How We Started
You could say it started in May 2016, at least the thought of "WH05DAT" did. I say this because there was NO intention of becoming a brand. It came about when I (call me 'Kam') practiced wheelies on a MT-125. I wanted to document my progress online, but didn't want to have my plate on display, so for the sake of anonymity (and a bit of humour) "WH05 DAT" came to mind.
In July 2016, my bike got stolen from outside my home in South London. When it comes to security, I do not play games, but I thought "I'll only be 10 minutes, leaving it unlocked is fine", ended up being an hour. We never think it'll happen to us until it does. Anyway, the bike was located and returned within 5 days thanks to help from the bike community on Instagram. This experience reinforced the idea that "Bikes Bring Bonds," which is now the brand's motto.
I believe in transparency, so here goes:
Late 2016 I was disqualified from driving for two years due to my participation in a mass ride, but my passion for riding only grew stronger. I bought a camera and began creating content for the motorcycle community, gaining popularity through Instagram and YouTube. In 2017, I secured the @wh05dat Instagram username and used a picture of a WH05DAT numberplate as the brand's logo.
In the winter of 2017, the first batch of OG Reflective WH05DAT stickers were produced and handed out for free to riders I met. Seeing skilled riders applying the stickers to their bikes inspired me to keep going. Despite a police raid on my home in January 2018 and seizure of equipment, a GoFundMe campaign was able to raise enough funds to replace the equipment within just two days, thanks to the support of the community.
In February 2019, I was jailed for dangerous driving offences committed in 2016. Correct, over three years after the offence. During this time, I reflected and planned for the future, and in the winter of that year, the first WH05DAT hoodie was released.
In August 2020, thanks to the support of the community, I was able to quit my day job and focus on running the brand full-time. A month later, my girlfriend quit her job too. At this point, I got rid of my bed to make space for inventory and slept on a mattress on the floor.
Finally, in April 2021, WH05DAT became an official company. The brand has already collaborated with helmet manufacturing giant Ruroc, and we have big plans to expand into the protective gear industry. We aim to bring the motorcycle community together even more through our shared love of riding.
There's a positive in EVERY situation. I'm not proud of having 4.5 years worth of bans, I'm not happy about the fact I've had 4 motorcycles stolen either. But what I am proud of, is the ever growing positive community which has been the result of all the adversity.
This is just the start of our story, stay tuned if you'd like to be apart of it, and ride wheelie safe, if not, at least dangerously safe! *wink*