The Wayward Sister Keychain is beautiful, simple, functional, and unique; a shining example of what I've always wanted Hollows Leather to be about. It's my second collaboration with Cat Bates, and the hardware design is adapted from his Sister Clip hardware that he uses for some of his necklaces and bracelets. Working with Cat is a real pleasure, his aesthetic eye is unmatched, he brings a great energy to the work, and we share a strong appreciation for goods that gain more character with time and use.
The Wayward Sister is the end in a very long line of belt loop style keychains that I've offered over the years, each iteration has taught me something new about how the ideal design should be made. Every aspect has been in the process of evolving and fine tuning -- the strap shape, the sizing, and most importantly the hardware. I've been through an encyclopedia of swivel snaps and spring clips, and each of them is lacking in some small way. One of my main goals for the new hardware was to eliminate the weakest point of the old designs: the spring and hinge. The Wayward Sister has no moving parts to break or wear out.
The original clip was hand-fabricated by Cat using lugged construction to wrap the joints. As a cyclist and retrogrouch I fully appreciate this, both as a construction method and as a subtle visual accent. The final pieces are cast, so the lugs are now a handsome vestige of the original construction process.
The function of the clasp isn't immediately obvious, and takes a bit of practice to use it well. The basic concept has been used in sailboat rigging since the 1890s because it's quick and easy to operate, yet strong and secure. The two pieces are joined by aligning the notches so that they can pass through one another. For the first few days I had to look down at the keychain to clip and unclip my keys, but after about a week it felt completely natural and I was able to get my keys on or off one handed without looking. In four months of testing, my keys have never come unclipped accidentally. It's also worth mentioning that it's super fun to use and play with.
I'm ridiculously proud of the final product. It looks good, works well, the craftsmanship and materials are top notch, and it's made in the USA. It's exactly the kind of product I'd want to buy, which is why it's exactly the kind of product I'm excited to sell. You can shop for it right here.