I had to take down expedited shipping temporarily due to some incompatible version updates. So for now standard shipping is what is available in checkout; if you need to have your jacket shipped Express, shoot at email after checking out, and we’ll help you out.
In other shipping news, we are planning a switch over to UPS soon, which will increase reliability in delivery, as well as offer better insurance and more delivery options. It also means that the rates will go up a bit, but hopefully we’ll be able to bring them down as our outgoing volume increases.
Folks seem to be noticing that the custom Kestrel raffle didn’t launch on Friday. There is good reason for this: we are revisiting the system for taking custom orders. The new system is currently being tested and should launch tomorrow (Monday) if all goes well. Look for a full update tomorrow.
What a year it has been. For those of you who are just joining us, the company started as a one-man show in 2011, but I/we didn’t really start taking regular orders until 2012. I drew a lot, making a few prototypes and a handful of sales.
Then, toward the end of 2012, we released the Kenway (now the Eagle). Our site exploded. We were inundated with orders, requests, followers, etc. It was way more than just one part-time helper and I could ever hope to handle. We kicked off 2013 with an indiegogo campaign, purchased high-end pattern software, and started rebuilding the entire foundation of the company.
I was a self-taught designer working out of my bedroom, but with a little help from co-workers and friends, I made Volante Design, Inc. The company now has Willow and me as its two owners, and by the end of the summer, four full-time employees: Alice, Andrew, Sarah, and Rachel.
This is solid ground on which to improve. Those original Kenway orders from 2012 are finally closing, we have a working relationship with a Chicago manufacturer, and are learning the nuances of deadlines and production timeline estimates.
We know we have a few orders still outstanding and we are working hard to complete them. We apologize for mistakes made along the way. Overall, it has been a really great year for us. We are extremely excited to have so many people interested in what we truly love doing. They make it possible for us to keep creating. It’s truly a blessing.
2014: The Year in Preview
2013 was the year of setting groundwork and designing systems to support continuous growth and balance. Now we can play.
I feel like I haven’t drawn a single new design this year. It’s not quite true, but other things have taken center stage. I started this company out of a love for the craft of designing clothing. Now that the foundation is set and I’m surrounded by people who I trust to care for it, it’s time to dust off the drafting table and sketch, draw, and design.
We’ve got a load of ideas for new designs and products to add to the store. I’m going to be designing new things, as well as revisiting old designs from a new angle. We will be branching out from our Birds of Prey collection, though it isn’t finished. We plan to launch one, possibly two new collections this year. Normally a ‘collection’ by a given fashion company is a seasonal, finite concept. We see our collections as ever expanding and evolving. (For instance the Birds of Prey collection will be expanding beyond that specific moniker to include Corvidae, Carthatidae, etc).
We will make further announcement posts over the next few days, including a rough schedule of releases that will of course expand as the year progresses.
I like that you have started custom orders, but what I'm more interested in is some of your older designs and sketches that never went into production. What if you started a raffle, survey, or whatever concerning those sketches to help decide what to make next?
We have at least 4 new designs we are working on to release by April, possibly 5 or 6. We’ve considered doing a poll for what design we should develop next, but we always end up having a plan. We may do it in the future, but at this point I think you’ll really like what we are currently working on. Some old, some new.
If you are ordering now, as on Friday, Dec 13, please be aware that Volante Design cannot guarantee a delivery date of December 24th on this item as we are awaiting a shipment. Since we are experiencing some delays, we deemed it necessary to ship orders that have been waiting longer as a higher priority. We are truly sorry for the inconvenience this may cause, and hope you understanding we are doing the best we can to ship all orders in a timely fashion.
All orders taken prior to 12/13/13 are guaranteed a delivery on or before the 24th of December.
Here at Volante Design we have just moved into some additional space. We’ve begun to do our own shipping and handling and for the last 2 days that’s all we’ve done. Since Monday 12/9 we’ve been sending out as many jackets as possible. Every day more come in from the our manufacturer, and we send them out. It will most likely take until the end of next week for us to get through shipping all of our current orders.
We’re unbelievably happy to finally be fulfilling these orders, and since we’re doing all the shipping in house, we’re able to track all the packages and make sure they get to the right places in the right timeframe. Unlike our previous fulfillment company, we are including email addresses when we print shipping labels, which means you will also get an automatic email with a tracking number when your jacket ships. Thanks so much for your patience and good will. We hope that you will feel extraordinary when you go out into the world wearing our designs.
In the upcoming weeks, we will be doing a few things: there will be a new line of colors released for preorder before Christmas, more to come on that; we will be adding a gift certificate functionality to our store, for those of you who want to gift someone with a jacket or bag, but aren’t sure what size or color they want; there will also be a Christmas sale starting sometime next week.
We will have some stock left over from these shipments, and those will go online for sale as soon as we are done shipping orders out.
