The Distillery

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.

No #StruggleGift Here! Wally Euro Saves The Day. December 12 2014

SECURITY! Now this is just sad. There's something better to get the seasoned traveler in your life than mini toiletries... 

Consider the new Wally Euro wallets, our distinctive pull-tab design in a slim billfold perfectly sized for international currencies. But wait, there's more! Wally Euro is available in two styles, including one with a handy squeeze-lock pouch (for coins, not 3.4 oz liquids). Enter the coupon code "HappyWallydays" to save 10% OFF all Wallys – but only for the holidays! 

With Wally Euro, say Bon Voyage! to the #StruggleGift.

CONTEST: Do You Have the Most Epic Holiday #StruggleGift?! December 10 2014

Let's face it. We've all received (or given) a #StruggleGift. You are not alone, please share your struggle with us for a chance to win!

Enter on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram:

1. Share a photo of your most epic #StruggleGift 
2. T
ag us @DistilUnion
3. Use the hashtag #StruggleGift

You can even go back in your photo history and tag past #StruggleGifts!

Three winners will be chosen at random to win a Wally of their choice, and a Struggle King (or Queen) will be crowned with
 a Distil Union Prize Bundle worth over $100! Contest closes 12/29/14, winners announced 12/30/14.

Thanks for playing along – best of luck everyone! Remember: Sharing is caring! 

Determine Your Wally Wallet Style December 10 2014

Boom. Your holiday shopping just got way easier! Distil Union is here to simplify the season with our family of Wally wallets sure to suit a range of styles.

We've created a handy flowchart so you can easily determine which Wally is right for you – or your hard-to-buy-for friend. Should you buy a Wally Duo in all of its reversible leather-wallet glory? Or a protective leather Wally Wallet Case for your new Apple iPhone 6? Let the flowchart be your guide:

Distil Union Wally Wallet Style Guide

 Click to enlarge the chart and learn the Claim to Fame for each and every Wally.

Two is always better than one! Meet Wally Duo December 10 2014

Amidst the Cyber Monday craziness last week, we introduced a new Wally to the world:
The remarkably reversible Wally Duo! 

The first spark for Wally Duo happened when Lindsay's dad, Mr. John, shared with us how he hacked his Wally Bifold. [Sidenote: Both of our fathers are mechanical engineers, so we're used to seeing our gifts dismantled – it just means we got 'em something they really liked.] He loved the pull-tab that lifted his cards out, but was used to his old "wallet" that was just a piece of leather about the size of a dollar bill. The simplicity of all his cards and cash being folded together into one space appealed to him, and the leather was a classy upgrade from the rubber band "wallet" he carried for years.

It's true, plenty of men we spoke with while developing Wally used things like bulldog clips or rubber bands for their wallets. It's like Office Max has been making wallets this whole time – and lots of men are perfectly happy with making do. But the truth is, lots of these men haven't been in a position to discover something better. A minimal wallet with both functionality and style. 

That's when the second spark was lit – could one wallet work for all these minimalist men? Something simple yet stylish across their changing tastes, entire wardrobe, all four seasons and their fashion mood swings? [Not that our dads have fashion mood swings.] What if Wally was reversible? But hold on, is a reversible leather wallet even possible?! Maybe that's why we've never seen one before. The only reversible wallets that came to mind are the Jacob's Ladder opens-either-way wallets, which are fun, yes, but not truly reversible – they just open from either the left or the right. What about something more, well, stylish and modern...

So Nate dissected wallets. He dissected Wallys. The Wally Sleeve is our most minimal design, and with just a slight modification, the ribbon can be threaded through to the opposite side. Then, the inside becomes the outside. Minds. Blown. The simplified construction and pull-tab functionality make Wally Duo slimmer than any wallet you've tried before. 

We created an animated gif to help get the idea of Duo's reversible functionality across, but you really have to see this guy in person – Wally Duo is now available for the holidays! With Wally Duo, there's twice as much to love in a wallet literally half the size. The added surprise of reversibility makes it a fun and easy choice for gifts this holiday season and beyond.

