This review is one that I've been really, really excited about sitting down to write.
My first encounter with One Star Leather Goods was about 6 to 8 months ago I'd imagine when I was looking on Etsy for leather Field Notes notebook covers. My first impression when seeing the stuff in the One Star store was pretty much that my jaw dropped. When perusing the shop owner, Keegan's, wares, I was particularly drawn to the notebook wallets with the built in pen holder. I literally kept saying to myself, "how cool are these things!?"
Keegan and I connected through email a couple months back and we chatted back and forth about each other's wares and it was cool to "geek out" with him about his leather goods and the different types there were. I've always loved leather goods, but I've never known the lingo or would be capable of carrying on a leather conversation. Pens? That is a totally different story...
I have the pleasure of owning one of his goods called the Park Sloper Sr. It is a beautiful wallet with space for several cards, some cash, a 3.5"x5.5" notebook of your choice, and a slim pen all in one. You might even be able to stash something behind the notebook flap like a secret compartment... Pretty ingenious if you ask me, and extremely well made.
While I generally always have a Doane Paper utility notebook in mine, the Park Sloper Sr also takes a Moleskine, Field Notes, or other notebooks available in this size, so just know you have some options if there is a brand you prefer.
I was also given the pleasure of sharing one of my Cubes and Blocks with Keegan which he has put to extremely good use in his studio. In speaking for myself, my workshop is not always organized to a "T", but it is where the magic happens. There is something about chaos that often breeds creation. It is an organized, and well-oiled chaos though, right Keegan?
Literally after two days of trying to decide which color to choose, I opted for the natural chromexcel outer with a dark brown inner for the card slots and money flap. The decision for the chromexcel was based on Keegan's suggestion that this would be a cool choice if I was looking for a leather finish that would darken and age naturally into a rich brown color. I was hooked and I'm glad he helped me make that decision.
One great feature is that this thing smells awesome. Weird? Nah. Actually, when I grabbed the envelope from the mailbox, I could smell the leather already and couldn't wait to tear that baby open to see what he had made.
What I uncovered was a quality made product that looked, felt, and smelled great. I've had the privilege to carry the wallet now for awhile as I wanted to do so before doing the review to let it break in and age a bit. This thing has aged wonderfully. She has her bumps and bruises, but thats all part of the process. The color is rich and it still looks and feels amazing.
It is a large wallet at about 6 inches in height, but he has designed it so the profile of it is very slim. Even loaded with four cards (Driver's License, work badge, credit card, and debit card), a bit of cash, a Doane Paper utility notebook, and a Cross Click pen, it sits about as thick as my iPhone (without a case) . Sitting down isn't uncomfortable at all, and is actually more comfortable than my previous, smaller wallet that was thicker. Depending on your style of pants, you might even be able to carry this front pocket or this would also be a great all-in-one wallet to throw in a bag, purse, or satchel.
The pen slot is slim, although Keegan could probably adjust it for an additional amount, but fits thin pens like the Caran d'Ache 849, the Cross Click gel (recently reviewed), and the Fisher Stowaway Space Pen. There are others that will fit I'm sure, but these are ones Keegan has shown posted with his goods.
By far, this is one of my favorite handmade products I've seen and used and enjoy it thoroughly. Keegan does an amazing job with his wares and I was blown away by the quality of workmanship he presents. If you are in the market for a new wallet, notebook cover, or other handmade leather goods, give One Star Leather a look.