Tobe Zane’s STOW Slip Wallet
By Christy Milan
From the Ashes
Story by Christy Milan
Photos by Betsey Walton
What defines us is how
we rise after falling
-Slip Wallet by Stow
WHEN IT COMES TO WALLETS, things have changed. The bulky awkward monstrosity is a thing of the past. It was once overstuffed and is now evolved. One such wallet is manufactured here in the North State. Tobe Zane’s STOW slip wallet is light, sleek and minimalistic.
Zane was born and raised in Redding, where he enjoyed the freedom to explore and experience what Northern California had to offer. “My wife and I moved to Southern California for 15 years to go to school and establish ourselves, but I desired to give our three boys some of the freedom that I loved when I was young,” says Zane. “This was 11 years ago and the boys have developed into young men and have a strong love for the wilds of NorCal.”
Zane loves the area’s proximity to nature, but nature can be destructive. Homes, businesses and lives were affected by the flames and devastation left after the Carr Fire. Zane lost his home and manufacturing facility in a single afternoon. The specialty tools he had acquired during his career were gone. The warped, decimated steel building, molten aluminum and ash were all that remained after the inferno. Prior to the fire, a small production of STOW wallets had been made. He has started over and is in the process of rebuilding the manufacturing facility.
As most great inventors will share, the need for something creates the vision. The same goes for the STOW wallet. “I was tired of using the overstuffed leather wallets,” Zane says. He wanted the wallet to be able to accommodate business cards and cash without the bulk, and he wanted a wallet he could attach to his phone. A 30-year history as a freelance aerospace engineer gave him an opportunity to master the skills needed for the project; he added a universal phone mount that allows one’s wallet to attach by a magnet to a phone.
Multiple prototypes were tested and retested by Zane and his sons, Jordan, Elijah and Noah. After passing, their product was ready to be introduced to the world. “We actually had many people stop us and ask, ‘What type of wallet is that?’ Many of these people were anxious for production to start and have since converted to the STOW wallet,” Zane says. The world was introduced to the STOW wallet with a Kickstarter Campaign. This brought 389 backers who wanted to personally experience the STOW wallet. “There is nothing better for an engineer than to have people accept and embrace their design solutions,” Zane says.
People from all walks of life are using the STOW and the reviews are five stars. “The slip wallet is easily the coolest, most efficient wallet I’ve ever seen or had. Really great product.” says Austin Bramson. Michael Montoya adds, “Great finish on the wallet. I love the texture and the ease of use. The slipping will take a while to learn. Thank you Tobe for a great product!”
An ambassador program has been established to allow others to share the news about the STOW wallet. “As we develop our marketing skills and customer base it will be easier to develop and introduce our unique creative products to the world,” Zane says. “The STOW wallet is just the beginning.” •
www.STOWwallet.com • Find them on Facebook and Instagram