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Saturday, Dec 2, 2023

Wallet Maker Gets Glam With Oscars

Receiving an endless stream of free products from companies hoping for endorsements is a perk celebrities have learned to live with. Oscar night is usually the high point of the swag calendar, and this year was no exception. Dozens of companies competed to get their products in the gift bags that the Academy Award nominees for best actor and actress took home after the ceremony. This year’s bags, assembled by L.A. marketing firm Distinctive Assets, featured an estimated $200,000 worth of stuff – including sex toys, exotic trips and small trinket wallets, made by Sun Valley-based Zekkle. Zekkle Edge Metal wallets were launched in February. The RFID-blocking aluminum alloy wallets are slender and small enough to fit in the average person’s front pocket. Manufactured in Los Angeles, they are minimalist both aesthetically and functionally – they only hold a few credit or ID cards and some cash. “We saw this as the opportunity for a hard launch of Zekkle,” said co-founder Shivie Dhillon in an email to the Business Journal. “We wanted to build a front-pocket wallet that was simple, efficient and small. Simply put, we didn’t want to complicate it – we took what we knew and turned it into a brand.” The wallets were featured in gift bags at both the 58th Grammy Awards on Feb. 16 and the Academy Awards “Everyone Wins” gift bags – which has no official affiliation with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, which runs the Oscars. The bags also carried a 10-day trip to Israel worth an estimated $55,000, a $10,000 charity donation made in the celeb’s name and a free $1,100 breast job. With such an array of gifts, it’s unclear how much of a splash the aluminum wallets made. But Dhillon is confident the features of the product will do the selling. “The vision we had was to allow the user flexibility,” Dhillon said. “The millennial market wants to be unique and values quality products.” Zekkle wallets are solely available on the company’s website; prices start at $39. –Champaign Williams

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