Knights of Mo’Bay
A little while back I posted about an “Irie” jersey I received from Knights of MoBay. Although I am a short, white Canadian on the outside…inside lies a true rasta man just trying to get out. Because of this, it was no doubt that I loved the jersey and have really enjoyed the relationship I’ve built up with Royston who owns the company.
Knights of MoBay (KOM) have become one of our sponsors on Loving the Bike and as my way of saying thanks, I wanted to dive a little deeper and talk more about the company and how they began.
How did Knights of MoBay begin?
Royston from KOM: “When I started cycling seriously a couple years ago, I had a hard time finding jerseys that fit and didn’t look like the front quarter panel of a Indy race car crowded with logos. I started Knights of Mo’ Bay (KOM) Apparel to meet a need of Big Bubba cyclist you wanted a little more style in their jerseys.
My family is from the Caribbean and I wanted to wear a more relax reggae feel jersey symbolizing beach, music and the good life in the Caribbean. My daughter was also engaged in a number of triathlete events and I designed jerseys for her and her friends. They wanted female empowerment designs sans the pink and flowers. I came out with a couple jerseys and shorts and knew I was onto something when one of my customers told me, ‘she doesn’t wear my gear to the gym if she is not in the mood for cheerful people in her face.’”
Then Came the Shorts and Other Gear
Royston from KOM: “I designed Reggae shorts with the “One Love” message on the back, but ran into Bob Marley copyright issue, so I changed it to IRIE (Jamaican for everything all right). I ran off a dozen, thinking that I would get a pair and somehow sell the others over the summer. I went to an event and people followed me back to the car, asking where they could buy those kool shorts. I sold them out within a week and started a whole IRIE line of kits, jerseys, bib shorts, shoe covers, vest, caps, socks and arm warmers.
I have shipped IRIE kits across Europe, the Caribbean, Japan and yes the heartland of the US. Who knew so many people want to relive the memories of hanging on the beaches of a Caribbean island and taking in the vibes and other things. I saw a quote from one of my customers in an email, ‘I have to admit – it’s my all time favorite jersey to ride in – soooo comfy. I’m so uptight and type-A that the IRIE thing is almost paramount in my life. My wife hates it and thinks it’s silly that I’m wearing a Caribbean jersey…but everyone else LOVES IT. I get compliments all the time’.”
Creation of Gurls Ride Out
Royston from KOM: “I also started getting request from female athletes for jersey designs that were not flowery. My daughter who also has a strong personality, critiqued my designs and we have developed a number of female appealing kits, like Cycle by Day, Dance by Night Salsa and Tango jersey.
Expanding the IRIE and Female Empowerment themes on on my KOM website became difficult, so I am in the process of spiting the two clothing lines into Knights of Mo’ Bay and Gurl’s Ride Out! I hope you enjoy my designs, because the majority of them are inspired by you, my customers and I am always interested in speaking with friends about new ideas.”