April 22, 2008

The story of db clay

Chicago Tribune Mention- thanks Ellen.

Chicago Tribune Article Duct Tape
db clay just got a fantastic writeup in Sunday’s Chicago Tribune. About a month and a half ago I got a call from a lady named Ellen…we spoke for over an hour as she interviewed me about starting my wallet business. She ended up writing a very nice piece on us: thank you Ellen

Stick to it: A wallet made of duct tape
By Ellen Warren, Chicago Tribune Shopping Advisor

Some years ago, I gave the commencement address at Barat College. Soon afterwards, the college shut down. But that’s another story. Back then, I asked the graduating seniors how many of them did not know what they were going to do with the rest of their lives. Almost everyone raised a hand.

This event came to mind after I talked to Garrett Croft Stenson, a young entrepreneur who might just be the world expert on wallets. It is safe to say that this is not a career track he anticipated when he first started making billfolds ten years ago.

The sleek model shown here is the result of a process that Stenson refined after crafting about 30,000 wallets by hand. He started on a kitchen table in Idaho in 1998 with money he earned by selling his blood (actually plasma).

This silvery item has a modern Prada vibe, all the more captivating since the wallet is made from duct tape. Stenson, now 28, originally sold his duct tape wallets at weekend street fairs, which is where he “learned tons about the wallet customer” through one-on-one, very personal marketing research.

“I probably had tens of thousands of conversations about wallets with people, every weekend for five years: ‘What kind of wallet do you carry?’ ‘What do you like about it?’ ”After so much cutting and folding, Stenson, said, “I can’t make these things any more.”
So he used his daunting experience to launch the Duct Tape Wallet Kit ($20,myductbills.com) which is where the pictured wallet got started.

As a result of his daunting hands-on know-how Stenson (and his brother, Tyler) also produced the most brilliantly easy-to-follow directions for any do-it-yourself product ever. (Are you listening VCR makers?)

Stenson has moved on to create an artistic, collectible line of wallets (www.dbclay.com)made from an eco-friendly material his firm developed.

About his new venture (and unexpected career path), Stenson says that now it’s all about the perfect wallet: “It was never really about the duct tape.”

Source: Chicago Tribune – April 20, 2008

Garett Croft Stenson

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