We’ve been working at The Yard on the Williamsburg-Greenpoint border this summer and have found that that having an office in a co-working space makes us more organized and more professional. We also love being able to have face-to-face meetings daily, and, well, the amazing air conditioning. We wanted to get to know some of our co-workers in the space, so we started this series Who Works at The Yard? Kicking it off is Ryan Zagata, of Brooklyn Cruiser.
Tell us about your business, what do you do?
Brooklyn Cruiser is a city bike brand designing approachable and stylish bicycles and bicycle accessories for the urban cyclist. I am the president of the company.
How did you get into that–what did you do before?
I had sold software for over 15 years and was heading for a burn out. I had been looking for a city bike and stumbled upon a segment of the market that was being underserved from both a quality and value perspective. We aren’t the first urban bike brand by any stretch of the imagination but we like to think that what we are delivering from both a quality and value perspective is far and away better than anything else in the market.
It is refreshing to wake up each morning knowing that my efforts and decisions directly impact our small team. Having people collectively relying on each other’s efforts for the success of the company is beyond exhilarating. We are fortunate to have pulled together a brilliant team.
How long have you been working at The Yard?
We have been at The Yard for almost a year
As a small business owner, how does working at a co-working space help you or change your work life?
The Yard has been a great opportunity to meet like-minded individuals and share ideas with other budding brands who face similar challenges day in and day out. We also love to collectively celebrate each other’s successes.
Any words of advice for people out there who are starting businesses or trying to go freelance from their job?
My go to mantra, and it’s certainly not original, has always been “Done is Better than Perfect.” When starting or growing a brand or service, I’m of the mindset that it’s best to get your product or service out into the real world as quickly as possible–there’s no better judge than an actual consumer with money in their hand. From there you can iterate and scale up or down as the market demands. You’ll save yourself a lot of time and money and you’ll know a lot sooner if you have a viable product or service that people will actually pay for.
What’s the best thing you’ve done so far this summer and what are you still looking forward to doing?
We just returned from a week away with the extended family. We head down to Cape May, N.J. each year and stay in a massively beautiful old Victorian house in an attempt to erase the miles between us and turn back the clock to a time when we were all under one roof. Lots of ice cream, porch time and card games. I’m looking forward to trying to sneak in another getaway before sweater season grabs hold.