Bearded Woodcraft Handcrafting Wood WalletsBusiness Profiles — By Susan Post on June 23, 2014 at 8:00 am
Wood wallets? Bearded Woodcraft owner John Beard is used to the eyebrows that his company’s main product can raise, but he’s finding a market for the slender, hand-crafted wallets.
“Everybody always says wood wallets with a question mark on the end,” Beard says. But once they see the product, “They really like the idea, it’s very simplistic.”
Bearded Woodcraft’s wallets are eco-friendly, made from durable, dense hickory and cherry wood. Beard finds fallen trees and reclaimed wood from which to craft the wallets, doing all of the planing and work by hand. An elastic band made from recycled bike inner tubes wraps around the wallet to affix cards and cash. Because of the band’s great elasticity, the wallet can hold upwards of six to seven cards. Many people want a thinner wallet and the minimalist design fits the bill, as people only have room to carry their essential cards and some cash.
Along with those eyebrows, Beard has received some questions about the wallet’s durability with its rigid design.
“To date, I’ve never had anyone contact me with an issue,” Beard says. He did have one customer call to say his wallet warped when it dried after an accidental dip in the pool. He then ordered another custom wallet. “The durability is no issue whatsoever,” Beard says.
Bearded Woodcraft is adding other products to their repertoire. Beard also crafts wood iPhone stands, magnets, coasters and tie bars.
“All of these can be fully customized,” Beard says. He finds the customization draws consumers to the products. Customers can submit their own logo, design or initials to be engraved on their purchase. Bearded Woodcraft also offers a number of pre-engraved goods with Ohio-centric designs.
Beard came up with the wallets as a solution to a problem that many men encounter – his wallet was destroying his pants pockets and or just falling apart.
He thought, “You know what, I’m going to try to create my own.” Beard tested many materials before finally settling on wood. His father had grown up a craftsman so he had the access to the tools and knowledge to hand-craft the wallets out of the unlikely material. Beard and his father use reclaimed or recycled wood to make all the wallets themselves which prompted him to see what other materials he could use to give the wallets their eco-friendly label, settling on recycled bike inner tubes.
Events like the Moonlight Market provide a platform for people to get to know the curious product better.
“It’s been very, very well received,” Beard says. During their first market, the shop only had wallets and iPhone stands, but had their full line for the second go-round. Beard says that having a variety of options helped bring more customers to their space.
For more information, visit beardedwoodcraft.com.