The Distillery

Spring Break! Which wallet will you carry? March 26 2015

It's that time of year when collegiate minds take a break from months of concentrated studying and venture out across the sea for a quick backpack around Europe or a staycation on one of America's fine beaches. Spring Break! 

When traveling abroad, your faux French accent may not be the only thing that's a little awkward... foreign currencies like the Euro are larger in size than the dollar bill, so your everyday wallet probably won't match up. Transition with ease with the Wally Euro. Slim in design but sized for international currencies, the Wally Euro billfold comes in two styles: one with two pull-tab card pockets, the other with a squeeze-lock pouch for carrying coins.

 

Or if you're staying stateside, the beaches of Miami are always muy caliente! Wally Duo and iPhone Cases made a splash in the Funkshion VIP swag bags this past weekend. The minimalist designs are perfect front-pocket wallets – which as it turns out, is better for your clothes. Since our Spring Break was spent here in sunny Charleston, we'd like to thank @graphographics and our buddy Josh for the images from Miami!

 


Quote of the Day March 23 2015

"The more you leave out, the more you highlight what you leave in." –Henry Green



Sure Henry Green was actually talking about the fine art of writing fiction – but we find the same thing to be true of your wallet! You don't have to carry around with you every day the receipt from that burrito you got a few weeks ago. There are ways to lighten your load, as we discussed in this post of 5 Tips to Slim Your Wallet and Carry Less. Minimizing your daily carry is what Wally pull-tab wallets are designed to do, so we decided to subtly feature this quote on the inside of every box as an encouraging reminder.

We posted the above photo on our Instagram, but can't resist sharing this outtake: Here Pemba, one of the DU studio kittens, could no longer contain her curiosity...


#worstinternever


Feature Friday | Tailored Techies March 20 2015

The gentlemen at Tailored Techies gave Wally Case a try on their iPhone, and guess what – they loved it!

"It’s a rare occasion that a brand has both a quality and fashionable product that catches our eye. Finding a case that is both functional and low-profile at the same time is hard to come by. Good thing we found the Wally Wallet Case from Distil Union." –Steve L. Jackson at TailoredTechies.com
This glowing review based on their experience is music to our ears, as Tailored Techies is a men’s style site which prides itself in highlighting "tech and performance menswear, some of the latest information on wearable technologies, well-dressed individuals, and everything else in between." So we're especially pleased that they're pleased. Everyone is pleased! Good job, Wally.

Be sure to check out Tailored Techies, the place where men's fashion and technology meet.



We'll be Virtually Attending South by Southwest March 13 2015

There's so much greatness happening at South by Southwest Interactive this year. The DU team is bummed not to be there, but we've got our eye on what's in store and are looking forward to being inspired by what comes out of it.

As we mentioned in our recent rant/ramble about the Internet of Things, SXSW has identified IoT as one of the top 2015 Trends. And with the coming release of the Apple Watch, we're curious what those crowds really think about wearable tech – what do the folks who are attending SXSW actually wear and use?! Lindsay would take to the streets with a microphone and reporter's notepad.

Beyond steeping herself in geek research, Lindsay would rush the stage at Courtney Barnett. And take messy notes at the How To Be a More Inefficient Designer presentation by the brilliant guys at The Made Shop. Nate would balance all the techness by watching a bunch of films – especially documentaries. Instead we'll be listening, watching and logging on for some live keynote speakers from the comfort of the studio couch... with the kitties (who will surely start a blog of their own once they figure out how to 3D-print thumbs).

 


The Internet of Things | What is The IoT, and when will it start making my life better? March 13 2015

The Internet of Things. It's a phrase that has worked its way into the mainstream vernacular lately, becoming a bit of a buzzword. During the upcoming Interactive week at SXSW, there are more than 70 sessions scheduled that touch on this topic. As with most unfamiliar things, let's consult Wikipedia...

The Internet of Things is the network of physical objects or "things" embedded with electronics, software, sensors and connectivity to enable it to achieve greater value and service by exchanging data with the manufacturer, operator and/or other connected devices. 

So, objects that interoperate... what does that mean exactly? It means not just your smartphone is "smart" anymore. How about a smart home? Connect everyday physical items and devices so you can control them from afar, and so they can interact with other devices – a network of your things.

