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DU in the News: Charleston's 50 Most Progressive

CHARLIE Magazine's 50 Most Progressive
This year we are honored to be named among Charleston's 50 Most Progressive CHARLIE Magazine! Dubbed "The Innovators," we're beyond happy and humbled to be included alongside so many amazing local creatives, entrepreneurs, movers and shakers who constantly inspire us.

We spent an evening with our friend and photographer Sully Sullivan, who conceptualized our "union" as two halves of a whole. And in true Sully style, everything you see here is real – from our half-painted faces to Sully's own bowler cut in two:

Then we sat down with Jason Zwiker to fill him in on what we do in a nutshell...

It’s happy hour on King Street! Grab your phone and you’re out the door! Then it hits you: Oh. Yeah. I.D. and some cash or a card might not be a bad idea.

That’s pretty close to the a-ha moment that inspired Distil Union’s Wally Wallet Case. One of those random “don’t you wish someone would make a __________ that actually does what I need it to do?” thoughts that we all have.

Except that in the case of Lindsay Windham and Nate Justiss, they scratch out the “someone,” pencil in their own names and rig up a paper model. See if they can make it work.

“The first one we made was like a pop-up book,” Lindsay says, with a laugh. “Like the kind we read when we were kids.”

“We work with it until we sort out the problems,” Nate adds. “Then, we move on to a more refined prototype and start working with that. It takes pretty much all our waking hours, but it doesn’t feel like work.”

That’s the secret to their success. They’re two creative, talented friends doing what they love to do: find solutions to everyday problems. How to “snooze” an iPhone alarm with one tap of an easy-to-find button. How to slim a wallet down. No, really slim it down. How to make an iPhone case double as an ultrathin wallet.

On any given day, Nate might be working out the final specs on a new item while Lindsay designs packaging, builds a marketing strategy and writes a product description. Or the two of them might just be bouncing ideas back and forth.

“We’re always refining based on the feedback we receive,” Lindsay says. “We don’t just want to make things that look cool. We want to make life a little easier.”

Words by: Jason A. Zwiker
Photographer: Sully Sullivan

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