The winter of 1991 saw Richard "Wooly" Woolcott and Tucker "T-Dawg" Hall take a snowboard trip up to Tahoe. The snow was epic and it put down 2ft a day for the week. It was that good they decided to stay for a while, Richard called work with some excuses, a problem Tucker did not have after recently being relieved of working duties.
During this trip the guys discussed starting a clothing brand that had the same core values as they did holding snowboarding, skateboarding and surfing at the heart of the business. These sports still are the muse of Volcom Stone.
In order to get Volcom started and make some hoodies, caps and t - shirts they borrowed $5000 from Richard's Dad that enabled them to start clothing production, something which they knew nothing about. The range was limited to logo tee shirts, board shorts and hoodys. In the early years of Volcom the business took a back seat to snowboarding and surfing as Richard and Tucker continued to travel the world and in the first year Volcom sold just $2600 worth of clothing.
In the early to mid 1990's there was a feeling of disharmony within America as it was in the middle of a recession, fighting The Gulf War and having to contend with internal tension with the LA riots. Sports such as snowboarding, skateboarding and surfing were not held in high regard. Bands such as Pearl Jam and Nirvana were helping to create an air of change and ideologies of anti-establishment. Volcom captured this feeling with their philosophy of "youth against establishment" which seeks to promote snowboarding, skateboarding and surfing as positive activities in terms of the sport, creativity and expression.
Volcom have been at the forefront of new ideas and creativity from the beginning. There are not too many companies that have their own record label (Volcom Entertainments) signing bands like Valient Thorr, Single Frame and Goons of Doom. They are also progressive with their clothing line, wax jackets to basic hoodies, to three piece suits, polo shirts, jumpers and the craziest range of snowboard jackets know to man.
Volcom were one of the first companies to have a range of clothing that collaborated with artists. In 1995 Neil Harrison and Jamie Lynn saw a guy outside a shopping mall selling t-shirts with a Salvador Dali print on it. Inspired by this they returned to Volcom and started to paint designs for t shirts that would later develop into the "Featured Artist Series" of t shirts which has been a staple at Volcom ever since.
By 2007 Volcom had over 19 of its own stores in places such as Hossegor, Durban, Tokyo and London and in 2008 made its first acquisition and bought Electric Evolution Visual Evolution.
In 2011 Volcom was valued at $608 million, not bad for a company was started for $5000 and still holds close to its heart the philosophy of "youth against establishment".
Working Class Heroes.