Now you get it – and now imagine the possibilities! Changing your Nest thermostat while you're out running errands is old news. If you and your friends get the Apple Watch, you can capture and share your heartbeats with each other. Because.. well, we're not sure why, but we're ready to admit that there's more going on with the Apple Watch than the average watch-reader is prepared to understand (or need). To see if the kids are brushing their teeth as they should, invest in a new Mother, which comes with Cookies and admittedly ups the IoT's creep-factor even beyond sharing heart beats.

Infographic: The Growth Of The Internet Of Things

Source: iScoop. Infographic Source: NCTA

The Internet of Things is exploding, popping up in products from Kickstarter to Home Depot – but is the public embracing it? Is it making our lives better, or at least easier? There are some big hurdles for the IoT to overcome. For many, it's hard to wrap their brain around the paradigm, much less apply it to their lives. It often takes a bit of skill to set up and successfully use those curtains that connect to your wifi – so we let the custom installers do it, and now there's something pricey in our homes we potentially can't fix ourselves. Like broken escalators that are still perfectly functional stairs, will we find ourselves fiddling with our Apple Watch trying to get the curtains to close?

Broken Escalator

Beyond the general public's hesitance or resistance to adoption, there's another speed bump: There's not yet a universal standard for devices and how they communicate with each other. Instead, we have a clumsy collection of separate things solving separate problems employing their own separate apps, all with the promise of connectivity. Alton Brown would call them 'unitaskers' – a melon baller sure does make good balls of melon, but that's all it can do, and arguably they are a poor investment. Many of these "smart" devices use their own hub systems and apps, which could easily end up cluttering our lives and our phones. 

Luckily, the smart people already saw this coming, and there are companies out there making strides to create commonality. In fact, a Charleston-based company and friends of ours, ISI Heatworks were sort of a big deal at TechCrunch last year, and this year at CES where they were part of Qualcomm's Internet of Everything. Their revolutionary tankless, digital water heater called Heatworks MODEL 1 uses AllJoyn for connection and automation – for example, saving custom temperatures for each family member's shower. The AllJoyn system enables you to connect and control all sorts of digital IoT devices for customized experiences and smart events around the house and even on the go. Now that's hot.

So for now, the IoT promises more possibilities than clear-cut solutions. Will it be huge? Definitely (and it already is in many industries). Are there potential pitfalls and drawbacks? Again, definitely. But meanwhile we're enjoying this generation's version of the automatic coffee maker that brews your morning joe before you open your eyes. Why set a timer when there's an app for that! Just make sure your operating systems are up to date and you've synced your latest bean-grind settings to the cloud. Oh, and that your internet is working *shakes fists at Comcast*...


Flashback Friday | Connecting to Capital March 06 2015

In early February, we participated as panelists on the Connecting to Capital workshop hosted by Lowcountry Local First. The workshop was a wonderful opportunity for locals to learn about a variety of funding sources in a one-stop-shop setup. As proud Lowcountry Local First members, Distil Union was there in full force (both of us!) to represent crowd-funding and share our experiences across four successful Kickstarter campaigns. Many thanks to our fellow panelist for their insights -- and thanks to the attendees for their great questions!
Photos by  Foxworthy Studios

UPDATE: The workshop was just featured in the Charleston Business Journal! Catch up with this great summary and quick quotes from all the panelists here


Wally Jr | The Universal Stick-On Wallet March 04 2015

Don’t have an iPhone, but want in on the secret wallet party? No sweat, Wally Jr Stick-On has you covered.

Samsung, Nexus, HTC, Blackberry, LG, Sony, Nokia , Xiaomi – name most any smartphone and Wally Jr loves 'em all! Easily adhere him to any smartphone with a flat area the size of a business card. So, unless you have the uber tiny Zoolander phone, Wally Jr will most likely work for you.

Not only does Wally Jr work with most smartphones, its stretchy fabric pocket allows for up to 8 cards, business cards, folded cash – even earbuds or a charging cable – to be stored securely and discreetly on the back of your phone. All that, and it's still super slim. Way to go, Junior!