Many thanks to the Charleston Digital Corridor for helping us get the word out about Wally Duo!

The Key to Holiday Gift Giving: Avoid the #StruggleGift December 09 2014

It's that time of year again, and as usual you've waited 'til the last minute to do your holiday shopping - and now you're wrapping a ribbon around some produce. PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER. You're better than this. And we're here to help.

Use our handy Which Wally flowchart to guide you to the perfect wallet solution, so that you can Avoid the #StruggleGift. 

Once you've decided, order with free U.S. shipping (by December 15th) to make your friends and family happy in the nick of time. Enter HappyWallydays to save 10% off all Wallys – only for the holidays!

Here's to the end of the #StruggleGift!

Feature Friday: Gotta Be Mobile Gives 2 Wallys Some Love December 05 2014

This week we'd like to share not just one but two features from Their hands-on with one of the very first Wally Cases for iPhone 6 out there is an honest and insightful write-up based on their experience using Wally Case. Photos courtesy of GottaBeMobile:

"This iPhone 6 wallet case is a steal at $49.99, offering a higher end look than cases that rely on plastic and delivering a minimal footprint that does not require a flap to cover the screen and end up getting in the way of regular use." – Josh Smith,

Josh gets it. So many wallet cases are either a plastic case with an additional plastic compartment (read: bulky), or they're a wallet wrapped around a case (read: also bulky, plus awkward).

There's nothing that we anxiously await more than a hands-on review from a person who has actually been using Wally Case – and Josh's informative post is a reassuring read not just for us as eager-to-please designers, but also if you're new to considering a Wally Case for your new iPhone 6. Hint: Wally Case is minimal, and not for everyone – Lifeproof fans are better off with a Wally Stick-On on top of their favorite ballistic-grade case for additional slim wallet functionality. And if you're looking to replace your 10-card wallet, you'll be sorely disappointed with Wally Case's minimal capacity –

"With room for three cards, the case still stays thin and allows fast access to the cards with a pull out tab. Distil Union makes one of the best iPhone 6 wallet cases you’ll find. The slim design, ability to hold enough cards and handy tab system is easily worth the price."

What Josh said. We're sending him a fruit basket.

But that's not all. GottaBeMobile also ranked Wally Stick-On their #1 iPhone 6 Plus Wallet. We can't make this stuff up, folks. And we couldn't be happier to part of one of GBM's helpful roundups! The iPhone 6 Plus is big, there's no getting around that fact. So adding functionality without bulk is a tall order (literally). It doesn't get much more functional and minimal than Wally Stick-On

"This design makes it look like you are simply using a leather back for the iPhone 6 Plus."

Like I said. Fruit basket. 

Distil Union makes the front page! December 04 2014

On Cyber Monday, our mugs were featured on the cover of the The Post and Courier Business section. Imagine that – DU, the lead story! Thanks to Abigail for chatting with us about our four successful Kickstarter campaigns, where we came from – and where we're headed... 

Distil Union featured in the Post & Courier

Back Pain: When Having a Fat Wallet isn't a Good Thing November 25 2014


Up to 85% of of Americans suffer from back pain at some time in their life. Sometimes you'll know exactly what's causing it – not lifting with your knees, being hunched over a desk, that pickup game of tackle football. Or, it could be a mysterious discomfort that you notice getting worse over time. For many men, a common cause is sitting on your wallet.

Carrying a wallet in your back pocket distorts your posture, causing your spine to be out of alignment. It also puts pressure on your piriformis muscle which aggravates the sciatic nerve and can lead to sciatica. Back pain caused by back-pocket wallets is so common it has nicknames – hip-pocket syndrome, wallet-neuropathy and wallet sciatica – all due to the hilariously real Costanza Wallet syndrome. But is it true, or is fat-wallet back pain just a myth? 

