How Three Canadian Brothers Began Dormie Workshop

How Three Canadian Brothers Started Dormie Workshop

Alex, Todd, and Jeff Bishop bear in mind the trick to promoting their first prototype leather-based headcovers on the Atlantic Canada PGA Present in 2014.

They served free drinks. 

In a on line casino in Moncton, New Brunswick, the brothers formally launched Dormie Workshop, their leathergoods firm, with a play on phrases and a boozy invitation for fellow PGA of Canada Professionals to be taught extra about their firm. “Darkish & Dormie” changed Darkish & Stormy cocktails (rum and ginger beer with a squeeze of lime) and so they had been off to the races after that.

“That was the key to our success,” says Jeff Bishop with fun about their slapped-together prototype that 12 months. “If you happen to had been at a automotive present, it could be such as you had been simply wanting on the transmission and the axle. However that automotive would run like hell, and also you wouldn’t imagine it.

Jeff, Alex and Todd Bishop are the masterminds behind the artistic power that drives Dormie Workshop. (Picture courtesy of Dormie Workshop)

“By the tip of the present we wrote three orders.” 

From cocktails to a worldwide enterprise

Dormie Workshop has since become an award-winning artistic store that has produced headcovers and loads of different high-quality leather-based items for about 300 golf golf equipment worldwide. It’s been named “Finest Leather-based Headcover” by Golf Digest journal the final six years operating, and the brothers moved into a ten,000-square-foot facility in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 2021, now boasting a group of 58 robust. 

The trio has by no means been as creatively impressed as they’re as of late. 

“I believe if you happen to had only one widget and also you had been doing the identical factor time and again that may get boring,” says Jeff, the lone PGA of Canada Member at Dormie Workshop. “We set the bar excessive however that permits our ardour to continue to grow.

“We’re having a blast.”

The brothers’ popping out get together, if you’ll, occurred on the 2016 PGA Present. Jeff and Todd had been driving residence from Orlando once they realized their then two-year-old firm took orders for almost 2,000 personalized leather-based headcovers. That had exceeded their gross sales from the entire of 2015 – at an occasion that was solely three days lengthy. 

The place each headcover begins: Dormie’s artistic, design and etching studio flooring. (Picture courtesy of Dormie Workshop)

Jeff and Todd had been serial entrepreneurs on the aspect of their golf efforts since graduating with levels in English (Todd) and enterprise (Jeff). That they had discovered some success with promoting an alignment assist and in addition a ball-marker. Todd was instructing at a college and Jeff was caddying within the U.S. when he first noticed an increasing number of leather-based headcovers roll by way of the membership he was at. His curiosity degree received piqued however was upset within the choices he noticed. 

The coolness or ‘wow’ issue simply wasn’t there. 

“There was one thing left on the desk in that area of interest market,” says Todd. “We’ve all the time had the entrepreneurial spirit however (the earlier concepts) might not have been the money cow we supposed.” 

The brothers had no cash early of their journey – not not like so many who begin with simply an concept. 

“It’s embarrassing to say we even had two grand saved up as a result of that was like a month’s hire. I pressured (Todd’s) hand and went excessive and stated, ‘Let’s do it’ and now we’re right here,” says Jeff with a smile. 

Trend week analysis

The preliminary Dormie Workshop prototype was “actually a bag of leather-based formed like a sock” however that’s the place expectations had been at with headcovers, admits Jeff. They got here to that first present with one thing impressed and inventive and that was simply, effectively, completely different. There was an actual alternative within the area, that they had an concept and needed to be artistic, however they had been unaware that the expertise for stitching even existed. 

They ended up going to Kijjii, a Canadian sibling to eBay, to seek out native tailors and seamstresses to ask about getting prototypes put collectively. 

“It was a matter of, if we do it, what equipment did we want? We had visions however we had no expertise for the execution of it,” says Jeff. 

Today, the brothers can do virtually something with their headcovers – even turning an outdated baseball mitt right into a driver cowl. They’ve attended trend weeks in each Milan and New York to see what designers are doing with leather-based, and it’s anticipated they’ll head again to these exhibits once more quickly. 

Todd remembers with fun attempting to talk to the Italian people – with an apparent big language barrier – and doing a faux golf swing to point out what they had been attempting to do with their product. 

“We nonetheless received to go and see and really feel (the brand new leathers) and if we had been fortunate sufficient to speak to somebody who had heard of the game of golf … they could understand it,” says Todd. “If we might simply catch one-tenth of the style sense of what everybody was touting in Milan and New York, we might gentle the world on hearth.” 

A watch on the longer term

Past headcovers, Dormie additionally has a pockets, stash bag, customized leather-based flags, and glove caddies on provide. They’re not presently promoting a weekender bag, however they’ve a mannequin for one, and they’re engaged on a shoulder-bag mannequin, too. They’re thrilled {that a} field of their goodies lately landed at St Andrews in Scotland.

“If eight years in the past they stated you’d be promoting there, effectively, one thing went actually proper,” says Todd.

In downtown Halifax, golfers can go to Dormie’s retail retailer, which showcases the newest leather-based good choices and sports activities a couple of simulators. (Picture courtesy of Dormie Workshop)

And the sock-adjacent prototype days at the moment are effectively within the rear-view mirror. An ideal instance? Today once they’re at a tradeshow they’ll put a customized headcover they made for Florida’s revered Seminole Golf Membership within the centre of the desk. There’s the enduring pink clubhouse. It’s fabricated from high-quality leather-based, in fact. Embroidery. Laser etching. A French seam. A number of colors and a customized liner. They make customized items that replicate the tradition and distinctive options of a membership – something goes, and so they’re excited to do much more, regardless of the heaping handful of options already included of their present headcover choices. 

“As soon as you discover out about laser etching and embroidering you’re like, effectively, what else is subsequent? What else exists on the market that we don’t learn about and the way can we replace it or create one thing that isn’t already out available on the market,” says Jeff. “We don’t relaxation. We take (the Golf Digest) prize after which we’re like, ‘What are we doing this 12 months to win subsequent 12 months?’ We’ve had that perspective proper from the get-go and we’re simply attempting to enhance the method and make issues look as cool as attainable with the very best strategies as attainable.”

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