Feature Friday | "This just might be the perfect men's wallet." –Slate.com February 27 2015

Wally Bifold - Men's Wallet review on Slate.com

Recently Will Oremus, writer for Slate.com, shared with the world his love for Wally Bifold. How'd we get so lucky to count Will as a fan? Well, I'll tell you: Lots of people shop on Amazon, including Will. While searching for a slim wallet, he discovered Wally and was impressed with its glowing reviews. After ordering one for himself, he enjoyed using it so much that he reached out to us for an interview. Now that's investigative journalism! Watch Will explain Wally Bifold better than we ever have:



Talking with Will about our design process was a delight because it was clear that he was genuinely interested in how this thing he held in his hands came to be. As designers, this kind of dialogue is a dream come true – which is exactly why we love launching new products on Kickstarter. We're grateful for the chance to chat, any time. And hey, if you don't have time to call us up, you can read Will's interview to feel like you did!



Q: Which Wallys do YOU use? February 26 2015

A: We get this question a lot, so here's the answer – in Instagram form!

Wally Case and Stick-On for iPhone
Nate = Wally Case in Ninja Black | Lindsay = Wally Stick-On in Cowboy Brown


Music to Design By | A Distil Union Playlist February 20 2015

Inspiration can come from many different sources. When the DU team is creating (or taking things apart) we've usually got some tunes playing to help fuel the process. Some encourage focus, while others keep the energy high – it's great to have an irresistible excuse to get up out of our chairs!

Click-through to check out our first Distil Union Playlist on our YouTube Channel! It's our first mixtape, hope you enjoy...



Side A
The National I Need My Girl 
Dawes When My Time Comes 
Beck Say Goodbye 
Johnny Delaware Primitive Style
The Black Keys Fever 
Shovels & Rope Coping Mechanism 
Jason Isbell Different Days
Side B
Great Book of John Ashes Over Manhattan 
Dr. Dog* Lonesome 
Father John Misty* Only Son of the Ladiesman
LCD Soundsystem Someone Great 
St. Vincent Rattlesnake  
* Can't wait to see 'em in Asheville next month! 



Feature Friday | The Wally Round-Up! February 20 2015

Feeling indecisive about which Wally's right for your phone? While our Which Wally infographic may be helpful for a big-picture wallet decision, Vincent Tse over at excessorize.me really dug into the question for smartphone users. He's created a hands-on video for all three smartphone Wally options to help demonstrate the differences across the range. Check out his blog review – complete with videos and snappy gifs for each Wally! 

Case. Skin. Universal. He's taken the time to explore them all – and all the options in between! Thanks, Vincent!




Now in Stock: Wally Case for iPhone 6 Plus February 17 2015

Wally Case for your iPhone 6 Plus is available now in pure Black! Frost/Brown and the new Frost/Gray are expected sometime in March – sign up to be notified.


Celebrating National Inventors' Day! February 11 2015

"Who likes taking things apart?" -- Apparently all of the 4th graders!

"Who likes taking things apart?" -- Apparently all of the 4th graders!

It's not just Thomas Edison's birthday today, it's also Inventors' Day! Our morning started early with Mrs. Frailey's 4th grade classes at the Charleston Day School. For the Invention Convention next month, the kids have been developing their own solutions to problems that they encounter in their daily lives. Nate answered questions about the product-development process, and wowed them with a 3-D printing demonstration. 

We learned a little something, too! When brainstorming a solution to a problem, try the SCAMPER technique:
Substitue
Combine
Adapt
Maximize or Minimize
Put to Another Use
Eliminate or Elaborate
Reverse or Rearrange 

Their inquisitive minds are such an inspiration :) What problem would you solve? Happy inventing, everyone! 


Distil Union at NY Now Market February 09 2015

Distil Union jetted (and by jetted, we mean flew coach for the first time on JetBlue – and we're in ♥) up to NYC this past weekend to be a part of NY Now – the market for all things home and lifestyle. We were fortunate enough to be invited by a great design shop, AC Gears, who recently started stocking our Wally Wallets. Upon arrival, the teams strategized over a couple drinks and walked through the display that we built (see photo below for proof of Nate's carpenter skillz). 


