During the march dumps of 1991, Richard Woolcott and Tucker Hall set off on a snowboard trip that would forever change their lives. Tucker had just been laid off of work and jumped in the car on a routine Tahoe trip to visit Nathan Fletcher and Mark Gabriel. After riding four days of fresh, Richard called work with the excuse that they were snowed in and extended his stay. For more than a week, they awoke every morning with two new feet of snow. It was their first real experience riding powder and the new obsession wouldn’t stop.

Two weeks later Richard quit his job to take some time off and snowboard. He and Tucker had also talked of starting a clothing company during the Tahoe trip but nothing was really final. Later that spring, the two came up with the idea of starting a riding company based around the three sports they enjoyed. With an initial $5000 from Richard’s dad, they started the process. First the name and then the stone . Volcom was born.

The Volcom idea would incorporate a major philosophy of the times, “youth against establishment”. This energy was an enlightened state to support young creative thinking. Volcom was a family of people not willing to accept the suppression of the established ways . This was a time when snowboarding and skateboarding was looked down on. The U.S. was in a recession, there were riots in LA and the Gulf War. Change was in the air. Nirvana and Pearl Jam expressed it the best.
For the first two years, Richard and Tucker traveled around the world on wild journeys with friends riding whatever they could. The business side of things was minimal. The headquarters were set up in Newport in Richard’s bedroom and all sales were run out of tucker’s bedroom in Huntington. The two knew nothing about how to make clothes but that didn’t matter. It was all about spirit and creativity. Clothing sales for the first year were $2600.
Since those wild beginnings, the Volcom Stone has spread slowly across the world. The Company has matured internally but continues to run off the same philosophy it started with. The Volcom thinking now flows through its art, music, films, athletes and clothing….

The Story of Featured Artist Tees
by: Neil Harrison

I remember the exact time the Featured Artist series was inspired. Jamie Lynn and I were in Seattle floating around some shopping area (like an outside mall) and a guy was there with his portable cart selling t-shirts with Salvador Dali paintings printed on the front. First it was Dali’s art that caught our eyes and then it was the soft feel of the the screen print and the reproduction of these detailed paintings. During this time Jamie and I were spending a lot of time drawing and painting together and then seeing these Dali t-shirts hit us with thoughts of creating artist t-shirts and what better person to start this project then Jamie Lynn. So we bought the shirt, I still have it in the Volcom archives, and when we got back to Volcom Jamie went to work on a water color of a guy sitting in the corner of a room playing the bass guitar with all these colors flowing around the room inter-twining into the stone. We printed the art using a 4 color process, which was new to us at the time, using water based inks for the soft touch. It’s still one of the best t-shirts we’ve ever made and was a truly defining moment in Volcom’s history.

That was in 1995.

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