Updates – September 11, 2015

Here is an update for anyone wondering where in the world Prince Armory has been the past couple months.

A break has been taken from Facebook and other such mediums which is why there haven’t been posts but projects have been and are still underway. Some projects have been under NDA as well so nothing could be posted anyway at the time. But in short order pics will start being posted again of previously completed works as well as active works and WIPS.

I think I’ve caught up on everyone’s messages on social media fronts but as always if you are wanting a quick reply I always give priority to messages sent through the website and email direct.

If you are waiting on a project know that I have made good progress working through the queue and am trying to get the turnaround time down much lower than it has been in the past but we are rather short handed right now. And I do plan on hiring again but I just don’t feel like it is a good idea to do so just yet, not until I have relocated to a better spot which hopefully will take place later this year. You see, we’re not actually in the DFW area, but rather a couple hours away in a rather rural area and that makes hiring for this unusual line of work quite difficult. When the move is made it will make interviewing and hiring much easier. So when that happens things will pick up the pace again.

Commissions are technically still open but highly limited. Our queue is too large so most project request must be declined unfortunately but I’m still trying to keep some slots open for those wanting large full suit armor projects at high detail. I sometimes take on unusual projects that interest me so it never hurts to ask. Just be prepared for the long project queue! Though I always promise to make it worth the wait.

If you’re wondering about the kickstarter, or other side projects and business ventures that have been mentioned along the way, know that I’m still going to be moving on many of those but probably on a different timeline. I’ve halted production from Imperial Armories for the time being and am focusing on Prince Armory custom projects.

My grand plan was to springboard off of Prince Armory into building a manufacturing operation (Imperial Armories)for top end fantasy apparel (like armor, larp goods, ren fest things, and so on and then take that and branch into a line of more mainstream fantasy fashion). And then springboard off of that into the film and entertainment industry (for wardrobe, props, sets, etc). But plans change and I think I’ll be shifting focus entirely to customs for a while. Partly out of necessity as I need to catch up and get everyone their projects who’s ordered anyway. But this will actually advance the timeline for trying to push into the professional entertainment field of working more consistently on films, theater, or other top end projects. So I’m just putting the mfg side of things on the shelf or perhaps until I find the right person to manage operations properly.

I wanted to do the industry push once I had a solid core built from the manufacturing side of things first, so that I had a large team of well trained people and a talent pool that I could pull from to do these big projects, as well as having a steady income from the operation to fund experimental ventures and down time between the mega projects. But, things have not gone according to plan so instead of waiting to build the custom work division, I’ll just be advancing that forward. It will probably take longer seeing as how difficult and time consuming it is to train people to do the high detail level of work our clients expect, but its actually the safer bet because we already have the solid Prince Armory base in place.

So why not push Prince Armory from the start you ask? Well its a question of scale-ability. It is very difficult to scale Prince Armory as is because each project requires a substantial time commitment. Namely my own time. There is a cap on selling your time and if I got a million dollars worth of orders today, aside from being impossible to fill in a timely matter, it wouldn’t necessarily translate to a lot of cash in hand given how long it would take to complete. However, if I designed great items for production, and have a team trained to crank out product, you can scale production to whatever the demand is.

Whereas currently, I have to throw thousands, actually tens of thousands, of dollars of potential orders away each month simply because I do not have the time or enough well-trained staff to meet the demand. I have raised my order minimums to near ludicrous levels as a result of this, but in parallel to this I also raise the quality and detail level of the projects I’m putting out so I’m not necessarily making more from it.

The solution is, either being content with the success I have, which I really am, but there’s always the nagging ‘you can do more’ voice in my head no matter how good things are. Or, try to build a dream team to tackle the most challenging and largest of projects. And that’s the plan.

Again, I’m short on staff lately for varying reasons but once I get to Dallas/Ft.Worth area I expect to be able to recruit some great local talent and keep marching on. As the the brand grows into this new-ish direction we’ll be diversifying our service offerings beyond weapons and armor and leather working to include whatever sort of prop building and set building may be required.

So there you go, that’s the update and that’s the plan. There’s actually more to go on about but this already is pretty long.

Hope everyone out there is doing well and enjoying their lives.