It’s been a busy time here in the studio, with the latest run of jackets taking off and working on new designs among other things. The Volante Design crew has some spicy new projects coming up, so here are some quick announcements:
We have new sections in our store, two of which we want to highlight: ‘Upcoming’, and ‘In Stock’. The ‘Upcoming’ section is for the latest jackets that are available for pre-order and will feature new sets of colors every 6 weeks or so. The ‘In Stock’ section is for jackets left over from previous runs that we have on hand at the studio. This means stock is limited to what we have on hand, but on the plus side ‘In Stock’ jackets will be shipped within 2 business days of your order.
All of the jackets from run 2, except the Saint have product images up now. If you’re dying to see what the actual jacket looks like, go check out the pages! We won’t be putting pictures up for the Saint style since the purple is being custom dyed, which takes a little longer; on the plus side custom dye means we get the exact royal purple that we want.
We are nearing the end of our current custom jobs. It’s been a long haul, and we apologize to those of you who’ve waited so long. The good news is once we are finished we can accept custom work again! We’ve come up with a re-design of our custom order system. Keep your eyes peeled for info on how that will work in the near future.
Run 3 is coming, and we’re currently making samples so we can have teasers soon. The products and styles for run 3 are:
The Eagle will be available in Revolutionary, Turncoat, Gilded Onyx, and Sneaking Suit
The Falcon in Saint, Sneaking Suit, Midnight, and Revolutionary
The Kestrel in Port, Black Garnet, Spartan, and Disciple Blue
Lastly, there will be a small Black Friday sale on Friday, November 29th. Everything on the store will be 10% off from 12:00 AM to 11:59 PM EDT.
To take advantage of this sale, use the coupon code: BLACKFRIDAY. We’ll post a reminder later in the week.
There you have it! Stay tuned for updates as we have some unbelievable new stuff coming down the pipeline.
So I'm a big fan of your work (seriously, the eagle looks amazing) but I've only seen it on slimmer bodies. Any idea how the look/fit turns out on, let's just say, not so slim bodies? Because I'd love to get one eventually, but I'm not sure how it would fit with my proportions. (I'm also really short.)
We put people of all sizes and shapes in our jackets at NYCC, and most walked away with one of our jackets. Most of our designs to date have been specifically design for a slim fit, but as we expand our portfolio we do intend to have jackets available in various shapes (tall, barrel-chested, etc) but until then, I would say that I try to design things that will look good on most people. I use my knowledge of human anatomy to structure the seams in such a way that they will follow natural contours.
That said, we know that it can be hard to imagine what our jacket might look like on a larger figure, and intend to create samples for larger models in the future. Keep an eye out for that as we move forward.
Hi Volante! I hope you don't mind me asking: Do you have any photos of your second run of, "The Eagle?" I ordered the Eclipsed color and grow curiouser and curiouser on how they look like. Thanks for your time, and I hope you had fun at NYCC!
I don’t mind you asking, but unfortunately I don’t have any pictures to show. We’ve been working hard to keep up with orders, and making samples takes about 15+ man-hours, which is not time that we have to spare. That said, we do very much understand the desire for actual photos, and as soon as we can we will post them.
The other thing we are waiting for is the fabric. Usually we make samples before purchasing fabric, and try to match our order to the sample, but this time we have purchased the fabric already, so we can make samples with the actual fabrics we are going to produce the jackets with, once it arrives in the mail.
Is it possible that the jackets could have a tailoring option? Like, for an extra amount, they could be requested to be tailor-made based on provided measurements. Also, what is the estimated durability on a jacket such as The Falcon? I'd assume that it would be tear-resistant and made of material that is used to taking rough treatment, as well as being able to last for a long time. Weather-resistance would be a plus, but not expected.
We are hashing out the details of custom tailoring, but we have a lot to catch up on right now. Look for it in early 2014.
As for durability, the jackets are made out of heavy weight denim and use a nearly unbreakable coarse poly jean thread in construction. I wouldn’t say Carhartt durability necessarily, but close to it. Under normal wear, they will last you 8+ years, give or take.
They are not treated for rain resistance, but you can easily do that yourself with over-the-counter supplies.
Hey, I feel like I've missed something here - I ordered my Eagle on August 4th and still haven't received it yet. I don't know if I was pushed to 1.5 or something, but it's getting worrying, coz I invested a lot of money into your amazing work and have yet to see anything come from it. If the orders have been pushed back again I understand, I'm just wondering if there's something I've missed in this understandably long process. Thanks in advance for any answer!
Check your order, if the SKU on the product you ordered has three numerals (eg. ‘105’) then you are in Run 1.5. If your SKU has only two numerals at the end (eg. ‘05’) you are in Run 1. All of the jackets from Run 1 have shipped, most of them shipped out last Monday, and a handful went out this passed Monday.
NYCC took a lot out of us. It was 4 days of complete madness. If you were able to drop by and say hello, you probably had the chance to witness us in action. We had 5 people running the booth on Thursday and Friday, and 7 for Saturday and Sunday, and we all worked full days. It was extremely fun and exciting to put people in our jackets and get their direct feedback. We were able to learn a great deal from the experience about what works, what doesn’t, how we can improve the fit and feel of the product, and what we can do better at future conventions.
