusing instead on implementing a European-style chip-and-PIN system known as EMV, which uses different technology and is less vulnerable to remote skimming. (EMV cards may come with their own security risks, but again, an RFID-blocking wallet won’t help you with those.)" – Slate.com
While the ubiquitous ATM skimmers are an increasing problem that makes nearly everyone vulnerable to theft, there are a few precautions one can take to avoid becoming a victim:
- Try to make withdrawals or transactions only at ATMs in a bank lobby, or even better– directly from a bank teller.
- Look closely at the card reader on an ATM and find a different one if it appears loose or noticeably different than before.
- Along with the skimming device itself, thieves will also plant a tiny camera nearby to pick up your pin number. Always use one hand to cover the hand that's typing in your pin.
And bonus: all of these fraud-prevention practices are free! So, what's the final verdict on RFID-blocking cards and foil sleeves?
"If you’re bent on traveling incognito—perhaps you’re a spy, or an international person of mystery—an RFID-blocking wallet or sleeve might be a prudent precaution. Otherwise, odds are you’ll be just fine without one." – Slate.com
Plus, there's actually a very real benefit to not blocking your cards. Many people carry cards (subway, work key-cards, etc) that can be read wirelessly through your wallet. By not using RFID-blocking, you can enjoy tap-and-go convenience without having to remove those cards from your wallet. And so for convenience and to keep our wallets slim, we skip RFID-blocking cards – but will probably grab a sleeve for our passports just in case.
Our Favorite Apps for a Slimmer Wallet October 16 2015, 1 Comment
Minimizing your daily carry is our m.o. here at Distil Union. In addition to slimmer wallets by design, we're always cheering for reducing bulk by carrying only the essentials with you. This means simply carrying a debit card, maybe a credit card, a drivers license, and one other card that you absolutely need. Anything else can be kept in a separate location at home, or even– digitized in your mobile phone.
Yes, there are apps for that. We've collected our favorites for effectively helping you trim down your everyday carry (and all of these are free or have free versions).
1.) Apple Pay lets you scan and save digital versions of your cards so you can make purchases directly from your phone. It's becoming increasingly accepted in brick-and-mortar stores and even online. And if you can't live without the satisfaction of physically swiping a card, there are lots of options for rolling all of your cards (debit, credit, and even gift cards) into one piece of plastic! The future is now.
Important side-note: Apple Pay is part of the Apple Wallet suite, which replaced Passbook as a place to digitally store things like boarding passes and reward cards.
2.) Starbucks App for iPhone and Android can replace that gift card that's always in your wallet. You can even order and pay before you walk in the door so you can skip the line and go.
3.) The days of stuffing hordes of paper receipts into your wallet are over. The app OneReceipt indexes all of your receipts and helps to keep you organized. Digital receipts can be stored here as well as photos of paper receipts.
4.) Key Ring is the best solution for getting rid of those pesky plastic barcode tags you're carrying around on your keychain. Not only can you scan these barcodes in the store straight from the app, it keeps track of coupons and promotions so you never miss out on the chance to save. Whoa.
5.) Evernote has untold powers of organization. As Evernote says, "business card piles are the worst" – and their new camera functionality boasts even more paper-saving power. The Premium version even links your snapshot with the person's LinkedIn profile, so networking becomes a little easier on you and your wallet.
Visit Distil Union's Pinterest.
Follow our Pinterest board for more ways to live minimally.
EDC Product Review: KeySmart October 15 2015, 0 Comments
I searched for a while to find the best solution to reduce and manage the bulk of my key collection. Just like the world of minimalist wallets, the market for minimal key organizers is quickly growing. I had decidedly set out to find the best ‘pocket-knife’ style key organizer, and after trying a couple of others I settled on the KeySmart:
KeySmart launched their first version of the product in May 2013 on Kickstarter. Like many of other similarly designed key organizers, the KeySmart archives its minimal dual-sided carry though the use of sex bolts aka barrel nut or Chicago screws. What makes the KeySmart so unique and versatile is the ability to customize the length of the bolts with extenders; this allows your KeySmart to hold 2-50 keys simply by adding more extenders. This means that one KeySmart can grow with you! No need to buy a new product or carry multiple organizers. My only "con" for the KeySmart is that my bike-lock key doesn't fit. Beyond bike keys though, there are loads of customization options. KeySmart offers a useful array of accessories like the included Loop for attaching to a key ring a USB thumb drive, bottle opener and a golf divot tool. It's like a Swiss Army knife that also holds your keys.
