Our goal is to bring handmade, authentic ostrich leather goods from South Africa to Kickstarter backers around the world. When much of the South African exotic leather production shifted to Asia, many of the most gifted leather workers of Cape Town were left to find work in unrelated fields. With the help of Kickstarters like you, we have a handful of local South African craftsmen and women back to working with leathers and sharing their gift with our dedicated backers. For this support, you receive high quality, exotic leather goods from their true source.
Let These Pieces Add to Your Story:
Inspired by desire, crafted for affordable luxury, these South African ostrich leather accessories are the staples for an exotic wardrobe. Adorned in solid brass hardware and packaged in bovine leather protective bags, these items will only improve with age.
True Exotic Quality For Everyday:
The plan for the product line is robust, but this first offering is modest. It encompasses the primary elements, and it’s a wonderful place for us to start this relationship. You use your belt, your wallet, and your cell phone every day. It’s time to upgrade your basics to a statement of worldly style and flair that’s intrinsically individual.
We Work with the Best Tannery in South Africa
Beginning in 1945, Klein Karoo began accumulating their wealth of knowledge about ostriches. They tanned their first hides in 1970. Technological advancement and on-going research have enabled Klein Karoo to produce the very best exotic leather. Today Klein Karoo represents more than 800 farmer members and their leather is the choice of the most discerning buyers from around the world.
Check out their site and story here.
In 2011, I was working in Cape Town, South Africa as an actor. I looked for exotic leather items that were creative and reasonably priced, but there simply was nothing appealing. I received an Architecture degree in 2010, so I put it to work and designed my own pieces. A set of 3 luggage bags were made, but that was just the start.
I came home to Portland, Oregon where my good friend, and now business manager, Robbie Macleod was in the middle of his MBA program.
Robbie and I spent months planning and mapping what creating an exotic leather company would mean for us both. On top of his full class load, Robbie took a job programming excel sheets for a corporate entity to keep up his end. I went home to Alaska and commercial fished with my family for red salmon. We had our funding, and we jumped in.
Over the next 15 months, 3 continents, 11 time zones, and countless winding South African roads, we lived to work on designing the pieces available to you today.
In the middle of product development, I was drugged, and then mugged outside of a Cape Town night club They made off with my cash, watch and passport. Concern for the safety of our new company, as well as myself, had me rethinking the entire business. This Is Africa, anything can happen.
If I used my original return ticket home to the states, leaving in just 8 days, I would be running. I would probably never come back to Africa, and I certainly wouldn't see this business through. I chose the opposite path: I woke up, I changed my ticket, and I stayed. I used the incident as fuel to acknowledge every part of Africa, not just the opportunity therein.
The next 10 weeks were brilliant. We worked to create the final incarnations of what you see today. Each piece was now the embodiment of embracing both the good and bad in a place like South Africa. Just like our journey in getting to this point, these pieces were now uniquely South African. They have a life, a true origin, and a story.
To us, each and every Volstruis by Ivan piece is a reminder to step into the unknown, get to work, and create realities of worthy ideas.
When it comes to the leathers, we go directly to the tanneries in Oudtshoorn, South Africa and choose every single skin personally. For the leather cutting and stitching, we employ two local South African craftsmen. Augustine and Tofara have over 40 years in the exotic leather crafting trade between them. Their insight into their local leathers adds such complexity to each piece.
We currently have 14 more products in the development phase, so it is extremely important to us to provide each and every Kickstarter supporter with great customer service and a promise to communicate openly. In reward for your initial support, you will not only receive these wardrobe staples, but also soon have ostrich leather tote bags, luggage bags, small and large wallets, purses, and shoes available and thus expand your commitment to the exotic quality and originality Volstruis by Ivan stands for.
Should support go well beyond expected levels, we have additional skillful leatherworkers standing by. We will invite them to work full time, and production can more than double overnight.
The trained architect in me has planned and streamlined each step of production to minimize bottlenecks and have the best possible manufacturing, quality control, and fulfillment process in order to deliver rewards to all of you on time and at the highest standard of quality.
1.) Create a viable inventory of an existing and expanding product line.
2.)Hire a sales rep and grow organically!
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenge facing the Volstruis by Ivan Kickstarter is getting the word out, and then of course getting Kickstarters, new and veteran, to participate in this opportunity for quality, head-turning leather goods. There are countless amazing projects out there, but this one is truly unique to both Kickstarter and the current leather accessories market.
The main risks of any project like this are delays in materials and natural disasters disrupting work flow. For these reasons, every step of the manufacturing process from sourcing through quality control and shipping has well planned, alternate routs of operation. We will communicate with our backers throughout the campaign to keep everyone informed and up to date on our progress.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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