Business Models

by Timothy Geigner

Filed Under:

bison made

Wallet Maker Shows Everyone How To Make Their Own Awesome Wallet

from the to-get-us-to-open-our-wallets dept

You know how content and product producers hate when the public recreates what they do on their own? Like when somebody with the copyright on a David Bowie song went all nutso over a fan film? Or when the music industry took a position so ridiculous that it could be compared to the slogan "Home Cooking Is Killing The Restaurant Industry"?

Well, shockingly, it turns out not everyone that produces a product has that mentality. Take, for instance, Matthew Pisarcik & Sebastian Sandersius, the founders of Bison Made, makers of some seriously well-made wallets (story sent in by Markiyan).
However, nothing is more frustrating than purchasing something expensive with your hard-earned dollars and having it fail on you. In this article, we want to address a common problem for men: their wallets don't hold up. It's a source of pride to build something that you can call your own.
Too true, but one wouldn't expect that to result in a blog post by makers of quality wallets to teach everyone how to make their own quality wallets. The rest of the post is a rather detailed, informative set of instructions on how to make a wallet in the same manner that Bison Made makes them. It's essentially an informative version of a patent, minus all the supposedly progress-promoting restrictions. Perhaps you're asking why they would do such a thing. They do not answer that question explicitly, but I would suggest it's a simple matter of confidence. Take the way the post ends.
Bison Made uses these same basic principles when producing quality leather carry goods. Instead of paper patterns and hand cutting, we use high precision cutting dies to create consistent leather components that are hand finished and stitched. We have taken a position that by starting with high-quality raw materials and detailed precision, beautiful and functional works that are designed for life will follow.
In other words: here's how to make what we make, and it's real, but we are really, really good at it. Also we have the materials, machinery, and know-how. So here's our designs. Here's what we do. Feel free to make it if you like. But if this explanation of what we do helps you appreciate all the work that has gone into our business, you could always spend a little money with us to get the real thing.

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  • icon
    MaJoR (profile), 17 Jan 2013 @ 12:53am

    Just the confidence alone makes me want to buy one of their wallets.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    nospacesorspecialcharacters (profile), 17 Jan 2013 @ 1:10am

    Easily could take it a step further...

    If they sold the leather, pre-marked, or with instructions they'd probably find people willing to purchase kits.

    Many manufacturers have been successful in this regard, Ikea is the one large example I can think of - Kath Kidstone which my wife goes nuts for... there are others but I can't think of them right now.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Zakida Paul (profile), 17 Jan 2013 @ 1:16am

    Better to make your own wallet, anyway, rather than buying one made by Chinese or Filipino children in a sweatshop where they 'work' in squalor conditions for 12 hours a day with no breaks and 10p an hour.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Brendy, 17 Jan 2013 @ 1:58am


      Why spend money when they have how-tos for making your own wallet out of duct tape?

      There are also thousands of articles on other DIY items on the internet. For example, I saw a guide for a very expensive LED camera light being made with $50 worth of materials at more than 1/10th the retail cost.

      Hell, my dad and I pretty much DIY for everything. My dad can take anything apart, find the failing component, and fashion his own using tools that he has at home. Just yesterday, he took apart my failing ice machine in my freezer, found the part that was broken, and fashioned a stronger, metal piece to replace the poor quality plastic component with some scrap metal he had lying around. Saved me $350 on a replacement ice machine and a landfill from having a broken one. If I summed up all the money he's saved me from working with me on repairs, installations, remodeling of the house, and re-landscaping of my yard, no joke, it would be just under $50,000...I've actually keep track of it, so that's not an exaggeration or estimate. Since he's both a mechanical and a chemical engineer and prodigy when it comes to, well fixing literally everything, I have nothing to offer him except my software engineering and computer skills. I'm useless otherwise...more than 80% of the time I just watch him work because he gets frustrated at how slow I when I do it haha. If only I could find a way to harness those abilities and turn them into instructional videos. Man, the clever ass tricks he has when doing stuff boggles my mind how he A) learned how to do this all 30 years ago before the internet and B) knows so much about how every possible physical item in the world works. I've noticed my generation (mid 20's right now) lacks the handy skills that the baby boomer generation has, and I wonder what the difference is to have caused this. We (well not me) just rely on repair men to do the jobs for us and just pay money instead because of the availability of information.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      me, 25 Jan 2013 @ 2:39pm


      hey, I sew Bison Made's wallets personally and I am neither Chinese, Filipino, or a child. They are sewn on my couch or in the workshop with plenty of breaks

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 17 Jan 2013 @ 3:36am

    This is epic win. I wonder what would be a MAFIAA guide on how to make a movie.

    1- Open a company that will only accumulate losses
    2- Take a mental dump on a sheet of paper and use that as your script
    3- Hire high profile actors
    4- Spend shitloads of money in special effects and vanity
    5- Spend even more in advertisement to mislead people
    6- Release it with several windows, geo restrictions and drm
    7- Sue the heck of using copyright laws
    7- Profit

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    lumatrix (profile), 17 Jan 2013 @ 5:22am

    Wallets - who needs them

    Well pick-pockets do of course. I'm pretty sure it must have been a thief that invented them. Let's see - I'm a man - I have something like 8-10 pockets in trousers, shirts, jackets that I wear - I know - I'll put all my precious stuff together
    in one place where it can all get stolen/lost/thrown in the trash at once - Brilliant. Instead of spreading the plastic and the notes around different pockets and putting the vital stuff next to my even MORE VITAL organs where I can feel anybody trying to interfere with it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    PittCaleb, 17 Jan 2013 @ 6:14am


    After finishing a 2+ hr tour of the Porsche factory in Stuttgart many years ago, my wife turns to me and says, "Don't ever let me question the value of a luxury car again."

    Take a tour of Porsche, or Mercedes Benz and then take the tour of Ford's Rouge factory. Not dissing the Ford plant, which is a modern wonder, but the quality of materials and craftsmanship can not be questioned in high-end products. It's not just paying for the "badge" as they say.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Jan 2013 @ 6:29am

    My wife was trying to make jewelry as a hobby and she started trying to sell those.

    She is not good at all, is horrible, still I love her and never said anything.

    One day she was sad because nobody wanted to buy anything and she was feeling a bit unappreciated.

    Since her problem is the designs she chose and not how she make those, I told her that she could probably get more if she taught others to do it and sold the materials necessary to produce so others would make their own "crazy" designs and need source materials to do it, she now teaches everyone who wants and happily sell raw materials so others can produce their "dreams".

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Stephen, 17 Jan 2013 @ 7:05am

    Now I just need to find..

    ... an actual Tandy Leather Company store...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Seegras (profile), 17 Jan 2013 @ 7:10am

    A friend of mine makes medieval Shoes
    The real thing, from archeological finds, custom measured for each customer.

    He also offers workshops where he teaches you to make them on your own. Guess what: All of those that ever went to one of his workshops now buy his shoes. Because they know _very_ well what kind of work it is.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    JackOfShadows (profile), 17 Jan 2013 @ 8:02am

    Zero Distance

    Lest we forget, we are in an era of zero-distance, 1:1 relationships, so if someone handy at process engineering, or a gifted amateur, comes along they have the opportunity to see where an improvement can be made and can offer it. That's a win-win for the company and the engineer/amateur.

    The company can quickly incorporate any suggested process innovation. The innovator can potentially get some kind of financial compensation or other reward. Actually keeping processes in shrouded secrecy levies costs in terms of missed or delayed opportunities, even future loss of market share to the innovator that eventually arrives at the better processes.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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