All posts filed under: The story of db clay

October 19, 2008

The story of db clay

What’s our logo going to be?

All lower case.

Early on, now I’m talking early on, I looked accross an eight foot table and I asked Mr. Diggles what he thought our logo should look like. We both sat their stumped. The first appetizing tangent we chewed on was the idea of making a potted plant our logo. We thought a potted plant might somehow showcase the seemingly symbiotic relationship between nature and the city. A living plant being held in a man made device, blah, blah, blah, etc. That idea never flew.

At the same time, we were trying to decide what to name ourselves. Initially, we were going to call ourselves “Ductbills Clay.” But, after Ms. Frey advised otherwise, we shortened it to just “db clay.” I’m glad we did. Ductbills is a mouth full.

In the end, to keep it simple safe and universal, we went with a boring ol’ gray circle. I will have to address the purpose behind choosing the circle in a separate post- For now, pictured below is some early mock-ups of logo creation… before any of this really got started:

Circle

Circle

Circle

Circle

October 18, 2008

The story of db clay

A Look Back @ Holiday 2005 Website.

Our web interface (www.dbclay.com) has certainly evolved over the years just like us and everything else and everyone around us. It’s been fun to watch. I recently came accross some 2005 website screen shots and they brought a grin to my 2008 face. My thoughts: our old site was more playful. The site has an odd, yet attractive color palette. The site used our circle as a theme rather than our signature Dammasch print. I fondly remember the ramp up and launch of this db clay website iteration and we must give the credit for this website build out to the one, the only, Mr. Justin Kistner.

WALLET

WALLET

WALLET

WALLET

WALLET

WALLET

WALLET

WALLET

The website above was alive during the Version 2 days.
Days and billfolds that are now dead.

October 15, 2008

The story of db clay

a TRIBUTE to db clay.

The video above represents how this whole db clay wallet journey got started in the first place. But me’ friends, that is just the tip of the iceberg… a long wallet story made short below:

I began hand making wallets back in the sticky summer of 1998. I simply made them as a hobby at first and gave them out as novelty gifts to those close to me. I then moved back to Portland, they soon caught on fire, and I immediately found myself asking the question, “How do I make these things better and faster?”

Over the years I perfected my craft. I contacted suppliers and began ordering custom materials. I started running a booth at a Portland street market- I started hustling wallets to anyone who would listen. I hired on my brother and other close friends. Our show stopping wallets were selling so well that I decided to start an actual business to back it up. Several years and nearly 30,000 personally hand made wallets later, I decided I couldn’t make them anymore… my mind and hands were tired. It was time to transition to the next level… it was time to turn the formerly called “Ductbills” into “db clay.”

In 2004, I decided to hire my best friend Benjamin to join my brother and me at the helm. We took out our first business loan, set out to establish full scale manufacturing, ramped up and attended our first tradeshow… and the rest is history. From day 1, we came screaming out of the gates and the entire time, we simply were forced to figure it out. After all, we had never run a business before. We soon got manufacturing up and running, we hired more people, we attended more tradeshows, we garnered global press coverage and in less than 3 years we had successfully brought a one of a kind product to market and our new and improved wallets were being distributed in 500+ retailers worldwide.

This TRIBUTE website is dedicated to the journey summarized above.

October 13, 2008

The story of db clay

Meet you at the Hotel.

Garett
Monday morning
(3) hours of sleep last night
Went for a run in Forest Park this morning at 7am
Came into the office, powered up
Rummaging through me digital archives-
Came across a few nostalgic images that I wanted to share
Sorting and cleaning old memories…
———–
Image above was taken circa 2004 in the living room of my N Portland home. On the left is Mr. Diggles, blurred and crooked legged on the right is me. Trinkets, a box on fire, clutter and vintage purses strewn about.
Garett
Image above is my brother Tyler and me staring into our first tradeshow booth. We weren’t quite sure what to do with it. After all, we had never been to a tradeshow before. This was our first, and as romance would have it, we cut the whole thing close. We cut our teeth. Matter of fact, we cut it so close that we had to have our first set of samples (ever) shipped directly from our Asian factory to our hotel room in Vegas… just in time. Tyler and me were taking inventory and inspecting the hot off the press Version 1 samples. Hoping we had enough product to put together a compelling display the following day.
Garett

October 9, 2008

The story of db clay

Bleeding Paint.

Paint Cleanup

October 6, 2008

The story of db clay

Hand Printed Card Cases.

Card Case
About two years ago we released a batch of limited edition card cases. We called ‘em “limited edition” because we only printed about 40-50 of each colorway. We printed them with flexible acrylic paint in the colors showcased below:
Card Case
Silver / Veridian Green
Card Case
Blue Violet / Light Pink
Card Case
Lime Green / Light Blue
Card Case
Shiny Gold / PHTA Blue
Card Case
Unbleached Titanium / Burnt Umber
Card Case
Neutral Gray / Black
Card Cases
Inside shot of Card Case
————————
These card cases are no longer available; they sold out long ago. To see other items that have sold out visit our dead billfolds gallery.

October 1, 2008

The story of db clay

Falling Down and Gravity.

In the spirit of “going away,” I thought I’d do a post dedicated to free falling. Image below was a concept I mocked up last year prior to holiday and I liked it because it feels a bit chaotic. Gray splatters, lights and holly being torn down. Mysterious black edges. A sense of being pushed down the middle… to somewhere undefined. A sense of downward direction. A sense of caving in and melting and going away for a while.
Christmas Lights
At his core, me little brother Tiny is a songwriter, a singer. I found some of his lyric-storming chicken scratches in my archives (pictured below). Back in 2004, he was working on a song called Gravity which has since been completed. One of my favorites. I like the 6/8 feel.
Hear his song and read his lyrics here.
Read more about the scientific notion of Gravity here.
Gravity
BUY ONE OF OUR WALLETS BEFORE THEY ARE ALL GONE HERE.

September 17, 2008

The story of db clay

Stickers and Keychains.

Stickers and Keychains
A few years back, right around the time of Version 2 madness, we made and passed out some keychain/sticker promo packs to customers, friends and the like. Our keychains were made out of hand painted Gaffer’s Tape that was folded over and punched with an eyelet. Our stickers were made out of… well, our stickers were made out of sticker material. I picture someone with a pretty db clay wallet in their back pocket, a cute little keychain hanging from their belt loop and a sticker on the back of their car window and/or laptop monitor.

September 12, 2008

The story of db clay

Long Term Planning.

Wallets
Lately, I’ve been putting my nose to the business development grindstone. Image above (blurred out for the sake of confidentiality!!!), essentially maps out db clay’s planned six year growth trajectory. I am in the process of mapping out our future. It’s a bit of a weird undertaking and is requiring a lot of my brain’s “what if’s.” I am excited to see what actually comes of it. But come what may, wallets surely will remain the core. Image below is… well, I can’t quite tell you what it is. This one is even more top secret. Let’s just say it rhymes with morgue heart.
Wallets

September 9, 2008

The story of db clay

Our Wallets are Dying…

Dead Wallets
One by one, each is being laid to rest in our dead billfolds graveyard.
Today, our Version 3 collection officially retired its last member!
Dark Bark was the last to go.
The Handmade Clay’s above were painted by Brian about 2 years ago.

Garett Croft Stenson

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