Bellroy is a group of passionate carry geeks improving the way we carry our things. For the moment, that means we are tackling wallets – an area that hasn’t had much love in the last 20 years. We’re all about generating ideas for how we can carry more efficiently, provide better access, better experiences and even giving your pocket contents some much need protection. We then craft the very best products we can, hoping to give our customers many years of happy wallet service.
80′s Purple: Throw us a quick 101 on the Bellroy founders?
Bellroy was started by two passionate, charming young men who desired to take the challenge of ‘creating better ways to carry’, head on. Initially starting with wallets, they are looking to decrease that disgusting bulge in your back pocket while providing you with a wallet that reeks of old school craft and modern functionality.
Both these strapping young gentlemen used to work together designing bags, wallets and equipment for a global surf brand. Despite their success with the division, they kept finding a gap between what a sport/youth market could afford, and the very high prices luxury brands were charging. They started to think of this space as ‘Step-Up’ brand space, where you pay enough to avoid compromises, but not so much that you’re paying for status.
80′s Purple: What’s Bellroy all about?
We’re all about creating better ways to carry. Bellroy tends to run by 5 brand values, that is, if we have to call them that… Brand Values, needed but just sound so tacky don’t you agree? Anyway, onto the 5 things that make us ‘us’.
1/ Work & Play are merging.
More then ever, our social and business lives intersect. We need to have toys that can make these transitions with us.
2/ We carry more.
And damn, doesn’t this hurt… We carry more technology and items then ever before. We need new ways to protect and access these, without compromising on size or style.
3/ We want deeper brand relationships
No longer do want to just be sold to. These days we want brands that have strong values, brands that engage with us openly and honestly. Social & Environmental considerations are a must.
4/ This is not for a sedentary lifestyle
It’s nice to be able to ride to work, run for the bus, or take off on an impromptu surf trip. Our products are made to adapt to anything you throw at them, well, maybe not the kitchen sink – but can you even throw a kitchen sink?
5/ Modern Craft is not an oxymoron
We want to combine modern progress and insights with the joy of the craft world. Beautiful pieces that tie these two places together.
80′s Purple: Bellroy comes across differently to us, the approach, the product, etc Why do you think this is?
Attention to detail. It’s not uncommon for the founders here to sit around and talk functional improvements on a wallet for hours, debating where the cuts of the leather need to be to ensure the slimmest wallet possible that still allows you to carry what you need in your life.
What else? Hmmmm…
How about lifestyle? Sure it sounds cliche, but I’ll be damned if you can find another brand that creates wallets at this level and still maintains a level of a non-sedentary lifestyle. We ride, we surf, we climb rocks, we cook amazing gluten free cookies (true story) and we love life (damn cliches) but we do and that happiness within life spills over to our products. Where else can you email a brand to talk about how stoked you are on your purchase and get a reply from the founder…
80′s Purple: Where do these amazingly hand made leather wallets get created?
In a wonderful area just north of that place you spent last summer. It’s that place that left you with that warm genuinely happy feeling that didn’t wash off for days. It’s a glorious place where magic happens and better ways to carry are created.
For those who don’t have a place like that to reflect on, our wallets are stitched in Chennai India, by a family run company with some amazing crafts-folk. Most of our specially trained group are actually craftswomen, adorned in the most amazing saris and smiles, with a patience and skill we would love to be able to emulate. True story.
80′s Purple: Why do you think Bellroy has been so successful?
Success is an interesting concept. Are we successful? I don’t know..
We are fortunate enough, however, to be given the ability to share knowledge on better ways to carry and appreciation for leather and craft. These efforts seem to resonate with people the world over. I don’t think it’s our products wholeheartedly that have made Bellroy what it is today (whatever ‘that’ is) but more so our attention to detail and desire to genuinely help people learn about better ways to carry.