Interview by YouTube Channel
Throttle Down Under
For years I had lamented the loss of the local surf shops. Most had closed down and couldn't compete against the shopping mall brands. The big surf labels and their designs were in every shopping mall on the planet.
I started making my own tees. I grabbed old surf pics and cool car images like the Superoo and Sandman and got them printed on my own tees. I wondered why no brand was revering Australian culture and our wonderful heritage.
....so I trademarked Kenoath in 2008 but it took me 3 years before I pulled out my finger and printed our first tee.
We designed and printed our first tees and set up a stall at Greazefest, Brisbane. We made $350 and drank half of it on the way home at the Shaftson Hotel.
We launched the Kenoath Facebook and Website.
We enlisted gun photographers David Gatt and Cory Roberts to create the amazing imagery which Kenoath was soon to become well known for.
The brand powered along for just over 3 years and we gained a loyal following of customers and supporters that loved our lush photoshoots.
Kenoath sponsors the Australian Men's Bobsled Team. After being told by the Australian Olympic Committee we couldn't proceed with a Kenoath Boxing Kangaroo design we designed a t-shirt called KICKARSE. All proceeds from the sale of tees went to the team and helped them purchase a new sled which helped them qualify for the 2014 Olympic Games at Sochi.
We started running a stall at the Burleigh Village Markets. The brand started to take off. We were packing orders late into the morning, working full time jobs and running Kenoath after work and into the weekends.
Then the shit hit the fan!
We closed the Kenoath website & store.
My father Desi Snr became ill and passed away. I lost my best mate and hero and I plummeted into a deep depression. I couldn’t manage both a full-time job and running Kenoath part-time. Something had to give.
It took me a couple of years to recover from a hell trip. I did keep our Facebook page bubbling along and it just continued to grow and grow. Many of our followers wanted us to bring back the tees.
In December 2017, I discovered this hilarious film clip on Youtube from a Sunshine Coast shed band called The Chats. It had like 54 views. I shared it on our Facebook page and it went batshit. We gained 10,000 new followers in one week. The lads were pretty stoked and what ensued in the following days, months and years is almost beyond belief. It proved to me in this homogenous World the Australian character needed to be preserved.
The riff of Smoko made me want to pack the truck and head off on an endless surf trip. This song and their vibe stirred something in me....
Then in 2018, my beautiful mum Emily passed away and she encouraged me to follow my dreams and "be happy"
In honour of my Mum and a determination to follow my dream, I decided to relaunch Kenoath.
I turned my back on the corporate world, quit my job and set out to craft Kenoath into a great Australian brand.
One afternoon my wife Dee and I were having a few sherbets and the new logo was conceived on a piece of baking paper.
In September 2019 Kenoath was relaunched with new logo, new designs and a lush new Website. Some truly amazing people have joined us in making this project a dream come true. The support we have received from long time supporters and new friends has been astonishing.
The year started with a bang and we were swamped with orders for our Terry Towelling Bucket bringing many smiles and laughs to our customers.
Then the Bushfires knocked the stuffing out of Australia. Here I was trying to create this postive brand and happy social media posts but I had this terrible pit in my stomach. So we created our own Bushfire appeal to support the Salvos in their relief efforts. The response from our customers was heartwarming. How fken good are Aussies.
Where to next?
Well like most small Australian businesses and families we are taking it one day at a time. We have some great dreams, goals and projects we wish to unleash once we navigate through Covid-19.
Thanks for tuning in to Kenoath.