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THE JOURNAL

10 years of Bellroy, a lifetime of stories



Every Bellroy begins as a clean slate, and grows more unique with every year of use. So, in celebration of our 10th anniversary, we checked in with some of our extended family to see how their Bellroys have aged. Some had great stories to tell, including the time a Slim Sleeve saved someone’s butt (quite literally) on the ski slopes, and a sailcloth prototype that lasted the longest of all. Read on to see them all!

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“My absolute favorite customer story was from a guy called Lucas. While skiing in Tahoe, he hit some deep powder and bailed, hard. Hard enough that his ski flew back and nailed him in the rear end, slicing through his ski pants and the trusty Note Sleeve in his back pocket. Even though the wallet suffered a nasty gouge, everything inside was fine, and Lucas credits it with, quite literally, saving his ass.”

– Sharni, on the left, heads up our customer service team and has plenty more stories to tell.

“I think my favorite customer story is from Dave, a loyal Bellroy fan who started a ‘polite and laid-back uprising’, comprised of hilarious haikus, in an attempt to convince us we should make a sleeve for his 10.5” tablet. After weeks of hugely entertaining back-and-forth, Dave ended up getting a Duo Totepack.

A few months later, we got another message from him. Turns out he gave the bag to his daughter, who required a tracheotomy due to severe asthma, and had to lug a portable ventilator around with her. Her equipment fit perfectly in the Totepack, and everywhere she went, people would comment on how cool it was. As Dave put it, ‘For a kid wrestling to breathe, who lives – at least for now – with a hole in her neck, the little boost of confidence and attention that bag gives her is a wonderful, simple little thing. And it might just save her life in a pinch.’

I’m not crying, I just have something in my eye.”

– Camilla, on the right, speaks to our customers daily (and keeps some tissues handy for the happy tears)



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    Taylor likes to live on the edge, but we advise keeping your Slim Sleeve nice and dry.

“I’ve had this Slim Sleeve since, well, probably the year Bellroy started! Honestly, it still surprises me every day. THAT SIMPLE PULL TAB. Every time I pull on it, it's like I'm performing a magic trick, and I've had multiple people comment on it.

One time I was checking in for a flight, and pulled out my wallet to get my ID. I noticed a gentleman next to me, looking directly at me. We made eye contact and he nodded in approval, holding up his Bellroy wallet. I nodded back, smiling.”

– Taylor is an industrial designer, beard champion and Carryology’s senior editor.



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“This Slim Sleeve has been through a lot of fun with me – a new house, a new puppy and a new girlfriend (all of which have made a dint in my pocket, haha). The color of it has always delighted me. I get a lot of compliments, and it’s been quite an icebreaker. You don't see wallets this color often, so I love that it’s out of the ordinary.”

– Dan is a friend and fellow creative whom you may spot in a Bellroy photoshoot or two.



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“I love my Classic Pouch. I’ve had it for a couple of years and I use it pretty much every day. Even after being dragged around in my bag with all my other stuff, looking at it the other day I realised how pristine it still looks. It reminds me of a few things – meeting the wonderful people at Bellroy, a task or job that I have to do (depending what’s in it), and of course it reminds me of pizza! Whenever someone wants chewy or lip balm or a tissue, I’ll whip out my pouch and beat anyone else to it. Because it’s a competition.”

– Anna is a Melbourne-based illustrator (responsible for our Design Icons sketches), who was one of the first to use a Classic Pouch.



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“I just turned 40 this year, and at some point carrying a backpack to a meeting started to feel a little bit ‘stuck-in-your-youth’, so the ability to fling my Duo Totepack off my shoulder and carry it from the top handles makes me feel a bit more presentable. But as soon as I leave the meeting, it’s back on my shoulder!”

– Oliver, on the left, co-founded cycling brand MAAP (with Jarrad, on the right).

“From the daily ride to work to product development trips in Italy, my Bellroy x MAAP Phone Pocket goes everywhere with me. Literally, everywhere. Bitter cold outdoors, coffee tables, airport lounges… And as a dad with two little ones, who knows where else. I can happily say it’s kid proof too! It may be officially called a Phone Pocket, but I like to call it the Super Wallet instead.”

– Jarrad might just have been the Bellroy x MAAP collaboration’s biggest fan.



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“My brother Andy made this wallet when he was at university back in 1999, using some sailcloth, binding, and a needle and thread. It turned out to be an early prototype of the Slim Sleeve! He eventually passed this one on to me to use for a while; while I enjoyed the super slim profile, the sailcloth material didn’t hold up particularly well. In the two decades since, we’ve kept the slim designs, but replaced the sailcloth with leather, which is both softer and more durable.”

– Matt, Bellroy's CIO, has been the recipient of his brother (and our CEO) Andy's hand-me-down designs since it all began.



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    Tara designs the patterns that make up our products. - Bells Beach
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    Raj keeps our wallet production running smoothly. - Chennai, India
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    Alana is a photographer and surfer, and longtime friend of Bellroy. - Oahu, Hawaii
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    James is a senior product designer at Bellroy. - Bells Beach
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    Kaiju is our part-time office mascot, and full-time good boy. - Melbourne
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    Kannan helps get our wallets made and out into the world. - Chennai, India
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    Andy, Bellroy’s co-founder and CEO, is holding a Card Sleeve prototype he made from FedEx packaging. - Bells Beach
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    Andy and Richard are the brains behind Huckberry. - San Francisco

Create your own Bellroy story