Who doesn’t like receiving packages?
Two weeks ago, I wrote about VooDoo Studios, a small leather goods company based out of Los Angeles. I originally came across the company when I was searching for wallets online. Their offers seemed really incredible - they were selling Horween leather wallets for about half the price that their competitors were charging. I was really impressed, so I contacted them to get more information for a write up.
A few days after I published my post, VooDoo generously offered to let me try out three of their wallets. I was excited to be able to actually handle their products, as well as use them for a few months. Nothing like putting them to the test to know if these were actually quality, practical goods.
I decided to have them send me their flap wallet, angle wallet, and double sided wallet in three of their different leathers, so that I could not only review the product designs, but also the materials. Let me show you what they sent.
Let’s start with the flap wallet they sent me. This particular one is made from Horween’s cigar shell cordovan. My first impression was, predictably, dominated by how nice the leather is. If you’ve never handled shell, know that there is a reason why there are so many shell cordovan enthusiasts. The material is incredibly rich and beautiful, and you can see slightly mottled shades throughout the leather.
The wallet holds about three of my credit cards comfortably. I could fit five, but it was a little bit harder to get them in and out at that point. I don’t expect this to change much since shell doesn’t really stretch. The flap on the wallet also seemed to add a bit of bulk, mostly because it was made from shell, but I found that it flattens a bit after a day’s use. In the end, it’s not that much thicker than the Jack Spade card wallet I used to use.
The leather seems like it will wear the best out of the three. The coloring is really set in and the material doesn’t scratch or scuff easily. I can see this being a particularly good attribute after five or seven years of hard use.
Correction (4/7/11): Turns out the shell cordovan flap wallet they sent me was an older model prototype they had laying around. The new versions hold 7-8 cards easily. Excuse the info above.
VooDoo Studios also sent me one of their double-sided wallets in ox blood calf. The design, as you can see, is basically one long strip of leather folded into thirds, thus creating two pockets for you to store things in.
The biggest advantage here is how many credit cards I could shove into this. It easily held all thirteen of my cards, and I think I could have stuck even more in if I owned more. Calf leather also stretches, so I’m sure if you’re some uncommon person who needs to carry twenty credit cards around at all times, you could do so with this wallet. Though it had a lot of storage space, it was still quite slim. Like the other wallets VooDoo sent me, this wasn’t much thicker than the slim card case I was carrying around, and it didn’t add any bulk to my jackets.
The other upside to having two pockets is that you can store your cards on one side and cash on the other. This seems like it would be particularly good if you don’t already own a money clip. Although I like my money clip, the downside to using one is that you always have to keep a large wad of cash on you; otherwise your money won’t stay secured. Now, if you’re the kind of guy who sometimes only has five bills or so on you, a money clip is completely unpractical. You’ll end up having to do origami with your money just to make them bulky enough for your clip, or you’ll find yourself telling homeless people that you really need to keep this dollar, otherwise you’ll have a mess in your pockets. Best to avoid those situations and just use one of these.
Lastly, there is their angle wallet. Let me just be frank - when I found VooDoo, I was searching for a cheap alternative to Makr’s angle wallet, and I think I’ve found it. In my opinion, this wallet gives up nothing to Makr’s. Like all of VooDoo’s other wallets, it is stitched, buffed, painted, and polished by hand. The Horween leather, nylon stitching, and finishing all seem to be the same to Makrs, but the price is just much lower.
Thus far, just from first impressions, this is my favorite of the three. I can comfortably fit about seven cards into the angle wallet, which is more than the flap wallet, though not as much as the double sided. However, I typically only carry two IDs, two credit cards, and two business cards anyway, so that’s OK by me. I also appreciate that it allows me to have easier access to my cards than the flap wallet, and has an even slimmer profile than either of the two above.
The real upside to this, however, is the material. VooDoo sent this to me in Chromexcel horse front leather, which is also known as North of Cordovan (Horween calls it horsehide strips). This leather is from the horse’s hips, which is just “north” of its rump, where shell cordovan is taken. I’d roughly characterize it as a “poor man’s shell cordovan.” The color has a lot of luster and depth like shell, but it’s to a lesser degree. Additionally, though it’s very dense and a bit waxy, again like shell, it also doesn’t resist scratching and scuffing the same way. I strongly recommend it over calf, however. North of Cordovan is just incredibly nice looking, and you can sense the richness of the leather even when you just touch it. I’ve actually found myself rubbing mine at times just to admire how nice the material feels.
For the next few months, I’m going to use each of these wallets and then give you my impressions after I’m done. In that future post, I’ll talk about the practicality of their designs and durability of their materials. Just from first impressions, however, I’d say these wallets hold an incredible value. VooDoo Studios is still honoring their Die, Workwear! discount code, so if you send them a note that you found them through this blog, they’ll refund you 15% of your total order. You can also go to their Etsy store and punch in the code DWSPECIAL5DISC for a 5% discount. You should check both their company store and Etsy store to see which will give you the best price, but generally, this makes their cheapest wallet to be about $25. You can even get the horse front angle wallet for about $28. For a handcrafted, slim wallet made from horsehide strips, you really can’t beat that price.
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