Ben's Cottage recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for a range of vintage, premium leather wallets. When we say range, we really mean it. In fact, there are a mind-boggling array of wallet designs and colours involved in the campaign, so much so that trying to write an article that touched on them all would have left our, and your heads spinning. So instead, we had a chat with Kathy, one of the founders of Ben's Cottage (interestingly, none of them are called Ben), to find out a little bit more about the company, the Kickstarter campaign, and most importantly, their wallets.
Below are the highlights of our conversation with Kathy from Ben's Cottage for you to enjoy. We've also included plenty of photos for you to peruse, but if you'd rather just check out the wallets, then head on over the the Ben's Cottage Kickstarter page.
We are using Kickstarter to have a global reach. We are extremely happy to see the orders coming even from Japan or Australia. We want to provide the opportunity to everyone to enjoy our Swiss quality and craftsmanship.
We have tested numerous of prototypes, leather variations until we have found the five best models. The whole process is very time consuming and eventually we have found the right match for our backers.
At first we are passionate professionals in the leather business. Whatever young entrepreneurs do, they need to be passionate about it. Kickstarter is the small piece of the puzzle around the whole story. There are many steps to overcome before launching a project of Crowdfunding platform. The suppliers, manufacturers, cost breakdowns, competition, Kickstarter fees, and payment processing fees are only half of the story. The other half is the product itself, its quality and design.
We have noticed that lots of people choose to support projects that offer more/less affordable rewards, something in the range $12-20. Frankly speaking we could never offer a wallet at these levels as our long-lasting materials are worth more than that and are highly durable. These kind of projects are most of the time delayed (with a reason), or produced out of short-lived materials. What we want to do is to go out there and bring the highest quality wallets possible. In addition, we are paying a health insurance, regular salary and lunch to our employees. We think that by supporting a project, people would need to see the whole story. We are making the wallets in Switzerland where the average hourly pay is $25 and where rent cost varies from $5000-$10000 a month. We want to send a bright picture to the Crowd-funding audience and advise to support and buy the projects that offer realistic pricing and some prior experience in project managing from beginning to an end. We are very happy to be featured on Kickstarter as we want to build a long term trust in our premium quality and design.
We are a team of twelve. Small-sized independent company specializing in handcrafted wallets. Our shops can be found both online and in-store locations within several large shopping malls such as Manor, Ottos and Globus. We have set up the shop in Switzerland because it offers a unique mix of wonderful landscapes and a peaceful working environment. We cooperate with local leather manufactures, and that is why our leather is a top grade. Our customers recognize the quality and unique techniques and that is why we have 80% returning customers. Our leather is not easy to find on a market, and therefore unique wallet look is guaranteed.
Our business was founded in Chicago, US. After two years of operating, I went for a study-trip to Switzerland, more precisely, we visited a place called Brienz, located in the middle of charming mountains known as the center of handcrafting in Switzerland. After learning astonishing techniques from local people I founded my first shop on the lake of Lucerne, and the second just recently in Zurich.
We are wallet specialists and we are always trying to find out what is trendy and popular among fashion-week gurus. Paris, London, and Milano are only one hour flight away and we are happy to participate the most of happenings throughout the year. With the Kickstarter platform, we have started as supporters of campaigns. We liked and supported over 30 wallet campaigns from our private accounts, and now we decided to set up our own campaign, and offer something new, much better, longer-lasting, in our view.
So there you have it, our little chat with Kathy from Ben's cottage. We hope you've enjoyed it.
You can check out the wallets on the Ben's Cottage Kickstarter page. You can also check out their video below, though we have to say, we did cringe at the totally random token attractive lady running in skimpy clothes whilst using a wallet... because that's a totally natural and not at all leering shot... step up your game there Ben's Cottage. Other than that, these look like rather good wallets.