How it Started
WOOLLY was founded in 2017 by two designers who share high standards for quality and simplicity. Jake Fromer, formerly with Nike apparel innovation, and Jeff Heil, a freelance user experience designer, first met in product design school at University of Oregon. Four years later, they took an idea for a better wallet to their basement in Northeast Portland where they developed the unique production process and do-more-with-less philosophy they would use to build their brand.
Modern Meets Handmade
A handmade wallet has a unique story that starts with its maker and lives on with its user. But most handmade wallets aren’t made for today's modern consumer. Traditionally, they’re made with thick leather and burly thread, weighing heavy in your pocket. At WOOLLY, we source thin and durable vegetable-tanned leather, and sew with a fine but strong thread for a more minimal end product that lasts. Our production process blends high technology with old school craft techniques. We design our patterns digitally, laser cut the parts, carefully hand sew and edge-finish. It's a process that makes our wallets distinctly precise, but with handcraft character.
Made in a Progressive Maker Culture
WOOLLY is part of an evolving American-craft movement. We’re embedded in Portland’s progressive maker culture and we appeal to a new era of conscious consumers demanding high quality, contemporary products made locally and responsibly. Our aesthetic and our methods are progressive, but we work within our means to design and produce our products ourselves in our Northwest Portland studio. Our leather comes from Wickett & Craig, one of the last vegetable tanneries in the U.S. We honor the 5,000 year old tradition of vegetable-tanning because the quality of leather it produces is unmatched. At WOOLLY, we bring a new perspective to an age-old industry – we make quality leather goods for the modern consumer.