It’s rare that I see a product pitched on “Shark Tank” that really grabs me, but that’s exactly what happened during this past season of the NBC entrepreneur series when the two guys from Wallet Buckle stepped on stage.
First off, I hate carrying a wallet (even the low-profile kind), especially if I need to maintain some mobility while doing work or going to a show. I’ve broken more money clips than I can count, and it’s not uncommon for me to smash my driver’s license, credit cards, and cash into a standard black binder clip and just go with that.
That’s why the “Shark Tank” piece featuring Wallet Buckle founders Trevor and Justin Johnston drew me in. The product is exactly what you’d expect: a way to store your cards and ID inside the buckle itself.
This I had to see!
The opening on the left side of the buckle has a taper that creates tension, which prevents cards from falling out. Each buckle can hold four cards at a time, and even if there are only two or three in there, no amount of shaking or dancing or strutting is going to make the cards fall out by accident.
And, one of the perks is that the company has over 100 designs to choose from, ranging from $49.95 to $94.95, and there’s lots for both men and women to find something that fits them.
The brothers helped me get my hands on one, and I spent the past few weeks taking it for a test drive (or would that be a test wear?). I donned a buckle sporting a black cross on a gray background to a rock concert, through airport security, to the farm store, and to restaurants. My pockets have never been happier.
I easily popped my cards in and out of the buckle when I needed them, and there was never any fear of something going missing. In fact, that was a relief at the concert — I didn’t catch myself having to check every so often whether my pockets had been picked or if something had fallen out. The cards were always right where I left them. (The one quibble at the concert, when I had three personal cards plus a hotel key card in there, is that having it filled to the max on a hot North Carolina day, with my sweaty fingers, made it a little tricky to get my credit card out without needing to use two hands.)
There’s no doubt that the Wallet Buckle is geared toward the country music and rural crowds, but it’s not too far-fetched to see it slinking its way into other segments, too. The fact is: It’s handy. It really is, and it’s nice to have that kind of convenience and a worry-free place to store your cards when you’re on the go.
It also helps to see the buckles first-hand. Prior to “Shark Tank,” the Johnston brothers had been selling the majority of their stock at festivals and country music events. Having the buckle in hand, feeling the weight, the durability, and the overall quality of it is a huge selling point. There were clearly no shortcuts taken in the manufacturing process.
And did I mention that they do custom work, too? College sports teams or farm logos could be highly personalized.
“It’s so fun to know that we’ve spent so much time and energy creating something that we know people love,” Justin Johnston said.