– Brian Stetson, Distil Union's resident Kickstarter connoisseur and everyday carry enthusiast.
To stay up-to-date with our latest everyday carry finds, follow our Pinterest board.Visit Distil Union's Pinterest.
Introducing Wally Micro October 13 2015, 0 Comments
Our smallest wallet yet is now live on Kickstarter. Meet Wally Micro. He's capable of carrying up to 10 cards along with a few folded bills, and minimizes bulk with our signature pull tab design. We've sourced 5 different colors of vegetable-tanned Italian leather for a brand new color experience. Each wallet is reversible of two different leather colors, so you get twice the beautiful material.
The Wally Micro campaign was fully funded in less than four hours! We can't thank you enough for your overwhelming support. The even better news is that there's still 30 more days to buy your Micro. This campaign will end on November 13th.
Stay tuned for exciting how-tos and updates during the campaign. Follow along on Kickstarter.
Design That Inspires | Urbanears October 13 2015, 0 Comments
The Humlan headphones by Urbanears are hands-down our office favorite. Each DU team member has a different snazzy color. Not only do they look awesome, but it's easy to keep them looking that way: Simply remove the cushions from the ears and headband, wash, and put back on. It's like you get a new pair of headphones each time! You can also buy each part in different colors to mix and match, or try what some of us here have done: For an even more minimal look, use 'em without the headband cover. The fun is real, and the options are endless.
Every pair also features a built-in microphone for easy hands-free phone calls, which is perfect for our shared-studio workspace.
Not only is the Urbanears team made up of exceptional designers, they're also pretty great people. To help with the current refugee crisis, they've donated 5% of their profits from September and October to UNICEF and will continue to do so through the end of the month. There's still time left to make your purchase a helpful one.
To stay up-to-date with our latest design that inspires finds, follow our Pinterest board.Visit Distil Union's Pinterest.
We're Dropping One More Hint October 07 2015, 0 Comments
We're dropping one more hint about our latest Kickstarter launching this week.
Enjoy this clue from 2002.
Everyday Carry giveaway October 06 2015, 0 Comments
Everyday Carry is offering a sweet giveaway this week. A while back, they reviewed Wally Bifold and now they've included him in this great collection of useful objects. The window for entries is closing soon, so make sure you get a shot at a chance to win these sturdy carryables.
Distil Union's September Instagram Highlights October 02 2015, 0 Comments
September was a happening month, and we've put together the highlight reel to sum it all up!
+ Early in the month, BB-8 visited us at the studio when we all tuned in to the anticipated Apple Event. Their latest advancements were announced, including the one we'd all been waiting for: the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus! We've tested 'em ourselves – and YES! Wally Case and Wally Stick-On both fit the new iPhones, too.
+ Pemba was able to rearrange her busy schedule to accept the part-time cat intern position. She just bought this sweet cat backpack by U-Pet for getting around town in style.
+ Our friends downstairs at Magnifilous helped us complete our first-ever #WalletMakeover! We're taking submissions for our next makeover now, so enter a pic of your sad wallet on Instagram with #WalletMakeover and follow @distilunion. We'll choose a winner on October 30th. You could win a free wallet. So go, what are you waiting for?!
+ Mary was officially initiated to the DU team with a ceremonial bike portrait! For the setting she picked a hot spot in our new neighborhood – the old 492 King St.
+ We started filming a video. No big whoop. Stay tuned for some awesome news on the Kickstarter front...
+ On the 18th, our team attended Creative Mornings at the Charleston Library Society to hear College of Charleston Professor Brett Lott spoke about empathy in the creative world. He certainly left us inspired and pensive. Creative Mornings Charleston also celebrated their 1st birthday of operation in Charleston! We're sure glad to have a place to gather regularly with fellow creatives. Congrats, and HBDCMCHS!
Be sure you're following us on Instagram for insights, sneak peeks, and exclusive deals. And to enter to win a Wally Wallet Makeover!
