What I really like about Kickstarter is that anyone can come up with an idea, get funding, and turn a concept into a prototype that will eventually become an actual product.

With that in mind, it’s amazing to see that product development is not only for big companies anymore, but for people like you and me to create something awesome. This is exactly what Eddie Hsieh is trying to do.

When he couldn’t find what he was looking for, he decided to create it. This is when the CASELLET (case/wallet) concept was born. Eddie now needs to raise $22,000 to bring his product to life, so we sat down with him and asked him about his project…

How did you get the idea of CASELLET?

During college, it was always inconvenient to hold my wallet and my phone when going to class, the gym, or a night out. Soon after moving to Downtown LA, I made a thin wallet out of cardboard and duct-tape and velcroed it to the back of my phone. It immediately changed the convenience of everyday errands. I no longer had to worry about my wallet being in the pockets of yesterdays’ jeans, in my cars cup-holder, or on my nightstand. It was always where my phone was. And since I never go more than a few minutes without checking email, writing text messages or making phone calls, locating and carrying my wallet was much more convenient. I figure many other people could benefit from this also and started the project.

I looked online and in stores and nothing fulfilled exactly what I wanted. The card holding cases doesn’t carry cash and exposes all my items. The leather cases made it annoying to text or make phone calls with a flap in front and didn’t look very sleek. I got a  good response surveying friends and strangers about a hard case wallet combo and began the project.

Do you have any background in product design?

I don’t have a design background but I’ve been able to work with two amazingly talented people. Ryan Robinson, who graduated from Otis School of Design, transformed my 2D sketches and drawings into 3D CAD designs that really gave me a sense of how CASELLET would look and feel. Dan Martinez who is a product engineer with 20 years of experience was able to take those 3D images and give me insight on structural integrity, affordable material, and design limitations. With the help of the two of them, the CASELLET prototype came to life.

Your goal is to raise $22,000. How do you expect to get there?

Marketing a Kickstarter campaign is a lot of work. You must build trust with a good video and be 100% transparent. Your immediate connections and 2nd degree connections only go so far. If you truly have a good product, which I believe CASELLET is, then it’s a matter of reaching the audience. Big blogs such as iDownloadBlog, Gizmodo, or Engadget are vital to the success of any crowd-funding campaign. My goal is to reach as many people as I can and hopefully they will appreciate CASELLET enough to support it.

When will CASELLET enter production?

CASELLET’s time frame of entering production is the end of December. We already have quotes set up from manufacturers. The design has been finalized, so now it’s a process of making the tooling, approving the samples, and finishing the packaging. We expect CASELLET to start shipping by the end of January if the project is funded.

How much will it cost?

CASELLET is planned to have a MSRP of $60. If there is a large amount of interest then the price may decrease due to a higher volume order in which case we expect to ship Kickstarter backers some extra accessories for free.

Where will we be able to buy a CASELLET?

CASELLET.com will be the premiere place to purchase our cases. A reseller UPC barcode is something we will try to get approved immediately so that we can start shipping CASELLETs to interested third-party resellers.

Will you give away a few CASELLETs to iDB readers when available?

Of course! We expect to give away more than a few to iDB readers. CASELLET is incredibly convenient and I could sit here all day talking about it, but nothing beats lightening your load every time you leave your house as a testament to the convenience of CASELLET.

Do you have other projects in the pipeline?

Everything has been put on pause for CASELLET for now. Nevertheless, Ryan, Dan and myself, have been discussing the design of other cases to fulfill the wide spectrum of wallet-case capabilities for the future. The one thing that we want to focus on is our process of fulfilling Kickstarter orders at the highest quality before taking on another project.

Interested in this project? You can help fund it by pledging as little as $1. Of course, the more you pledge, the more you get. By giving $40, for example, you will be one of the first to get your hands on a CASELLET, fresh off the production line. Check out the Kickstarter page for more details.

  • Haven’t these already been done before ? You can get cases like this on eBay ..

  • having had my wallet and phone stolen multiple times separately, I’d hate to combine the two /:

    • Anonymous

      You poor thing, you should think about getting the handcuff attachment so that your phone and wallet can not be removed from your wrist 😀 x

  • Im sorry but im not donating $40 just to maybe get a iPhone case.

    • Tuyen Kiet

      i just checked out kickstarter and thought i’d clarify some things for others out there.

      your pledge would only go through if CASELLET reaches the goal of $22k. you’re basically reserving the product for a $20 discount. but if it falls short of the goal, your money stays with you, not really any risk involved from your end.

  • Tuyen Kiet

    i think this is a great idea. the one’s on ebay actually cover the screen so if you want to use the phone you have to open it up like a book, those look lame!

    although…CASELLET is probably not the best idea for those who often lose their wallet/phone or has them stolen, but then again owning a 200-600 dollar phone isn’t smart either…just saying =P

    i backed CASELLET on kickstarter.com and hope it gets funded so i can get mine!

  • Anonymous

    As a minimalist I’d love to be able to combine the stuff in my pocket into one piece. Also Kickstarter doesn’t take any money unless the full goal is met. So it’s not a donation, it’s more like a promise to pay if and when the product can be provided to you. I’m definitely willing to pay up if Eddie can get this going.