At the show, we got a chance to meet and chat with some of our favorite brands – like Lexon, Yield Design Co., Beyond Object, and Charleston's own Sideshow Press!


Happy to say that Wally was well represented among the amazing AC Gears assortment – including gorgeous Lemnos clocks (all handmade in Japan), Analog Watch Co. and  Bulbul Watches, Drilling Lab and Moissue jewelry, and Grain Audio speakers (drool).


While in NYC, we couldn't pass up the chance to stay at the ever hip Ace Hotel. And luckily, since we didn't have to work the booth the whole time, we bundled up and hit the streets to stroll and shop and eat – because a trip to NYC isn't complete without hitting Muji, Uniqlo and of course The Doughnut Plant.


Until next time, New York!



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THIS OFFER EXPIRES SUNDAY, 2/8/15 11:59PM PST. AND CANNOT BE COMBINED WITH OTHER OFFERS OR APPLIED TO PREVIOUS PURCHASES.

Let Wally help you show 'em the love this Valentine's Day February 03 2015

Guys. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, let’s talk about gift giving. We’re all for a box of chocolates or a dozen red roses, but do you really want to give her another mini teddy bear wearing a t-shirt that says “I love you bear-y much”… (answer: nope).

This Valentine's Day, woo and wow your sweetheart with a Wally and show her what a thoughtful head you have on your shoulders. Show her the love with a Wally Case for iPhone 5/5S in red leather, currently on sale for $39.99 – an out-of-the-chocolate-box choice for a Valentine's Day gift. Feeling extra lovey? Follow one of Nick Offerman's Romance Tips: Before you wrap Wally, insert a tiny card that you've handmade just for her... and prepare to earn bonus points that'll last 'til Valentine's Day 2016. 

And ladies, you can return the thoughtful favor – consider a Wally Wallet for your man. The new Wally Duo is reversible (and currently on sale). If you know he likes to coordinate his look daily, or you don't know him well enough just yet to be confident in which color to get him, Duo is the perfect Valentine's Day gift for him. Added benefit: When he uses his Wally Wallet every day, he'll think of you – awww #bestgiftever

We at Distil Union would also like to share the love: Get free shipping for all orders shipping in the U.S. via 1st Class. Simply enter FREE1STCLASS at checkout and give the gift of Wally Wallet this Valentine's Day.

xoxo, Distil Union


We Heart the Octopus Card | Public Transit and Wally January 29 2015

Not only do we travel a lot for business, we love getting out of the office and exploring other cities whenever we get the chance (join us on our adventures on Instagram!). We just got back from Vegas for CES, and we're about to hit the road again – this time to New York City for the NYNow Market to share a booth with the guys at ACGears (a design shop you should check out next time you're in Manhattan). 

Good thing we like to travel because we find ourselves in Hong Kong a few times a year, meeting with our partners to develop new products. It's one of our favorite cities, full of inspiration and delicious food that we miss the instant we land back in Charleston! Something we absolutely love in Hong Kong is the Octopus card – a card that you tap to get onto the subway. But it's oh so much more than MTR rides – this same card can be used at thousands of locations in Hong Kong to pay for things: 7-Eleven, grocery stores, coffee shops, stores, restaurants, buses, movie theaters... the list goes on. You can even link it to your checking account to reload it whenever it gets to certain level so you never run out. Just tap and go – what's not to love about something that handy and simple?

Octopus card is a life saver – and not to mention a fat-wallet slayer! Here at Distil Union we're big fans of things that help reduce the amount of cards and cash we have to carry when we go out; in fact, the dream of a minimal everyday carry was the inspiration behind the original Wally wallet. We can't wait to see if some other services *cough*Apple Pay*cough* will prove as valuable here in the states – or wherever the wind may take us!


Stick-On and the Art of the Right Adhesive January 28 2015

We're pretty proud of our Wally Stick-On for iPhone. It's the thinnest way to get a wallet onto the back of your iPhone. Sure the Argentine leather looks incredibly handsome, but a key component in product development for Wally is the Stick-On adhesive. It has to be just right. Too sticky, and it leaves a residue on the back of your phone when you remove it. Not sticky enough, and it can peel off before you want it too. And that's just the side that touches your iPhone – the flipside that adheres to the leather has totally different requirements altogether! The right adhesive... well, it's a bit of art and we've been listening to feedback and refining since 2013 – and we've just about nailed it. 



