Kickstart This: ONIKAGI: Modular Leather Wallet for Humanity on Kickstarter [Opinion]

I’ve been going on Kickstarter ever since I first heard of it about a year and a half ago. Due to my love for product design, I usually lurk the Design and Technology categories to see the types of designs that you wouldn’t normally see come out of larger companies. A trend that anyone who also lurks the Design category can agree with me is the need for a new wallet design. It seems these campaigns all have the same common problem, too many cards, fat wallets, and just unappealing designs. They feel the solution is to create the most minimal and aesthetically pleasing wallet to fix this problem. There were projects like the Slim, Wally, The Ridge, The CRABBY, and many, many more. But a new one that just released on May 27, the Onikagi, offers more than just a wallet, but also a way to support the trades community in Indonesia.

I love watching the videos the creators make and learning all about the products and as much as I wanted to pledge, I never have. The one exception was for the Wally, because, of course, it’s designed specifically for the iPhone. It was a great way to eliminate the wallet completely, compared to buying a smaller one. I love it, and will provide a separate review of it, but for this, I wanted to share my opinion on the Onikagi, and why I’ve pledged, and hopefully give you reason to pledge as well!

I think the video itself does justice as to what funding this project will mean. A lot of consumers don’t think about the process, people, and work that goes into the products they buy off the shelf. We see only the finished product, we don’t pay to know what  goes into making it. This caused big issues for companies like Nike, who were scrutinized for their sweatshops, and the big trend shift after that was being transparent about how products were made, and a shift from manufacturing in China to keeping manufacturing in North America. But I diverse. So the video explains the craftsman life, Rohiman, who makes handmade leather shoes and wallets to pay for all his daily expenses, which still isn’t enough. He has 2 children and a wife who is sick and on medication, which sometimes he doesn’t have enough money to pay for.

ONIKAGI: Modular Leather Wallets for Humanity

But as sad as that may be, it’s not just his story that persuaded me to pledge, it’s hopefully helping start a trend to recognize that there are truly skilled people who do great work, that deserve a better opportunity to showcase it. I think of this as helping people in need in a constructive way.

The team, Jackson, Ken and Rohiman have created a functional modular wallet, that breaks from the trend of just minimal and clean aesthetics. You can add in a coin pouch or just go out with the main card/bill holder. Leather is one of the most beautiful materials that can be used and only gets better over time. They offer a magnet or button attachment system for the modular components, but personally, I like the button design. I’d like to think of it as future-proofing, as magnets have a tendency to grow weak and not be as effective. It’s not a design that’s meant to be completely minimal in your pocket, but it includes everything you’ll need; cards, bills, and coins (optional). They’ve hit the spot for me in function and form.

I applaud Jackson and Ken for going out and working with Rohiman as their craftsman, this not only provides an opportunity for him and his family, but also a product I would say he should be very proud of. The campaign itself is very well executed as it not only tries to sell you a product, but connects you emotionally to the process and the people involved.

They plan to create more attachments in the future, securing that the product isn’t a static one, and there are plans for future development, which is always good to hear! They’ve provided an estimated shipping date of October 2013. I wouldn’t be surprised if they push back though, as history has it with Kickstarter campaigns, but it’ll be worth the wait!


They offer a early backer price of £30, which equates to about ~$47 CDN, which will get you the Onikagi base holder, money flap, and coin pouch. If you miss out on the early backer deal, you can get it for £35 (~$55 CDN), or substitute the coin pouch for the SD card holder. If you want it all, you can pledge £43 (~$68 CDN) and get the complete set -the best part is it includes worldwide shipping! The campaign ends on June 26, 2013, so head on over and give it a look-see!