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  • Anonymous

    What a brilliant idea! I love any invention that starts with duct tape! To be honest I haven’t heard of these Kickstarter projects before but they seem to be a really good way to encourage innovation, support the economy and young entrepreneurs. There isn’t really much risk if I am only pledging $10. I read some of the other comments but I haven’t seen anything like this before and for me I think its great. Now when I loose my wallet I can just ask the wife to call the phone and bingo there is the wallet! Its a shame it cant get out sooner as it would make a great christmas present for my brothers. Have you thought of doing more girlie ones? Anyway good luck and $10 is from me! I hope you can raise the rest 😀

  • Anonymous

    Wow that looks really really cool. It doesnt look too too bulky and I guess it isnt as it says 8mm thick on the kickstarter website so straight away its going to have an advantage over similar products. The thing that a lot of designers need to remember is that we want accessories that are as sleek and sophisticated as the phone itself and the Casellet looks like it has achieved that. So props to Eddie for getting that right. Great product, great design and great name CASELLET – Genius! I will be supporting this. As I have supported many products before on kickstarter, some have gone through to production and some haven’t so I know as a supporter I am not going to loose anything and for this product… well it’s a no brainer. If casellet was in the shops tomorrow and I saw one I would buy it.

  • Anonymous

    Hiya, just watched your video. Anyone that is being negative watch the video, the product looks a lot better in reality than it sounds on paper. The main things that give it a big advantage over the iphone wallets are
    * You can use ur phone without having to open the wallet
    * It basically hides your money and just looks like a case from the outside
    * Adapters and cameras can be used without removing the wallet
    Plus It looks good and the inventor looks like a nice guy. I wish I had some money to give and I would. But I am so poor at the moment. But you lot should, so that it can get made and I can ask for one for my birthday 😉
    Anyway thanks for reading this everyone.

  • Anonymous

    Does this work with iPhone 3G. I dont have an iphone 4 but i think it is a great idea and would love one for my older iPhone? Is it out in the shops yet? If I paid my $40 how long would it take for me to get one? Sorry if these questions are a bit obvious its just that I couldnt really be bothered to click on that kickstarter link and i just want to buy one right now. I kinda guessed that isnt possible but how long will it take for this to appear in the shops? thanks in advance…. hey only down side.. no place for the spare change!

    • Anonymous

      Lol your very impatient arent you!?! Basically this guy Eddie Hsieh is trying to raise $22,000 so that he can take his prototype to production and get it into the shops. So at the moment you cannot buy anything as it does not exist, except in its prototype form. He is on that Kickstarter website to promote his idea. If he raises the money it will be manufactured and delivered to shops to be shop to normal people like you and me. So his first step was to design the cassellet, the second stage is to raise the money, the third step is to manufacture and deliver, and final step is to sell it. All you can do at this stage is pledge some money to the project, if you pledge the $40 then if he raises the rest and it goes to manufacture you will receive one. If he doesn’t raise the full amount you will get your money back. I think that is how it works anyway, oh yeah, if you dont pledge anything and he still raises the money you will just have to stand in line like everyone else at the store to buy one the old fashioned way!
      I hope that clears it up, but that is just my understanding, you should really go to kickstarter its an interesting site and they will definitely be able to answer any questions you have.

      Well good luck Eddie, I like the Cassellet and have pledge a few bucks so hopefully I will be rocking one in a few months…. and when people asked me where I got it from I will be telling them all I help make this (sort of 😉 )

      p.s. Please feel free to correct any mistakes I have made in my comments (about the kickstarter process) as I have just written things as I understand them I do not represent Eddie or Kickstarter sooooooo….. i may have got some things wrong!

  • Love this concept. I’m an Android user myself, but really contemplating to switch to the iPhone. Yes, yes, everyone has already told me 100 reasons why the iPhone is better then the Android. But if I were to get an iPhone, this is a definite must. What I would use this is to put my business cards in the case (not sure I”ll part with my wallet) that way it keeps my wallet thin and I can have a couple of business cards handy when I meet people when I’m out and about. It’s always embarrassing that my business cards get a little crinkled from sitting on it over time, so this is a nice way to keep them clean and crisp.

  • Anonymous

    “Will you give away a few CASELLETs to iDB readers when available?”

    Every time you ask this question to a kickstart inventor the answer is always the same, ‘of course’.

    I’d love to see somebody answer, “no, I’m running a business, not a charity!”

    Oh well, would make me laugh at least.

  • I could see a problem with using flash and that case already. Would like to see actual photos from the phone with the case & flash on as well.

  • Griffin Elan Passport Wallet…. nice leather case that holds everything, and holds up well, bought it the week iphone 4 came out and it still looks new, only 20 dollars, and def. frees up space in the pocket. every time i go to a store and check out the cashier always asks what it is and everyone that sees it tends to want one.

  • Jon Garrett

    loose my phone and loose my credit cards, debit cards, drivers license, social security card, job ID and more………pass.