Wallets and I, we've got History with a capital H

Taken from the Moab Bag Co Tumblr blog, originally dated 10/21/13

I never thought wallets would ever become an issue in my life…

After my first foray into bike tube baggery (a set of bike panniers for myself) my (then) partner - who I must credit as the person who gave me the idea to make bike tube bags - said, “what about wallets?” I didn’t really give it much thought, but went ahead and made one anyway. The feedback was great, so I made another, then another. The third one seemed pretty ok, so I thought I’d make a few more. My roommates soon had bike tube wallets for “product testing” and were encouraging me to make more. Then before I knew it, I was carrying a bunch of wallets in a box around Moab and inquiring at all the local shops to see if anyone might be interested. I didn’t really have much success at first, most of the shop owners looked in the box, and then politely declined. Looking back I can’t hardly blame them, there wasn’t much to get excited about, all that plain black rubber sitting in a box? No branding, a sort of amateur feel, not very professional or eye catching. Sometime after 50 wallets or so, I got some colored thread, took some photos, and started an Etsy shop. They started selling. Well, ok, I wasn’t that excited about the wallets, but if people wanted them, I could not withhold!

Some of the original wallets

Some of the original wallets

Meanwhile, I tried to refine my wallet making process, because it was taking too long, and I was ready to try making other bags. So I tried a few things, but nothing seemed to improve upon my original method. I was just going to have to get faster, all the while making sure the wallets looked good (and hopefully professional) which I was having a hard time with. To be honest, I came to HATE making wallets. My sewing machine had become temperamental. It seemed to want to skip stitches and snarl the thread only when I was sewing wallets. I had many a frustrated moment sitting at the machine cursing and telling it loudly how stupid it was. I started to think my machine was doing it to get back at me for calling it names. I now dreaded making wallets, but it was becoming clear that folks were more interested in my wallets than anything else I was making - they were my bread and butter. So, I needed to make it work. Turns out the machine needed some adjustment (duh) - something I had failed to recognize in my over-emotional state. My problem-solving, ever patient, and resourceful partner spent TWO WHOLE DAYS making adjustments, while watching the dorky and hardly bearable Fix-It-Yourself DVDs that came with the machine. (I appreciated this man even more after having witnessed his enduring patience in the face of my frustration and emotional outrage).

And…? It worked! The new adjustments made wallet making much more bearable, practically eliminating skipped stitches and slowly helping my confidence in my wallet making skills to return. Since then, my wallets have improved leaps and bounds, and I have much more confidence in their desirability and attractiveness. It’s amazing what lots of practice (and patience) can do.

The greatly improved wallet, after months of practice!

The greatly improved wallet, after months of practice!