“Unique. Functionable. Interesting.” These are the three adjectives that Nico Ng, the man behind Rocca Wallet, uses to describe his brand. A quick scan through Rocca Wallet’s social media accounts would prove him right. @roccawallet’s Instagram feed boasts of clean and crisp photos featuring wallets with intricately drawn patterns. But apart from these patterns, it was its tagline that caught my eye: “Handcrafted wallets made from stone.” I sat down with Nico Ng to understand what this tagline means.
Nico took up Manufacturing Engineering in college, which explains his technical but understandable way of explaining the tagline. The wallets are made of “rock papers” that are made from Calcium Carbonate mixed with non-toxic resin. “Rock papers have a smooth and soft feel, and it is only a little more dense than regular paper,” he explained.
Even though rock papers are already being manufactured by others, the products of Rocca Wallets had to go through a meticulous process of using the material to make the products more durable. Rocca Wallet had around 20 prototypes, which repeatedly had to go through different tests to prove its durability. “The 24-hour water-submerge experiment shows no signs of water soaked up by the wallet. After a 2-week all-day under the sun and rain weather test, no deformations were detected,” he said.
Nico pays close attention to details, and acknowledges that some of the classes he took in college like Ergonomics and Product Design helped him. His Engineering background also made him ensure that his products are functionable. However, his background as an artist helped him develop the aesthetics. Initially, he started working on the handrawn patterns without any end product in mind. Eventually, he identified his need for a wallet and decided to merge aesthetics and functionality into what is now Rocca Wallets.
Even as a young start-up, Rocca Wallet has had its fair share of successes. It is now being sold in Malaysia and Singapore, but he has even bigger dreams for his brand. Nico shares that he hopes Rocca Wallets would be a Philippine-made product that we can proudly share to the world. He also hopes for even more international recognition outside Asia. He is also working on developing variety of wallets to cater to different people’s tastes. Lastly, he hopes that when people learn about a product that is made in the Philippines, people would believe that is of good quality and that it is unique. If you want a handcrafted wallet made from stone, Rocca Wallet is the first and only place to go. They’re available at Bratpack (Greenbelt 5, The Block, Robinsons Galleria & Magnolia, One Archers, and Eastwood Citywalk), and at Megafash Shop @ 112 Katong, Singapore.
Rocca Wallet is giving away this green wallet to a WhenInManila.com reader! Just follow the Rafflecopter mechanics below or click here to join.
The prize will be shipped for free to any address in the Philippines. The winner will be announced on June 17, Wednesday.