"You might not think of too much cash as a source of pain, but a fat wallet can trigger piriformis syndrome. The condition can affect men who wear their wallet in the back pocket of their pants. You can avoid this problem by keeping your wallet in a front pocket or jacket pocket." – WebMD

You heard the doctor: Keep your wallet out of your back pocket. And guys, did we mention, carrying a slim wallet in your front or jacket pocket is also better for your clothes and your style? Hold on, ladies, you're not off the hook: Heavy purses can cause back pain, too

With all this in mind, we've designed all our Wally pull-tab wallets to be as slim as possible and front-pocket ready. We've heard from Wally users from Alabama to Australia that Wally has helped them heal. And while we love having an excuse to treat ourselves to a massage, here are our Top 5 Tips to slim your wallet and carry less and avoid this senseless back pain altogether. And next time, lift with your knees please. 


Feature Friday: Snooze on November 14 2014

Recently we were beyond delighted to see the Distil Union Snooze iPhone Alarm Dock featured in Refinery29's list of 12 Smart Home Buys You Didn't Know You Needed.

"When it comes to smart technology, why limit your options to a telephone? Swap just one or two items in your home — for a sleeker, smarter model, and you're on your way to simpler, more streamlined living." 

Simpler, more streamlined living? Yes, please! Why not apply some of the conveniences we enjoy from the devices our pockets to the homes that we inhabit!? At the same time, let's make our devices fit a bit more seamlessly into our lives – something we're particularly passionate about as designers here at Distil Union.

Like a lot of folks, we use the alarm on our iPhones to wake up in the morning. Typical speaker docks take up too much space, and other iPhone docks didn't offer the basic must-have functionality of a bedside dock: A simple snooze bar. So we set out to design the ideal bedside stand that would turn an iPhone into the alarm clock of your dreams!

Snooze iPhone Alarm and Clock Dock 
Refinery29 highlights Snooze's design inspiration, Eames and Braun. Made of solid Maple with a rubber top, Snooze is designed to improve your waking-up experience in a number of ways. Snooze gives your iPhone a proper home on your nightstand in a footprint no bigger than the iPhone itself. Gone are the days of a sleepy swat sending your iPhone soaring off your table and onto the floor – or worse, accidentally turning off your alarm instead of simply snoozing like you wanted (been there, done that – so sorry I'm late!). Just like the alarm clocks you remember, hitting the top of Snooze activates iPhone's snooze function, so you can roll over for a few more Z's. (Mind you, DU can't be held responsible for your tardiness due to over-snoozing).

A small detail that makes a big difference: a pass-through on the back holds your charging cable in place. Now instead of falling behind your furniture, your iPhone cable is right there where you need it when your head's ready to hit the pillow after a long day's work. And the Snooze App turns your iPhone into a dimmable clock display, allowing your iPhone to do double-duty as your bedside timepiece. 

We're so proud to see Snooze chosen as part of such a good-looking collection of helpful tech for your home. For the Distil Union live/work space, you bet we're drooling over Ring the HD video doorbell that works remotely, and the sleek, high-tech Hyde Clamp Light controlled via Bluetooth (plus, it just looks rad). Check out the slideshow to see what they had to say about Snooze (SPOILER ALERT: they said eye-catching *swoon*) and learn a dozen more ways you can raise your home's tech cred! 

This week in photos! November 14 2014

+ snapped some wintery shots of Wallys and Snooze all cozy on a new office blanket – how long can we resist turning the heat on?

+ made a collage of photos documenting the process of building our own point-of-purchase displays: designing, material sourcing, wood cutting, silkscreening, stamping, glueing, then basking in the glory of our little retail-ready stands. Thinking this will become a more involved blog post here soon for those of you curious about DIY product promotion -- we saved about $2,200!

+ getting the word out about this Saturday's trunk show by our dear friend Adrienne Antonson of STATE the Label, held at The Commons just down the street from our old office – looking forward to gift shopping and a stroll down memory lane :)

+ shared the recipe for Lindsay's Lazy Smoothie: leftover cold-brew coffee from The Daily (a new favorite local cafe and pantry) blended with two frozen bananas and a pinch of cayenne. BAM!

