by Sam Spence
You're running late. It's time to go. Check your pockets: iPhone, keys... where's your wallet? Rifling through your apartment in search of your billfold, you think, 'If I had chipped in for that Kickstarter project a while back, I'd be in the car right now.' Enter, Wally. Wally is the newest friend of the fun Charleston-based iPhone and electronic accessory trio known as Distil Union.
Launched on Kickstarter last Thursday, Wally, the iPhone attachment that turns your precious Apple device into a minimalist leather wallet, is the company's second product to be offered up on the crowdfunding site—its iPhone alarm clock, Snooze, was funded through Kickstarter last summer. Wally has been on the site for just a few days, but already the company has reached its $12,000 funding goal, meaning the project will become a reality.
The brains behind Distil Union, Nate Justiss, Lindsay Windham, and Adam Printz, are two-parts industrial design (Nate and Adam), one part graphic design (Lindsay), culminating in a wholly quirky, experimental shop that is as much a product of the free-form Kickstarter-rewarded times we live in today as they are serious about their products. The group, brought together after the purchase of Digital Life Outfitters (DLO) by electronics giant Philips, joined after the company's Chucktown office closed, pledging to create "products that make your life easier, particularly your life with your gadgets that you already have, you spend a lot of money on, but maybe they don't fit into your life 100 percent," as they told us in an interview last summer. Distil Union, along with Twelve South and Chil are all DLO offshoots using Charleston as their home base to turn out niche Apple-related accessories.
Now that they're Kickstarter veterans, DU is evolving their production scale with Wally. This time around, instead of a large initial production run, as the group did with Snooze last year, they're turning to a Florida-based craftsman who will be hand-making each Wally. The switch will make for a generous, but limited number of first edition Wallys, a move that allows the company to keep overhead low while fulfilling as many orders as possible. (In typical early-adopter fashion, as of publishing, nearly all iPhone 5 Wallys were spoken for, with plenty still available for iPhone 4/4S stragglers with Costanza wallets.)
As if successfully funding a Kickstarter project in four days isn't good enough, Windham shared the stage with Cary Ann and Michael in their TV debut last week as David Letterman showed off the album art she designed for Shovels and Rope's 2012 album 'O, Be Joyful,' "I was going crazy, taking pictures of the screen," she said.
To get dibs on your own Wally, visit the Kickstarter page. For more on the Distil Union family of products (and to pick up your own Snooze), head over to distilunion.com.