https://cinemabmx.com/

Company Policy: WHTHOUS "What separates us is what we don't have"

The BMX DIY ethos is overflowing to the max out in the Rockies...

25 Nov 2019

Dig Wh Benjamin Smith

"After 5 years of dealing with a back injury on and off. I knew from the start of working on this article that I wanted to get a riding photo for myself. Thanks to my friend John for setting the ramp up and snapping the pic." -Benjamin Smith

Interview by Rob Dolecki; photos by John Campbell, Josh Favrow and Benjamin Smith.

Comin' at ya straight from the Montana Rocky Mountains in the U.S. is a newer brand named WHTHOUS (pronounced White House). The DIY ethos is overflowing to the max out of Benjamin Smith's house, with some quality offerings as a result. Read on to learn more about the triumphs and tribulations of running WHTHOUS with the man behind it.

https://feverup.com/m/163363
Dig Wh Logan Ostrom

Logan Ostrom makes the best of long Montana winters with a Ruben ride on his indoor mini.

Explain the beginnings of WHTHOUS, why it started and how it got to where it is.

Initially the idea came about bouncing ideas back and forth with Ricky Lopez, who lived in Montana at the time and we were riding a lot together then. At first it was to just create clothing for BMX. And that’s what it started out as, but a bit more in depth. I wanted to create some nice quality cut and sew clothing and expand into different pieces. Turns out that was incredibly expensive for what you get out of it, a shirt… my interest started to shift towards hard goods and the process of how they were made.

What’s the philosophy behind WHTHOUS?

This question is tough, and its something I tend to ask myself from time to time. “Why am I doing this?” I have concluded it seems to change over time. Each year I grow older, and my outlook on BMX and life in general tends to change, and in turn the brand takes a similar shift and change.

We are now making the parts and frames how we want, with the resources we have. All funded by ourselves.

Who aside from yourself, makes things happen on a daily basis?

Ryan Ogawa is our main sales rep. He handles the majority of our dealer sales. Contacting local bike shops throughout the US. He has contributed a ton towards his local BMX scene in Fresno, and continues to shoot amazing photos in and outside of BMX. Check out his work. Both Ryan and I work day jobs at bike shops, so our time is split between that and WHTHOUS.

Who’s on the team?

At this point for us, I am helping out my friends that I have met throughout the years of riding BMX. Having the normal Pro/am/flow team format doesn’t currently work for us. Due to the size of the brand and our shoestring budget, I have felt it is hard to properly support riders with funds or a travel budget.

Here is the list of guys who are apart of WHTHOUS: Logan Ostrom, Andrew Riley, Vince Kroff, and Julian Jamerson.

What are the best and worst parts about running the company?

I handle a lot of different facets of the brand, so its refreshing to work on different parts throughout the week, or even the same day. Machining bar ends for a production run, or building jigs for future frame building can take up part of the day. Office work and media/marketing can take up the evening or other parts of the day. The downside is finding enough time to handle all of this. I still work a full-time job as a bike mechanic at a local shop. Any extra time I have usually have is focused toward WHTHOUS. It can get stressful when my progress isn’t keeping up with the expectations I have in my head. This is something I struggle with and am working on.

" The downside is finding enough time to handle all of this. I still work a full-time job as a bike mechanic at a local shop."

  • Wh Seat Post
  • Dig Wh Machine Shop 3
  • Dig Wh Machine Shop 2
  • Dig Wh Machine Shop 4
  • Dig Wh Machine Shop 1

of 5

Why did you decide to avoid the Taiwan route, and make most hard goods in the U.S.?

I enjoy the close contact with FBM, and over time have grown to really respect those guys. John Corts, John Lee, and Mike Erb have helped me with setting the ground work on how the to create production runs of frames and parts. They have showed me how supportive people are in BMX, and a willingness to help each other out.

We haven’t completely avoided using Taiwan for production, as some parts on a BMX bike just aren’t possible to make here in the states. I want to build as many things I can in the our machine shop and the US, but still use Taiwan for the things we can’t produce here.

What is the motivation, and what are some of the challenges starting to produce BMX frames in-house in the U.S. in 2019?

