Phillip Fikany saw a gap in an important market. After switching from leather wallets to metal, to avoid wear and tear and the need for frequent replacements, he was still disappointed. The metal wallets were either too heavy or utilized materials such as elastic, which wore down even faster than leather.
“I thought, my background is engineering, I can do better,” Fikany says. “So I chewed on it, did the benchmarking to see what the competition was doing, came up with my own design, drew it up in CAD, and had a couple of samples machined.”
That was the start of Traguardo Wallets. Traguardo means “finish line” in Italian, which Fikany says is intended to make the product a reward of sorts. Made from anodized aluminum and carbon fiber, the wallets are lightweight yet maintain their durability.
They also offer RFID protection, which prevents credit card information from being stolen.
Fikany designed the product at his home in Troy, machines the wallets in Mount Morris, and anodizes them — a process in which dye is infused into the metal — in Detroit. The wallets are available online at tgwallets.com.
“I really want to keep it in Michigan,” he says. “It’s something you put in your pocket and pull out every day. And you’re looking at it, and you feel a little bit more pride knowing that it’s (from here).”