Zach Dabrowski and Tyler Froese became all too familiar with the dangers of riding a bicycle at night when one of their friends was injured in an accident.
“This guy was always a fashionable person and took pride in being an influencer,” reflects Zach. “Luckily, he only broke his leg, so we sat down with him after his accident to come up with a way to influence safety without sacrificing style.”
It was out of this discussion that the Vancouver-based bag company Nocturnal Workshop was born. The company “combines high-quality materials with a minimalistic influence and silhouette to create a product of substance for the after hours,” says Zach.
Designed to appeal to urban cyclists and inspired by “movement within city limits,” each bag features 3M reflective nylon to increase visibility and is made with tough material that withstands the elements. “A lot of design testing comes into play,” explains Zach. He and Tyler often make prototypes and test them out on their bikes, or give the bags to friends in exchange for feedback.
When looking for tools to run the business, Zach wanted a point-of-sale and invoicing system that would complement the design sensibility behind the Nocturnal Workshop brand. He says he was aware of Square long before it was available in Canada. Now, he uses it on his iPhone with a Square Reader, which allows him to offer quick and easy payment options to customers at pop-ups and special shows.
“Through pop-ups, we are able to engage with a local audience, and we often offer products in those settings that wouldn’t be available otherwise,” says Zach. For example, the company partnered with the department store Holt Renfrew to offer a wallet customization station during the last Christmas season. “It was great to meet fans and advocates of the brand, as well as create a product that we would not have considered otherwise,” he adds. “Using the Square terminals helped a lot with our organization and preparedness.“
On the business tools side, Zach also enjoys Square Invoices and likes having the ability to track payments and access information across a range of devices.
What’s next for Nocturnal Workshop? Zach hopes to continue building the brand and expanding the product line. In addition to backpacks and tote bags, the company has started selling smaller accessories such as laptop sleeves, iPhone cases, wallets and folios. Keep an eye out for pop-ups from Nocturnal Workshop this summer!