Setting out to build frames yourself on a small production level is not easy. I have been buying machining equipment and tooling up for about three years. Finding old machining equipment across the state of Montana and figuring out the logistics of moving it to the shop is a journey in itself. Along with that, you have to make most of your tools and jigs to build each part of the frame. Lately, it has been more about building the jigs and fixtures then the actual frames. My motivation comes from taking on each of these steps, and getting closer to this goal I have set for myself and the brand.

What would you say separates WHTHOUS from other companies in BMX?

I would say it’s what we don’t have. This is run from my house, with the machine shop out back. There is no massive warehouse, just some guys who are into bikes. It’s not a big operation, but we are still offering quality parts and frames that are available for wholesale to bike shops. This has been hard to do starting out for us, we could have easily sold only direct. But it is important to offer the products to local bike shops across the country.

What new products are being released next?

We are currently working on a new frame prototype that will be produced in our shop. On the parts side, we will be debuting our seat and seat post this coming Summer of 2020. They have been on bikes being tested for a while, and I am really happy with how they turned out. This seat is just clean and simple with a slim design.

Where do you want to see the company in five years?

I hope we are producing frames for riders in-house, still making new products, and overall contributing to BMX culture.

How can people find out more about WHTHOUS?

With the heavy use of social media now, you can check us out on Instagram and facebook (@whthous) for updates of what we are doing. Also keep an eye on our website www.whthous.com where we will be releasing some new original content on a regular basis soon.

For questions about our parts, or where to buy, I recommend going to your local bike shop. They can help answer questions about our parts, prices and availability. Even if you aren’t looking for something we offer, talk to the guys in the shop and see what they suggest. A local bike shop is the backbone to that area’s BMX scene.

Is there anything you'd like to add?

I would like to thank some people who have helped and supported WHTHOUS along the way: all the Montana BMX riders; FBM machine shop guys Mike Erb, John Lee, and John Corts; Ricky Lopez, John Campbell, Chris Stevenson, Mike Brennan, Ryan Ogawa, Jesse Garcia, Kaleb Oldeni, Aaron Huff, Brad Simms, Devon Denham, Gregory Moliterno, Chris Moeller, Jason Ball, My parents, Logan Ostrom, Julian Jamerson, Andrew Riley, Vince Kroff, any locals who helped move machining equipment; and to all the shops and riders who have purchased any WHTHOUS products over the years, THANK YOU.

"This has been hard to do starting out for us, we could have easily sold only direct. But it is important to offer the products to local bike shops across the country."

Dig Wh Andrew Riley

I don’t know what Andrew Riley likes more. Snapping crisp tabletops, or snacking on crispy corn dogs.

WHTHOUS are OFFICIAL DIG PARTNERS

Previous

Lookbook: Mankind Apparel - Winter 2019

Fresh Threads For The Winter Months

Next

PRODUCT DROP: CULT CREW - NEW WINTER GOODS

Yet more of the good stuff...

Related Content

Cinema Detroit Kevin Conners By7 U1809

Motor City Cinema - IN PHOTOS

"something more than family"

12 Aug 2019
Whthous-Big-Sky
Play Button

WHTHOUS - Big Sky

Gentleman, you had my curiosity but now...

22 May 2015
Mulville   Bmx 5 Reasons  Tbog   Rd

5 Reasons Why Sponsorship Loyalty Kicks Ass

Profile's Mark Mulville breaks it down...

29 Dec 2015
6 Bnn Qg Fg

The Good Times Are Killing Us - A TMPRD Berlin Photo Journal

"We were going to Germany baby."

8 Nov 2019
Julian-Jamerson-WHTHOUS
Play Button

Julian Jamerson - WHTHOUS

Another short but sweet promo from WHTHOUS...

27 Nov 2014
Jwatts Carbondale Lookback

GIVE IT HELL! Fast & Loose in Colorado

Deep and steep, straight up the guts...

1 Aug 2019
WHTHOUS-Brady-Tweedy
Play Button

WHTHOUS - Brady Tweedy

Holding it down for Idaho...

