BERLIN slim minimalist wallets were lovingly designed in Berlin by me, James, in 2016. Here’s the story of how I developed the BERLIN slim design.
A lucky accident
In late 2016, for reasons that I won’t go into, I came across an interesting type of paper, often called washable-paper. It occurred to me that this would be an excellent material to make a wallet out of, due to some of its unique properties. So, being the adventurous type, I decided to see if that was really the case.
I made a simple wallet at first and got some feedback from friends. They liked the look and feel of the wallets and encouraged me to develop the wallets more, promising to buy the final version from me. I wasn’t really that interested in the money, but it seemed like a fun project.
So, I began testing different designs and production methods. I tried different layouts of the slots and different shapes. I also made a number of prototypes to find the best size of the wallets, since all the Euro notes have different sizes. Finally, I ran a bunch of experiments to figure out the best way to fold them, since it turns out that washable paper doesn’t fold so easily!
Luckily I have a bunch of very patient and tolerant friends who were willing to help out. The were happy to trial run the various designs and to discuss the results. They really helped me develop a design everyone seems to like. I really want to thank those early testers for all their help along the way. You know who you are 😉
By the end of 2016, other friends and colleagues began approaching me and asking if they could also buy a wallet. I wasn’t even trying to sell them and people were asking for them. That’s when I realized I might actually be on to something. So, I set up the business and now I’m trying to figure out if everyone else in the world wants one.
Designed in Berlin, with more to come
Designed is Berlin implies that I’m finished designing. That’s not the case. As always, I’m always looking for ways to improve the design of our wallet. If you have any suggestions or want to share feedback, I would love to hear from you!