Shaun Malinowski, 31, began working with leather just over a year ago when he was rebuilding a 1972 Honda motorcycle. As a cosmetic addition, he wanted to wrap the bike’s battery box with leather even though, up to this point, he had never worked with leather. Upon completing the project, Shaun was left with quite a lot of leather and decided to see what else he could make. From here, he was hooked.
Cracked plastic ID window, torn credit card pocket, or torn nylon bill pocket are the most common culprits to end the life of your common department store wallet purchase. A good sturdy wallet that is built to tough, stylish and functional takes a bit more effort to find – not only that, but a wallet you are actually going to use and not decide down the road doesn’t fit your newly acquired credit cards. Everyone seems to have their preferences when it comes to size and functionality. Shaun Malinowski has his shop on Etsy called Good Stuff Design that is just what the name suggests. His simple custom designed wallets are well constructed, sturdy, and stylish.
Here is an original design by Shaun which is a 4 pocket bifold wallet. The leather used is a 3 oz. vegetable tanned leather that is hand dyed with saddle tan oil dye and finished with a conditioner. The edges are all hand-stitched with brown waxed nylon thread and burnished and dyed. The wallet has one unlined pocket in the back for bills and four pockets in the front for cards or other paper. The two front pockets are merely slots instead of fully lined pockets. When open, the wallet measures 8″ x 3.75″; when closed, it measures 4.5″ x 3.75″.
This wallet can best be described as a step up from a minimal wallet. It has ample room in the back pockets for cards, receipts, or other papers and also has a bill slot which most minimal wallets do not. I have always found it awkward to try to stuff folded bills in a side pocket on a more minimal design, especially when you have more than one bill or are in a rush. The pockets seem to hold whatever you stuff in them, making it as thin or as fat as you allow it. With 3 cards in both front pockets, a few receipts in either back pocket and 5 bills, it is still pretty slim.
Out of the box, like most leather goods, it is a pretty stiff wallet. However, it only took about one day to get the card and bill pocket to stretch out. The color was a bright orange, which was a bit bright for my taste, but I’m happy to say that it has already started to wear in and darken to a more tan/brown color. With age, this color should look very nice and antique like. Lastly, I was concerned that the front pocket ‘slots’ were flimsy and a tad awkward but then grew to appreciate them after a week’s vacation of stuffing cards, bills, and receipts into this wallet. The slot design helps to keep the wallet thin when closed and is easy to get adjusted to.
For the price, this wallet is well worth the money. What looks to be simple and classic is actually a smart design with a minimal feel, yet with the convenience of added pockets and a bill pocket to those like me who just can’t get used to two pockets to hold all. Shaun has several wallet designs and can work with you to customize them to your liking as well. See Shaun’s shop here.