5 Mar 2015
Jordan Doomed 1 By Tom Price Jenkins

Embracing the Chaos and Destruction - The Doomed Story

"It's a shit show out there and most of us don’t have a clue what’s going on"

29 Aug 2019
2019 Kink Champagne Header 059

Creating a Classic - Kink's "Champagne"

Two years, and lots of blood, sweat and tears...

27 Oct 2019
Andrew Riley Screen Grab Youtube
Play Button

WHTHOUS | Tabletops and Tan Lines

The essence of life on the road...

25 Apr 2019
Dimitri James
Play Button

DIMITRI JAMES - WHTHOUS 2017

Smooth Grooves

10 Feb 2017
https://harobikes.com/collections/bmx

Latest Content

Lqwf6 XJ Aw F Yhqdefault
Play Button

MONSTER ENERGY 'CASH UP JAM' - HAMMER & NAILS FEST

Closing out Day 2 with a bang

26 May 2024
K5g Ny Ln Pbzwhqdefault
Play Button
L Wk K5h8 L60ghqdefault
Play Button

DEVON SMILLIE VS CASEY STARLING - THE GAME OF BIKE INVITATIONAL

Devon and Casey battle it out

25 May 2024
D YO Zj Af Q5uohqdefault
Play Button
W Fu JFE R Mk Ahqdefault
Play Button
J Wfad UDFF Ehqdefault
Play Button

WILL JACKSON - IN THE BARN - 2024

42 and still killin' it

24 May 2024
0 Wnt5 B Npiq4hqdefault
Play Button
Sa Kg Onb H Edwhqdefault
Play Button

"EMBALSE" - DIG LOCALS

An Argentinian Trails Video

23 May 2024
6q T Ca0 P3t K8hqdefault
Play Button

Colony Road To ACT Jam

Nothing beats a BMX roadtrip

23 May 2024
8w Wh LD Lqd 8hqdefault
Play Button

HEDY GUERRA - DIG LOCALS

"REMEMBRANCE"

22 May 2024
T0v Eo X Ffs N Qhqdefault
Play Button

SPINE FINALS - FISE MONTPELLIER 2024

12 of the world's best

22 May 2024
St L2yk8e Sv Ehqdefault
Play Button

CASEY STARLING BIKE CHECK - DIG BMX SETUPS 2024

The whip that takes quite a beating

21 May 2024

DIG Partner stores

More Dig This

X Games California 2023 Kevin 2

X Games Ventura 2024: BMX Preview

Who, what, where and when

15 May 2024
Hannah roberts dsc00340

X Games Debuts Women’s BMX Park at Ventura 2024

This year, X Games is adding Women’s BMX Park to the schedule, and Hannah Roberts is leading the charge.

10 May 2024
S1057107 2

MONSTER ENERGY 'CASH UP' 2024 SERIES ANNOUNCED

5 Jams - 5 Countries

25 Apr 2024
Nick wave

IN MEMORY - NICK COOMBES

A true renaissance man in every sense of the word

24 Apr 2024
WTP ECLAT JACKAL FRAME FORK 3

PRODUCTIVITY: WTP/ECLAT JACKAL FRAME & FORK

Did someone say titanium?!

13 Apr 2024
435840693 1414960675891844 3313287078063579831 n

PRODUCT DROP: LEWIS MILLS SIGNATURE VANS 'PEAK'

An all new BMX specific shoe from Vans

10 Apr 2024
Thee void leader
Cinema apparel 24 sring
DSCF2930

PRODUCTIVITY - ECLAT 1023 STEM

Designed in Cologne. Made in Kyoto.

31 Jan 2024
Dig2023stack

DIG BOOK #2023

NOW SHIPPING

8 Jan 2024
Wheel mill winter welcome 24 WIDE

EVENT NEWS: The Wheel Mill - Winter Welcome Jam 2024

Shelter from the storm.

19 Dec 2023
TJP WTP 22 6

SETUPS: TYSON JONES-PENI'S 22" CHAOS MACHINE

"I'm not saying the 22" will become the new standard, but it might help some riders stay on a BMX, rather than switching to MTB."

18 Dec 2023