Once in a while you come across a product that is handier than it initially seems. One such product is the Changer, by Avund Goods. Meant to hold some spare change, the Changer can actually be used for many other things, as will be pointed out. Avund Goods designs and produces fine leather products. Avund was created by Mika Bektor and Tom Hays, who both graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design. They pooled their collective passion for art and design knowledge and formed Avund Goods in 2012.
We recently reviewed their Forsta V Wallet and Marine Shackle and enjoyed the opportunity of spending time with some of their goods. It has also been a pleasure to use and test the Changer, which is actually a by-product of producing their Forsta and Andra Wallet series.
NOT JUST A BY-PRODUCT
You can read on Avund’s site that their “products are designed for minimal material waste and efficient assembly”. The evidence of this is the Changer. Below is a picture showing the template for their Forsta Wallet and the Changer. You can see that the Changer is simply the triangular cutout of the wallet, which allows access to the wallet’s card slots. I love this ingenuity and focus on efficiency.
I can imagine the conversation between Mika and Tom, “What should we do with this triangular piece of left-over leather? Throw it away? No, one of our goals is to be efficient. How about a cool little holder for change that we fold over and fasten with a button rivet, which will also be used to keep it closed? Yes, that would be awesome!” Whether it happened that way, I’m not sure, but I know that I like the result.
One of the first things I noticed about the Changer was how stiff the leather is. This is due in part to the leather being vegetable tanned, which typically results in a stiffer leather. The leather is four to five ounce horse hide. The leather comes from what is called “North of Cordovan”. It is the section of horse hide that is just outside what is used for Shell Cordovan, some of the best and most expensive leather you can buy. It is tanned with the same processes that Shell Cordovan is tanned, and it yields a tight grain and unique pattern.
The majority of the pictures you see in this review are of the Changer after I’ve used it for about eight weeks. The leather is still very stiff and holds it’s shape very well. The color of the leather is natural (which is essentially a light tan color). This color of leather darkens over time and develops a beautiful, golden patina. You can see from the pictures that the leather is already darkening a bit.
Like all of Avund’s products, the edges of the Changer are beveled and then the fine tip is burnished. This attention to detail is commendable. Very few of the products that we review receive that level of detail. It makes the Changer feel more sophisticated and certainly makes your keyring a little more refined.
The hardware for the Changer is quite simple. There is a single, stainless steel eyelet, which the heavy duty key ring is affixed to. There is a nickel plated, steel button rivet that holds together the two “wings” of the Changer. A hole is punched into the “nose” of the Changer, which is used to fasten the Changer onto the button. It really is a simple, but inventive design.
Initially, I looked at the Changer as simply a small pouch for a few coins. It holds up to five quarters in fact, enough to purchase a can of soda from a vending machine, or enough for a really cheap do-it-yourself car wash. The Changer is big enough to hold enough cash to buy a candy bar, but does not hold enough cash to take your wife out on a date, so you will want to consider it’s size if you think it is something worthy of acquiring. It is meant to be a keychain accessory though, so you really do not want it to be too big.
Avund’s site also indicates that it is useful for holding a few guitar picks. That got me thinking. Coins, guitar picks, what else could the Changer hold? It did not take me long to come up with a list of ten items that would fit in the 1.5” by 1.5” by .5” space (these are the external dimensions, the useable space is smaller). Below is the list I came up with. You will have to let us know if you can think of other uses.
10 – Pencil Sharpener – Nobody likes writing with a dull pencil. Why not keep your sharpener close by.
9 – High Powered Magnets – Because they are just plain cool to play with.
8 – Earbuds – Not everybody wants to hear your music. This way you can plug in anytime.
7 – Crushed Red Pepper – You like heat. Make sure your next meal has enough.
6 – Stool Softener Pills- Need I say more?
5 – Legos – Need a quick distraction from work. A Gold Ninjago Ninja is the perfect playful distraction.
4 – Bandaids – for the construction worker who is all too familiar with cuts and abrasions.
3 – Starburst – You never know when you’ll need a quick sugar fix.
2 – 2032 Batteries – In case your garage door opener suddenly stops working.
1 – Coins – Hey, isn’t this what it was made for in the first place?
I tried to stuff a Dum Dum sucker into the Changer, but it would not quite close. It was worth a try.
The Changer by Avund Goods is a clever use of some left-over leather. It certainly does not feel like a “left-over” product when you get your hands on it. It is designed for a beneficial purpose, and as I came to realize, it has many more uses than initially considered. It would look great and serve a useful purpose on any person’s keychain.