The very first Wally on Kickstarter used micro-suction, which isn't technically an adhesive at all. Pros: It can be "cleaned" of lint, and it just sounds cool. Cons: It's picky about what it can and can't stick to, and we wanted Wally to work with cases, too! So included in the Kickstarter as a stretch-goal option was a bonus panel of true adhesive we named Alternahesive

The great thing about Alternahesive is that it works on a much wider range of cases – so if you already have a case you love for looks or for protection, you can use Wally Stick-On right on top for added wallet functionality to your case! With the exception of wood, fabric and bulky battery cases (more info about that in our FAQ), Alternahesive works on cases just like it does on the back of the phone. If you're using a popular iPhone shell-style case or slick TPU case, give it a try. We're confident you'll be impressed with our well-crafted Wally.

On the second run, we were still getting a few reports about hesitant Wallys (did you know the back of a brand new iPhone is hard for pretty much anything to stick to?). So we worked with 3M to really push the adhesive to its limits – a bit stronger grip yet still cleanly removable.

Currently Wally's on his third run, and he's our best Wally yet! The leather has been evolving all this time, too, based on feedback and experience – and believe me, that's an entire post we'll save for another day... We're just excited to share with the world Wally Stick-On's unique ability to add a secret wallet right onto the back of your iPhone or case. And yep, Recharge Packs are available if you should ever need 'em – add a new sheet right on top of your old one and your like-new Wally is good to go! 


We're on Board with the Promise of Apple Pay January 26 2015


(Photo source: Business Week)


Just like the weather, everyone has an opinion about Apple Pay. Will the retailers embrace it and update their pay stations? Will it be secure? What privacy concerns are there? Is it really easier to use than your debit or credit card? It's clear that Apple Pay is a new concept that not everyone can grasp (like this lawmaker, bless his heart).

As the debates and discussion continue, from our perspective, Apple Pay (and other card-less payment systems) is a significant win for consumers: It means less stuff for us to carry with us everyday. The vision for our Wally Wallets is to minimize the everyday carry we need to haul around. If you're able to make purchases with Apple Pay and no longer need to bring along your physical credit cards and debit cards, that is a major win! 

"Apple Pay certainly captures our imaginations as consumers. Who wouldn’t like the idea of leaving their wallet at home? But the problem is, you still cannot leave home without your wallet. The Apple Pay readers are not yet at all universally available. How successful can Apple Pay be, with only a limited number of retailers accepting the mobile phone payments?" –Steve Shear, MarketWatch.com

We get it. Apple Pay is new, and not all stores are equipped. But it absolutely captures our imaginations because already Wally has made leaving wallets at home a reality for so many smartphone users! So, if there's Apple Pay, what do you need Wally for? Try your ID, subway card, passkeys to get into a workplace, hotel keys, credit cards not supported by Apple Pay (for example, store-brand cards)... Ultimately, as the popularity of Apple Pay increases, even more of us will find it that much easier to walk away from the fat wallets we're so used to carrying. 

And Apple Pay is already proving to be better at paving the way for the mobile wallet than other cardless systems like Google, so here's hoping Apple Pay is only the beginning. And while iPhone 5 users aren't invited to the Apple Pay party, you bet there are Wallys for iPhone 5, making a wallet-free life a very possible reality for Wally users.


Everyday Carry Innovation: Wally Euro's Coin Pocket January 23 2015

When we launched the Wally Bifold, it was perfectly sized to carry just what we needed: cards and cash. But, our friends in Canada and elsewhere overseas pointed out that the Wally Bifold was designed to only carry the US dollar bill, because most other countries have bills both smaller and larger in size! How could we turn this oversight around?? Answer: Create a wallet designed for international currencies.

Wally Euro wallet carries larger international currency

The Life of an International Coin

Change. Coinage. Chips. Shrapnel. Whatever you call them, our loose coins must feel inferior to their paper brethren as they jangle around in our pockets, unnoticeingly falling into couch cushions or taxi seats, never to be found again. 