New Colors for a New Product October 01 2015, 0 Comments
We've been doing quite a bit of color matching lately. There's a fun fresh palette we've picked that expands our color selection by leaps and bounds. Last week our pals at Artist and Craftsman lent us their color-matching eyes to pull trinkets and paper to match our swatches.
What's the product you ask? You'll have a to wait just a bit longer for our Kickstarter to launch. Don't worry! It's just days away.
Now taking YOUR submissions for our next #WalletMakeover September 30 2015, 0 Comments
Remember our last wallet makeover? We want to give away another new Wally to someone in need of a slimmer wallet!
To enter to win a free Distil Union Wallet Makeover:
2.) Post a photo of your sad wallet that needs to be replaced
3.) Use #WalletMakeover in your caption
That's it! We'll pick our favorite to be the winner on October 30th.
For National Coffee Day, We Put Duo To The Test September 29 2015, 0 CommentsAbout a year ago we backed the Duo coffee steeper on Kickstarter. After some formidable delivery challenges, our Duo arrived! We excitedly unboxed it and got to steepin'.
What better day to share our first Duo experience than today, National Coffee Day! I know what you're thinking – ISN'T EVERY DAY COFFEE DAY REFILL PLEASE. Relax, it's just that today we as a nation officially celebrate the magical bean. Here's our version, with a crowd-funding success story and local Charleston coffee roaster called Balzac.
The Duo was easy to use once assembled – there are a few parts involved, and you could definitely do it wrong but luckily, like Ikea, it was sort of fun following Duo's directions. Actually, the company's sense of humor was one of the things that sold us on their Kickstarter (their video is still one of our favorites).
Visiting Balzac was a mini adventure. Tucked away just off King St, the historic building was a surprising place to find a coffee roasting operation. They were out of their packaged Good Coffee dark roasts, so she bagged up some beans from a fresh batch (no one knows what roast it was exactly, but in the end it was tasty). We got back to the office and got started --
The Verdict While the coffee was on the weak side, that's an easy fix – next time we'll use more coffee. The Duo produces a small amount of coffee, and for a piece that takes up as much space in your kitchen as the Duo does, ideally it would make more coffee (at least filling up the bottom reservoir). It was easy to clean up, and looks pretty sitting on our countertop in between brews. Our hearts were set on the look of the first Duo that was shown on Kickstarter – an entirely glass body, so you could watch the brew being poured past the metal brewing chamber. Pretty slick, but also apparently pretty impossible to execute in production.
We had to hand it to the Fellow team for keeping everyone informed with updates along their bumpy ride – which included construction changes, shipping snags, and a rebranding. As designers who've dealt with the hiccups of mass production, our hearts went out to them; and as seasoned Kickstarter backers, we weren't surprised by the delays that are so often part of the crowd-funded experience.
All in all, Duo delivers a good brew. Mmm, coffee.
Next up: Steeping tea in the Duo! Hm, when is National Hot Tea Day?....
New Kickstarter Campaign is launching... soon September 29 2015, 0 Comments
If you've been keeping up with us on Instagram and Twitter, you may have caught this behind the scenes shot of when our cameras were rolling in the studio. Filming a video in the Distil Union studio can only mean one thing: a new Kickstarter campaign. Our in-house camera pro, Brian, cleverly set up the scene with a light, mic, and two cameras so we could talk about our latest design that will be headed into production shortly.
We're not divulging specifics of the new product just yet, but our newest product will be launching soon. Stay tuned, folks.
For those of you who are itching for some kind of clue, here's one:
Welcome, Mary Streeter! September 24 2015, 0 Comments
We've been waiting to announce Mary's arrival until we could capture on film the hot new wheels she scored – a sweet, sweet black and white Dolce! Found on Craigslist, this tall drink of water was a bit too tall for a gal in Summerville; Mary was happy to rescue such a sporty beauty. "It's a Dolce from Specialized, and my first road bike. I've enjoyed the newfound speed capabilities! Darting around town is a breeze now."
Speaking of helmets: Brace yourselves. With Mary on board, our tiny team of three just grew to a mighty team of four – the largest that Distil Union has ever been. Mary's quick. She's funny. And she's hella nice. Thanks to Mary, you can expect to see some shockingly good-looking content and improvements across the board in the way you experience Distil Union. So buckle up – and join us in welcoming her to the team!
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