The Battle of Waxhaws was a pivotal but barely talked about battle during the Revolutionary War which galvanized American Patriots to ultimately win the war. The Waxhaws Leather Company is a small quiet California-based company less than two years old, created with the goals of producing classic and timeless full-grain leather pieces against today’s trend of softer, manipulated, mass-produced leather goods targeted at the pockets of female shoppers. Its owner, John Fred, prides himself on his honesty and work ethic passed down to him by his grandfather. Originally inspired by the Coach and Hartmann of decades past, John Fred aims to create focused and practical leather goods for men and women using full grain vegetable-tanned English bridle leather carefully selected to patina and burnish gracefully.
This is a small family affair. John Fred designs his own concepts with the occasional nod of approval from his wife (who just happens to be a professional designer). The Signature Design Wallet is crafted using Italian full grain vegetable-tanned leather with three card slots and a full length compartment. All leather materials are imported from Italy and manufactured by an experienced Chinese production firm personally visited and chosen by John Fred. The leather is designed to wrap around the entire wallet including the interior whereas other wallets sometimes fill this space with cheaper microfiber or suede. Special attention was also given to the rubber casing holding the phone. As the area most prone to any wear and tear on the wallet, a special 3M adhesive is used to seal the casing to the wallet. On top of all this, John has a satisfaction guarantee and lifetime full replacement warranty for all his products and provides direct personal communication through e-mail. He uses and tests all his product lines himself and has a video on his website demonstrating the appearance, malleability, and durability of his own iPhone wallet case after long term use. With the upcoming release of the iPhone 6, a similar case will be released for the new dimensions.
Since this is full-grain leather, the brand new cover does not immediately lie flush with the phone screen. However, with time and natural conditioning from your hands, the leather softens and conforms around the phone. The pockets are useful but not numerous enough to function as an entire wallet. This is a good thing considering the main purpose of the wallet is a phone case and carrying tons of weight will only get in the way of making phone calls. The rubber casing has a solid attachment to the leather base and makes a snug fit with cutouts for all the speakers and cameras of the phone. The side buttons are guarded nicely but still easily pressed. For someone used to a plain silicone case, it takes time to get used to opening or bending back a cover to use a phone, but there is definite extra protection to the screen with the full grain leather padding.
Instead of tearing away the packaging when you first receive the wallet, you will want to keep it. It comes in a handsome gift box which opens to an even nicer color and smell of full-grain whiskey (or black) veggie-tanned leather. The wallet is subdued in its appearance. There are no gimmicks or trendy style-lines. It is compact but beautiful. The leather looks like it is just begging to start building its own patina with the oil from your hands. Inside the surprisingly full leather interior adds that extra quality and luxury not found in most mass-produced leather iPhone wallets. My $3 silicone case from the mall went straight into the wastebasket. Never again.
The Waxhaws Leather Co. iPhone 5 Signature Design Wallet is sold on the Waxhaws, Amazon, and Etsy websites. Offered at a reasonable price with free two-day Amazon Prime shipping available, it has earned a perfect 5/5 Amazon rating and deserves it. It is simple, it is quality, and it is beautiful.