The Past: 30,000 Hand Made Duct Tape Wallets -- The Future: Kickstarter Campaign For Universal Product Design Co.

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Following the distribution of nearly 100,000 Wallets globally, over the course of a decade or so, Portland’s db clay was unable to purchase their needed holiday inventory in late 2008 due to a lack of inventory financing available on the market. Flashing forward to 2011 in non-traditional fashion, db clay is shooting to reopen its Wallet doors via – a crowd-funding platform perfectly geared toward small hungry brands with big hearts.

db clay wallets

db clay wallets

db clay is a Portland-based product design co with deep roots and a decade of experience concentrated on the Wallet industry. Garett Stenson is the Founder, Creative Director and CEO for db clay and he has a unique and ironic story to tell. In late 2008 due to economic forces, rookie mistakes and a unique set of circumstances, his first time small business went down like many others in a big ball of flames. “Yee-haw!”

Today, Garett is happy to announce he’s crowd-funding capital via Kickstarter, “in an effort to relaunch db clay.” Funds raised will primarily go toward the purchase of inventory for a new collection of Wallets he’s titled LINE 0.0. Once this first batch is alive and well, he has plans to reinvest future revenues, and in time go well beyond the world of designer wallets -- most likely entering the Mobile Payments industry in some capacity or another.

Building db clay:
Garett began making Duct Tape Wallets during his first year of college in 1998. His handmade wears quickly caught on, he opened a booth at a local street market, his darn creations started to sell like crazy… and then 30,00 handmade Wallets later, he setup full scale manufacturing and founded db clay inc in 2005. He hired on his brother Tyler and best friend Mr. Diggles and they whole-heartedly evolved db clay into a tech savvy fashion brand that was selling unique designer Wallets, that were then distributed in over 530 retailers worldwide.

In all they sold about 100,000 Wallets, and in the process, “had thousands of conversations with people about what they carry in their pocket and why.” To dive into the full story of db clay’s playful beginnings visit their TRIBUTE ( website and read the wacky folklore.

Closing db clay:
In 2007/8 db clay endured a very damaging legal mess that was the result of several financial complications stemming from the credit freeze and global financial crisis. Garett’s particular problem began with a $180 bloodwork bill being erroneously sent to collections in his name, due to a medical billing software error. Subsequently, his credit standing was called into question and multiple business lines of credit were then shut down, due to a tightening of belts by the banks.

This triggered a financial tailspin and following many months of struggle to stay afloat, the result for Garett was closing his business down, personal bankruptcy, home foreclosure, unemployment and losing his health care coverage. Sound familiar? “I appreciate many of you went through this too,” says Garett. “Looking back I can now smile and appreciate the irony in a Wallet company not having any money left in its own Wallet… though definitely unwelcome at the time, I couldn’t pay for this kind of learning experience.” Moving on…

About db clay’s Kickstarter project:
Following db clay’s trip up in 2008 and after working various Portland jobs in the interim, Garett is proud to announce that he officially founded a new company on 01/11/2011 that seeks to carry the flickering torch of the old db clay forward. He has a great deal of stored momentum on the business side of things and moving ahead, he intends to do things much differently. “I plan to keep things small, overhead low (he is currently the only employee) and hope to rebuild the brand sustainably over time.”

To assist with db clay’s relaunch, he is thankfully calling to action all the db clay fans out in the universe. In order to get going again, he needs help purchasing inventory. “I have the ideas and infrastructure in place but I need means to financing production of LINE 0.0.” Crowd funding via is the chosen platform for db clay’s PREORDER campaign for their new flat/slim Wallets. A 50-day campaign that began on May 4, 2011.

How it works:
Garett is dedicated to this project and to the community that supports it. “I’m looking to literally Kickstart db clay in 2011 with the introduction of LINE 0.0 ( picked a good URL btw). Following this campaign I plan to keep things simple early on, and then over time, I hope to incrementally regrow db clay into a much broader line of products, accessories and mobile applications (yes, even software!).” With your favor and helping spread the word, he’d like nothing more than to continue on this journey in 2011 – thanks thanks thanks.

For all the juicy details visit his Kickstarter campaign page (

db clay is a universal product design co based in Portland, OR. Our specialty is Wallets but we also tinker with art, accessories and applications. “Crafts meet Technology.”

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Garett Stenson
db clay
503 888 4261
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