What started as a chance encounter between two Dutch college students soon grew into a shared passion for entrepreneurship, a frustration with existing EDC products and finally, a thriving business. After meeting on exchange in the USA, founders Rick and Olivier found that being Dutch wasn’t the only thing they had in common. They were both fed up with the current state of wallets and EDC products available. They pitched their idea to a Kickstarter wallet enthusiast, Richard, and he was instantly sold. He left his firm to join the team. Together they realized that the perfect wallet existed out there; they just needed to create it. From there, Ekster was born.
Much like the bird that inspired our company’s name, humble beginnings have never held us back. We named our company Ekster after the Dutch word for Magpie, a bird who often hides its high intelligence, and has a taste for finding and protecting shiny things. Just like this bird, we wanted to create classically attractive leather products jam-packed with hidden technology to easily access and protect important everyday valuables. Since our viral Kickstarter campaign, our team of 3 has expanded to a company of 15 passionate employees in just 3 years, becoming the largest smart wallet brand worldwide with products now available in 100 stores from Macy’s to Amazon.
“It all started in 2015 when we launched our first Kickstarter campaign, the original Gen. 1. We could have never predicted the success of this idea, but the public responded, and couldn’t get enough of our next generation smart wallets. 3 years, and two crowdfunding campaigns later, our company has expanded from 2 to 15 passionate employees. We are now the largest smart wallet company with products available in malls & webshops accross the globe including Macy's & Selfridges.” - The Founders
Our design process mirrors a blend of tradition and innovation that is so characteristic of our products. Each product is hand-crafted from the highest quality genuine leather available around the globe, sourced from LWG gold-rated tanneries who serve only top-of-the-line luxury leather brands. Every product that makes it through our design process adheres to 5 criteria that distinguish our products from the others on the market: Efficiency, Safeguarding, Innovation, Quality Craftsmanship and Style.
Efficiency – We started this brand because we saw a lack of efficiency with EDC products: people’s products didn’t make sense for them. Why should you carry around a clunky wallet with unnecessary bulk when you really only need 5-6 cards? We patented our own easy access cardholder: at the click of an ergonomically placed button, all your cards are presented in a smooth, staggered manner. The design of this slim wallet means you can fit the most cards in the smallest space and be able to gracefully access them at any time. Every product we release is designed with a goal of optimal efficiency.
Safeguarding – Your wallet is more than your money… It is your data, your identity, and your way to move through the world! That’s why we chose to safeguard every aspect of our EDC products. When you purchase a wallet, you’re not only getting an RFID secured credit card holder but a trackable card holder too. With our crowd GPS technology, your slim wallet can connect remotely to your phone so you can always find it at the click of a button. The app will provide you with its exact location, and will even give you directions back to it!
RFID stands for radio-frequency-identification. Sounds complicated, right? Not really. It’s essentially the technology that allows for contactless payments, which is a good thing for simplifying your experience at the cash register but a dangerous thing for card theft and fraud. Data from your cards can be stolen easily and discreetly with a simple handheld device, or even cell phones, just by placing it near your wallet. This data can then be used to hack your bank accounts or even steal your identity. Our aluminium cardholder blocks all radio frequencies from coming in or out so your cards are always safe.
Innovation – Innovation for us means bringing together the luxury of classical leather goods and the invention of slim technologies. Our products were named some of the best Kickstarter wallets because their hidden technology seamlessly integrates into everyday life. We found a way to make new high-tech products that work with the technology you are already used to carrying around: it just makes sense.
Quality Craftsmanship – At Ekster, the legacy of modern Dutch design comes together with the best quality of leather craftsmanship, a unique and thorough design process, and a desire to constantly improve. We wanted to find a way to hold on to the old world beauty of leatherworking while giving our products the needed innovative touch of slim technology. That’s why we only use high-end, top-grain leather from LWG gold rated tanneries; better for the environment and better for you.
Style – Our goal was to create a product that was jam-packed with advanced technology but that still had a classic style to it. That’s why we decided to use a slim, minimalist design with the best quality leather on the market. Each of our handmade leather wallets is totally unique and will mold to your pocket over time for a personalized, yet highly functional feel.
Our products are specifically designed to keep up with your lifestyle. Our mission? Bringing together technological innovation and traditional elegance to optimize everyday life.