An Interview with
We’re back again with our second interview where we ask some of the hard-working individuals in the wallet world questions regarding their brand, wallets, and inspiration. After the success of our first interview, from Willow Craft Goods, we’ve decided to keep going with interviewing some of the amazing independent wallet brands on the market today and hopefully bringing awareness to the great work they all do.
Today we’ll be speaking to Wes, founder, and owner of Hawbuck. Hawbuck as a brand first came to my attention when I was on the search for wallets made from distinctive, unusual, and unique materials. Hawbuck was exactly what I was looking for as not only are these wallets made from the material Dyemma (more on what this is later), but many of Hawbuck’s wallet range also comes in beautiful patterns and artistic designs. Let’s see what Wes had to say.
About Hawbuck Wallets
”My goal is for Hawbuck to offer the best Dyneema wallets one can buy. I want Hawbuck to become a small cult cottage brand. This goal is new— I only have this aspiration because of the response from my customers, a lot of folks love the Lean H01 wallet. Their encouragement has me re-framing my goals for this project”.
For anyone unfamiliar with Hawbuck, tell us a bit about your shop. When did you open and what inspired and motivated you to develop your own range of wallets?
I realized one day how much I hated my leather wallet and thought Dyneema would be a better material. When I went searching Dyneema wallets, I couldn’t find what I wanted, so I started makin’ em. My first ones were ugly. They worked though! I gave some to friends, glowing feedback, so I set up a little online shop. I’m a product designer, and at my day job at the time I was feeling a lack of creative control. Hawbuck is a creative outlet.
As one of the only wallet brands to work with Dyneema, what makes Dyneema such a good material for wallets, and what prompted you to choose this material?
Dyneema—well, DCF—is good because the laminate structure provides a nice rigidity. The rigidity results in structure, but not too much structure. The laminate, especially DCF Hybrid, has a good hand-feel and a superb level of friction both on the cards and your pockets. Not too much or too little.
Finally, I sew the seams extremely close to the edge of the wallet—in normal material, these seams would rip out. The Dyneema holds fast. These tiny seam allowances add up to a more minimal finished product. In the end, it’s not the lightweight that matters here— what’s important is its extreme strength to thinness.
The wallet industry is very competitive and saturated with a huge range of wallets. With that in mind, What would you say is the most important thing people should consider when searching for a new wallet to buy?
Consider buying a wallet from a company that focuses on wallets? You can find wallets from brands that make lots of different products, but the better products are likely to come from the brands with the narrow focus.
Finally, we always like to ask this question, if you had to choose one wallet to carry for the rest of your life (that isn’t your own brand) which one would it be?
Somehow I wasn’t aware of Slimfold Wallets until at least late 2019, and I’ve never used one– but in looking at his site I find myself nodding in design agreement. I appreciate the care paid to material, and that his approach seems considered and intentional.
I can’t not mention your logo, what inspired its design? Does it have a meaning or cool story behind it?
I thought it would be fun to make useless-but attractive cast bronze objects using only stolen electricity. So I built an electric foundry that could fit in a shopping cart (a “trolley” in the UK). This way I could roll down the alleys we have in Chicago, plug into the electricity at the back of a corner-store. So I needed a logo for stolen electricity. I drew up this “Five Finger Discount” logo.
When I started Hawbuck, I borrowed the logo from my other project, it was perfect— because I make these with my hands, and the project is not for money, it’s for fun. What I mean by that is it has to be process and product first—when those are humming, the project will be sustainable.
You have quite the selection of quality wallets in different designs. What appeals to you the most when looking for the next new wallet to design and make?
I only design a new wallet if I see evidence that there is a need for it, and that need is not otherwise well met.
What does the future hold for Hawbuck? Have you any new projects in the pipeline or anything you’d like to share?
When I created Hawbuck I told myself to follow the first intuition, not overthink it, experiment. Part of that is not planning too much. I’ve been focused on perfecting the product. It’s probably time to turn to get the word out. I’d like for it to grow, but not too much. I have some new patterns in the works. I can share this, that I do a lot of product development that goes nowhere. If I don’t feel strongly that the design is near perfect, I kill it. I have a drawer full of killed prototype-products.
Feel free to share your social media, or where people can follow you and your amazing work.
On Instagram @hawbuck. Thanks for the interview and letting folks know about my work!
Or visit their official website, browse their wallets, and see if you like anything!