Follow along over on our Instagram to enjoy similar snazzy DU pics in your feed.

5 Tips to Slim Your Wallet: Simply Carry Less and Lighten Your Everyday Load November 11 2014

Did you guys notice, the new iPhones are bigger? Sure our technology can do more, but now we have more in our pockets. Luckily, the days of carrying every card, receipt and bills in your wallet "just in case" are far behind us. Not only do fat bulges in your back pocket look bad and cause unnecessary stress and wear to your clothing (and your body, guys), there's simply no need for hauling all that stuff around with you every day! Keep reading to learn about our wallets that can help you downsize and our tips on how to lighten you wallet load:

1. 5 cards or less We're not gonna argue with carrying an ID and debit card. We're also on board with carrying a credit card, and subway card or metro pass, even an access card for work. Everything else can go from your everyday wallet. Scared? Try it for a day... then a week... Some cards might creep back in if you let 'em, but we bet you'll be happily surprised at what you don't miss.  Plus, we can help you. We have several products that can help you easily slim your wallet during this transition. 

2. Go digital Store electronic versions of 90% of your cards, especially all those loyalty cards and infrequently used other cards. Some free apps we've tried are KeyRing and Card Mate. Look for an app that is password protected (duh). Then there are apps such as LastPass and LifeLock that go above and beyond – great if you're looking to do more than just save your grocery-store discount card and local cafe punchcard.

3. Take pictures of your receipts No reason to store receipts (or mementos) in your wallet – your wallet is not a library. Let an old shoebox be your nostalgic archives, and use apps like Evernote or Concur to keep electronic copies of receipts. Or, simply take a picture of the receipt to keep track of it. YOU CAN DO THIS. YOU CAN SLIM YOUR WALLET.

4. Carry less cash While having some paper money on you is a good idea in general, unless you're doing something on the shady side there's no reason to carry a wad of cash on your person daily. Most everywhere accepts plastic, and there are a number of convenient services to limit the need: Apple Pay, Google Wallet, Venmo and Cash – just to name a few. 

5. Get a thinner wallet Whether it's psychological or physical, having a slimmer wallet is a great way to reinforce the idea and behavior of carrying less! Discipline, young grasshopper. If you’re feeling adventurous, try our Wally Bifold. This guy is designed to carry 12 cards and all of your cash with his sneaky pull-tab access and interior money clip. Did we mention he is half the size of a regular wallet? Or if you're feeling extra bold, spring for something like the Wally Sleeve – we designed him to be just a slip of leather with a handy pull-tab, resulting in the slimmest wallet imaginable that still gives you easy access to your now minimized everyday carry. 

Aaaaahhhhhh, relief. Your wallet is now a handsome and manageable size! We told you it was easy to slim your wallet! Your jeans will thank you, your spine will thank you, and YOU will thank you. If you're carrying around a Costanza clunker, take a picture of it and tag us @distilunion. Bring it on, try to shock us with your worst. The first step is admitting that you have a problem... And Distil Union is here to help you slim your wallet.

A panorama of DU HQ October 31 2014

The new Distil Union live/work space = office downstairs + Nate's home upstairs. Although the space has approximately 40 less cabinets, this setup is quite similar to our very first DU home – sometimes we get deja vu... Bright. Spacious. And still with the King Street vibe we love so much. We'll have to have y'all over soon for drinks out on the world's smallest porch ;) Hey, we can see the Apple Store from here!

Featured Review: Mr. Dabney gets his hands on our Wally Bifold for you October 31 2014

Wallets. There are lots of them out there to choose from – especially minimal wallets, which are understandably all the rage. Currently, our Wally Bifold is only available on our webstore; our Amazon stock has sold out. So, what if you're the kind of person who likes to get your hands on one before you buy it?! Want to touch the wallet... We can talk about Wally all day, but sometimes you want an outside opinion. And lucky for you, there are some amazing bloggers out there who are doing the hard work for ya -- here's a favorite hands-on, this time from Vaughn Dabney over at Mr. Dabney. Thank goodness for a virtual try-before-you-buy.