On our visits abroad, we always found ourselves fumbling with coinage. You see, coins are not so vital to everyday spending in the States – but a £2 coin or a $10 Hong-Kong coin? That's a different story – just two or three coins can equal my happy-hour beverage. That's why we are so proud of our Euro coin pocket on our new Wally Euro wallet. It's taller to accommodate wider bills, and has a unique coin pouch on one side to securely carry those oh-so-precious coins. Simply squeeze the sides to open it, and let go for it to squeeze closed. Zero coin escapege with this wallet. For the next time you have coins you'd rather not lose, Wally Euro is the one you need:

Wally Euro coin pocket carries your loose change

A Little Insight into Innovation

In researching coin-carrying wallets, we discovered most use a folding snap-pocket for coins, and some rely on the way the wallet is held to keep coins tucked into a pocket. A few standalone coin purses were cool, and the squeeze-open styles in particular caught our eye. Also used on eyeglass cases, the slim and secure closure isn't just practical, it's fun to use, with a surprisingly satisfying pop and snap! Plus, the type of metal used to create the squeeze-open closure, spring steel, returns to its original shape even after being bent or twisted. Neato. 

We're always considering wallet thickness – or rather, thinness – and challenge ourselves to reduce complexity whenever it makes sense. So, instead of employing the typical bulky hinges, we simplified the mechanism. We developed a way to finish the spring steel and utilize the leather as a hinge. The result is a streamlined and refined look that's built to last.

Of course the Wally Euro also features our signature pull-tab, which eliminates the need for excess leather card dividers by lifting your cards from within. It's a combination of these two innovations that we've used to simplify your everyday carry from London to Laos!


Wally Wallet Case on Everyday Carry January 21 2015

Big shout-out to Kim Dumayne for making Wally Case for iPhone 6 from Distil Union part of his Everyday Carry. Or as he sees it: bare essentials for the analogue street photographer. 
Everyday Carry Distil Union Wally Wallet Case iPhone 6

Distil Union Goes to CES January 20 2015

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) took place earlier this month and Distil Union was there!

CES Day 1 Checked in, evening stroll on the strip, held a meeting over some amazing burgers, gazed upon Michael Jackson slots. 

CES Consumer Electronics Show 2015 Distil Union Day 1

CES Day 2 Beautiful morning, Intel Smart Spider Dress (why?), shopped All Saints, sufficiently creeped out by a "communication android," sufficiently impressed by Shaq on a hoverboard, and lunch outside with a massive tea n' too many fries!

CES Consumer Electronics Show 2015 Distil Union Day 2

CES Day 3 All about 3D Printing! Makerbot with a touch of Martha, Autodesk galore. Oh, and up to our wrists in smart watches! Loving Withings and of course Fitbit.

CES Consumer Electronics Show 2015 Distil Union Day 3

CES Day 4 Marveled at [the line to get into] Oculus, felt the Love at Cirque, won ELEVEN DOLLARS at the Princess Bride slots, and waved goodbye to so many consumer electronics!

CES Consumer Electronics Show 2015 Distil Union Day 4

Distil Union has left the building.


Looking for That Last Minute Gift? Wally Duo is Here to Help. December 18 2014


Step away from the sampler! So, the person you’re shopping for craves variety? Great! We’ve got the #StruggleGift solution for you: Wally Duo, the reversible wallet. The super slim sleeve-style wallet easily transforms from black to brown leather to switch up their look in a heartbeat. For a limited time only, Wally Duo is $10 OFF – no code required! Pro Tip: Pick expedited shipping to get yours in time for giving.


AND as a special holiday bonus...

Enter code HappyWallydays to save 10% OFF ALL Wally wallets! 


Gift Giving Made Easy! December 15 2014

"Wow, I'm so lucky - TWO handfuls of rubber bands!!" - said no one, ever. 

No need for rubber bands, Wally Jr will help to minimize what you carry the most in a slim and secure way. Wally Jr is universally compatible, so this Wally Wallet is a great gift for everybody, no matter which smartphone they have!  At just under $20, Wally Jr makes the perfect stocking stuffer – and the perfect #StruggleGift solution.


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