Our Story

Justins first chatham shark 1976 stage harbor chatham

Justins first chatham shark 1976 stage harbor chatham

Having grown up on Cape Cod in the 70’s and 80’s I, like most young boys, was completely fascinated by sharks. Filmed on nearby Martha’s Vineyard, the original JAWS became one of my all-time favorite movies. As a lifelong sailor and surfer I spent a lot of time in the water and seeing a seal at the time was incredibly rare. Surfers would sometimes joke that the someday “the landlord would collect the rent” (ie. eat a surfer) but other than that the presence of great whites in our Atlantic waters was never a passing thought.

During the summer of 2010 I opened a retail store in the Chatham area for my established business, the Cape Cod Beach Chair Company. As part of our expanding operations we began to rent and sell stand up paddleboards to much fanfare in the local beach-loving community.

Towards the middle of that summer reports began to circulate around town of people seeing Great White sharks. Suddenly, we were fielding calls for interviews and visits from reporters from many of the regions television, radio, and print media. Are people worried about the sharks? Are YOU worried about the sharks? Has it impacted business? Have you seen one while paddle boarding? Truthfully, no. But I WAS excited about the possibility of someday seeing one of these epic creatures… from a safe distance.

With so much excitement and interest in the great white sharks I decided to print up a line of shark t-shirts for our store. Chatham Whites started with one shirt design in 2010 and immediately became a huge hit! The following seasons we continued to expand the Chatham Whites line by adding sweatshirts, children’s t’s, hats and visors. When my 5-year old daughter Zoe spotted someone proudly wearing “one of Daddy’s shark shirts” while we were visiting Boston’s North End one fall day I realized just how popular Chatham Whites had become. I decided the time had come to grow the clothing line into a full brand of casual apparel with even more fun and unique designs.

We have established the Chatham Whites brand as the original “shark shirt”, celebrating my love of Chatham, Cape Cod, and our new-found shark friends… the legendary Great White Shark. I hope you love our unique creations, and spend your summer days and nights wearing Chatham Whites!

Best Regards,

Justin Labdon
Founder, Chatham Whites