Now that we’re back, we’ll be starting to put our the fires, answer emails from the last two weeks that have been waiting patiently in our inbox. In the meantime we are going to try and answer some of the big questions you’ve been asking in email, Facebook and tumblr asks right here on the blog.
First things first: Eagle Run 1.5.
The feedback we received from the Kestrel tipped us off to a possible need to adjust our sizes. So we decided to wait until after con before placing the final order for the 1.5. This turned out to be a great idea, I was able to learn a great deal about our fit and how our sizes need to be adjusted for a more comfortable fit. We are incredibly sorry about the delay, but we can promise you that it will have been very much worth it. Wen are also looking into order fulfillment companies that operate closer to our manufacturer, which will greatly decrease the shipping time. I’m waiting on an ETA from the manufacturer, but they know that you have been waiting for a long time and are doing their best to complete the order as quickly as possible.
I feel like that update is the most important to get out of the way. We are in the process of writing a FAQ post to answer the major questions regarding the current run of jackets in our shop. As well as a post that will further explain the features of the Falcon design and the differences between the Men’s and Women’s version of that design.
Keep an eye out for news and updates, as well as feature posts showcasing the prototypes we had with us at NYCC: the Ninja, the Samurai, and the two variants of the Demon Killer design.
So what happened to the Falcon update today? Did something go wrong? I was/am super excited for it so any news would be fantastic.
We have exactly One Million [probably including individual stitches] things on our plate that have to get done within the next 24 hours before we head off to NYCC. The Falcon didn’t make the cut yesterday, but I’m currently finishing up the last of the images and will be posting the Falcon in the next couple of hours.
The site is up again! As you scroll through the site, you may notice that everything pretty much looks the same, albeit with an awesome new page for the Messenger. The site is in fact the same as the old one! It turns out that there were far too many kinks to work out that we were not ready for the launch of the new site. We’re sticking with the old one for now, so as to ensure a smooth NYCC and post-NYCC business experience with our customers. Once we’ve got the new site to a point where we have it fully functional and are comfortable with our understanding of the inner mechanisms of the store, we will switch to that. Keep your eyes out for the new store come the New Year!
In the coming week, our first runs of the Kestrel and the Eagle will be finished and sent out. Thousands of buttons are being put on as we speak. Hundreds of seams are being pressed and steamed so the jackets arrive crisp and ready to wear at your doorsteps. The Eagles are all moving forward as fast as possible. At this point they are out of our hands. Run 1.5 of the Eagle will ship out as fast as our manufacturers can make them. We expect 3-4 weeks since they now know exactly what it takes to produce that style. It is difficult to wait for an unknown product and we understand that many of you are getting impatient, even chomping at the bit. We are also dying to get these coats to you. As you may know, the Eagle design has been a few years in the making. We’ve put a lot work into it. That said, we are really excited to be moving forward!
New York ComicCon has moved us to make some really fantastic new designs that we are very excited to show you. NYCC is a massive convention, and we expect a large amount of traffic over the weekend, both in person and on the website. As such we are moving to launch 4 products on our store before most of us leave for Con. As I write this we are preparing the first product to launch today, putting the finishing touches on the site, and cleaning up the last of the photos.
We have some prototypes that are going to Con and images will go up for those around the time of Con or slightly after. These are the sort of ideas that drive us out of bed in the morning to design. It has been a hectic month at Volante Design but we think you’ll enjoy the fruits of our labor.
The designs in order of appearance:
Today, October 4th: the Messenger for the first time
Monday October 7th: the Falcon for the first time
Wednesday October 9th: the Kestrel and Eagle will be re-released with all new colors for both designs
There will be a second debut of the Osprey at Con and we will have 120 total pieces available to purchase on the floor. These jackets are special edition and available only at NYCC 2013. We are unable to produce or sell this jacket again before 2014, if we decide to do further runs at all.
A note on timing- We have not always been at the top of our game at determining how fast something can get produced, but we are getting more realistic.
The new runs that we are opening in October will all be delivered by December 15th at the absolute latest. This means that if you are hoping for a Volante Design item at your holiday celebration you should start thinking about ordering before November 15th. Hopefully, we will have several delivery dates before December, but we cannot predict how many sales we get, which will determine how many runs or shipment dates we can set.
Thanks to everyone for supporting us, reading this, and being a part of our work.
We can’t wait to hear what you think about the jackets that are currently in the mail!
The Volante Design Team
The 4 new products that will become available on our shop by Wednesday the 9th of Oct are the last products available before the holiday season. Orders will get sent on November 1st, which means after that we are unable to replenish stock in any size/color/cut variation if it runs out.
All orders placed on our store before December 1st will ship in early December. We know we haven’t been entirely punctual in the past, but we know how it all works now, and we are confidant we can make this guarantee.