On the outside of the wallet, there is a nylon strap cleverly peeking out of each side. When it is pulled, it raises the contents of what’s inside the pocket! I love it. I keep my credit cards and license on one side with business cards on the other. When I pull out my wallet now, I take my time so people can see just how genius this is…no really.  

Score one for you, impressing friends and strangers alike with some subtle wallet magic! The dual-pocket organization was improved when we updated the Bifold design with one red and one black ribbon – this way you can tell at a glance which pocket is which. Being able to manipulate the existing materials to enhance functionality without adding even a hint of complexity feels really good.

We also spy a feature request: A clear window for showing your ID. We hear you on this – a feature we noticed on other wallets when in the development phase, but decided against for Wally. Ultimately a window adds non-essential functionality that we deemed not worth the complexity: A window on the inside isn't possible because of the pull-tab construction, and a window on the outside would add a function that not everyone needs or wants to the detriment of the wallet's aesthetic. It's simple and intuitive enough to pull the ribbon to present your ID, keeping the design clean and your contents totally undercover. Here we've applied two of renowned industrial-designer Dieter Rams' Ten Principles of Good Design: "3. Good design is aesthetic" and "10. Good design is as little design as possible." All of this being said, if an ID window is a must for you, then Wally is not for you – and we're grateful that Vaughn points this out in his review. 

Something especially nice (to us, anyway) about Mr. Dabney's experience which he shared in his post: he discovered our Wally Bifold on Amazon – which is no small feat, as there are a few wallets on Amazon. And then he did the leg work to research Distil Union before making his purchase. He noticed we're a tiny team, and sounds like he was impressed by our live/work space here in Charleston (we've moved up the street since then, we think he'd be even more impressed with our NEW space!). 

Do you do that when you find a product you like – dig a little deeper to find the scoop or the story behind it? I know we do, which is why Nate and I are building Distil Union the way we are! Sometimes it is that extra layer behind a product or brand that makes the difference, makes a personal connection. We've since been in touch with Vaughn and can't wait to share more DU gear for his feedback. So be sure follow him for other DU hands-on reviews, as well as other great articles and product giveaways. Three cheers for making personal connections with fellow persons!

First there was Ninja. Then there was Cowboy... October 07 2014

What color would YOU like to see added to the Wally lineup?! Lindsay votes gray…

If we add a Gray Wally to the lineup, what should we name him? 
Dapper Gray
Gentleman Gray
Space Gray (wink wink)
________ Gray
Tweet us your suggestions!

(Shown here: Wally Case for iPhone 6)

We’ll be building our own point-of-purchase displays: October 02 2014

And by “we” I mean “Nate”… If you have a shop or know a shop that’d like to sling some Wallys, please let us know!

It’s Career Day! October 01 2014

This morning we visited the Academic Magnet High School for three back-to-back career day sessions where Nate introduced some budding artists and engineers to the field of Industrial Design. Any questions? 

Where's Wally September 27 2014

Srsly y’all, he slim. Nate picked up his 6 preorder today and is flaunting a Wally sample… Space Gray and Cowboy Brown are so, so sexy together.

Strolled through the Hermes leather exhibition September 22 2014

Happened upon a brief but informative exhibit about leather and the history of Hermes at the PMQ Design Mall -- which is, by the way, our new dream office location -- complete with an itty bitty retail shop of curated designy goods. If you're ever in Hong Kong, go shopping at PMQ, you won't regret it!

A night ride on the Star Ferry September 22 2014


We found designshop heaven, and it is a mall called PMQ. September 20 2014

Bought some treats at an HK fave, Kapok.

Hong Kong Apple Store, IFC Mall September 20 2014

So fun visiting the Apple Store today with all these happy people! (at Apple Store 香港旗艦店)

We heart the MTR September 20 2014

The tiled stations. The easy navigation. Oh, and Octopus cards in our Wallys.