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Home/Blog/An Interview with Nomad - Part 1
16 Mar 2023 · 8 minutes read
· by Josephine Nuamah

An Interview with Nomad - Part 1

For our blog this week, we sat down with Nomad Goods for an exclusive interview. We discussed everything from their commitment to quality to their latest product releases. 

With a reputation for creating innovative mobile accessories that cater to the needs of digital nomads and adventurers, read part 1 of the full interview, below!


We recently had the pleasure of speaking with Neil Villadolid at Nomad; one of our best-selling brands here at Megamac. Nomad is a company that specialises in producing high-quality accessories for mobile devices and other tech gadgets. Founded in 2012, the company is based in sunny Santa Barbara, California, and has quickly gained a reputation for creating innovative, durable, yet stylish products for tech enthusiasts and adventurers alike.  

Our conversation touched on everything from the company's origins, their latest product releases - particularly with their high demand for the Apple Watch Straps and what the marketing coordinator role at Nomad looks like.

We split our interview in 3 parts about Nomad's work culture, products and more about Neil's role at Nomad. 

Read Part 1 about Nomad’s culture in our interview below. Shop Nomad Goods here at Megamac!

Nomad’s Work Culture

Josephine Nuamah (JN) for Megamac and Neil Villadolid (NV) for Nomad Goods.

JN: So first of all, Neil, so how long have you been working at Nomad for?     
NV: I've been at the company for just a little over four years.

JN: What does the everyday workday look like at Nomad Goods?                     
NV: It's kind of a cliche answer to say that every day is different, which is kind of true, but I would almost break up our daily lives into seasons if you will. We are a very seasonal company in terms of iPhone launch and Christmas and the holidays, and then as we go into summer, it's a little bit of a slower season.

In terms of an average day at Nomad, it really depends on the time of year. For instance, right now we're almost over the hump of the holiday season and going into our slower season. Right now, a lot of the work is prepping for the iPhone launch and the holiday season. What I mean by this is we're trying to build our product line-up before the holidays so we can have everything ready for that season. We are trying to get a lot of marketing initiatives in right now to collect new customers and put our brand out to new customers so that when iPhone and holiday season comes, we've done all the work and hopefully all that work pays off.

iPhone launches require a lot of prepping. We have tons and tons of SKUs. iPhones have four sizes - iPhone 14, 14 plus, Pro and Pro Max. So, for however many colours we have, the web team will spend a few months building out those web pages and the product team is working hard on creating all those products that we're going to be promoting. Us on the marketing team is making sure all the press and influencers are dialled in with all the latest and greatest gear, so that when the iPhone launch happens, it goes as smoothly as it does for us.

Nomad iPhone Cases
JN: How would you describe the work environment and culture/energy at Nomad?                         

NV: I think that we're a pretty unique company. I started here four years ago and I've been here some time. I’ve seen the culture from so many different perspectives from being in college to now being four years tenured. The work environment I think is very, I don't want to say relaxed, because it's not relaxed. Everyone who works here is putting in a good amount of work, but it does have a chill environment to it. A lot of people are good friends outside of work and a lot of people hang out together outside of work. We all get lunch together during the day, we might go to a bar and play trivia, so the community at Nomad is so tight and just makes the working environment so much better. We're able to have these open discussions about important topics and it just is a joyful place to work. 

The Nomad Goods Team

JN: Could you give some insight on what the leadership looks like at Nomad?

NV: So we have our two co-founders Brian Hahn and Noah Dentzel. They were the ones that started this whole thing that Nomad is today. So they're at the top and then we have directors who oversee each department. Our marketing, wholesale, e-comm and customer service all have a director and so we have this top down hierarchy of each department.

It's the directors that are making long-term shots, if you will and then a lot of the short-term decisions are so fluid. We have such a collaborative team that so many people are involved in making decisions, which I think is a good thing.

But Brian and Noah - co-founders, the directors of each department, and then the rest of the colleagues :)

Brian Hahn and Noah Dentzel
JN: Is there anything that is the most enjoyable about working at Nomad?     
NV: I think for me it's the social aspect, which then leads into a really productive work environment. You know, I think that sometimes in a work culture, there might be tension between people when you talk about certain subjects, like one person might want something their way and another person might want something another way. I think that when we have a strong community, those tough conversations are a lot easier to have and a lot more productive because you respect the person that you're talking to and know they have good intentions for what they're doing. So I think that the strong social aspect of the company really plays into the productive nature of the work environment too.
Socials at Nomad
JN: Do you guys have a four-day work week? What's that like?
NV: Yeah, they implemented the four-day work week in 2021 and prior to that we had, every other Friday off. So we would work five days, then four days, and then a little more than a year ago, we implemented the four-day work week, which is, we typically work Monday through Thursday and it has been great. I think that a lot of people have that preconceived idea that less time in the day equals less work done but I think we've proven that not true. I think that when you have a four-day work week, you are almost more motivated to get your work done so you can enjoy that three-day weekend so you don't have any of those lingering projects hanging over your head going into the weekend. You also don’t want to drop the ball for your other colleagues.

It just allows a lot more flexibility. Just because we have Fridays off doesn't mean that you don't work on Fridays. You can totally work on Fridays. Like if you have a doctor's appointment on Tuesday, you don't have to stress or worry about kind of getting that time off. You can kind of go to your doctor's appointment and then you can do a little bit of work on Friday, and I think that that just allows for a lot more flexibility, a lot less stress. So much stuff happens in life and sometimes it's hard to deal with it and I think that this four-day work week just makes life a little bit easier. I know a lot of people at the company put in good hours on Friday even though they don't necessarily have to. As long as you're doing your job, as long as your work's getting done, everyone's happy!

JN: So how does Nomad balance hard work with employee wellbeing, maybe in any other ways apart from the four-day work week?                                       
NV: Another big aspect of what we have is unlimited PTO (paid time off). I know a lot of companies get x amount of days for their time off and at the same time we implemented the four-day work week, we also implemented unlimited PTO. It just kind of goes into that same factor of just more flexibility, you know, like you don't have to stress about taking a day off. I think a lot of the time, the first thing someone might think of or ask, when you say unlimited PTO is “can't you take like two months off and then kind of go back to work?” and the answer is no, not really. If you take two months off, you kind of abuse the unlimited PTO system then. Your work won't get done and that is the bottom line. So as long as your work is getting done and you're putting in the time and not hurting other people's jobs with your work ethic, then you're okay. But as soon as you kind of start abusing that system, then it becomes a problem. Thankfully, I don't think anyone at the company has abused that system and I think it's been great. You know, no one's out here taking two weeks off every month so the unlimited PTO is another really nice aspect of the work life balance for us.

JN: How do you spend time socialising? Does Nomad conduct team days or do you spend most of that independently?

NV: Nomad is interesting in that we have a hybrid work schedule. So, a lot of people work from home, whether they're in Santa Barbara where the office is, or in Los Angeles, Washington or San Diego - wherever they might be. But for the greater team, we have these events called major events which bring everyone who's all over the state or the country back to Santa Barbara for that specific week.

We have those about once every two or three months, which is basically when everyone at the company comes into the office. When that happens, it's a really fun time to see people that you don't typically see in person and then during those weeks we go and have dinners, or we go bowling or we have really fun team lunches.

Nomad's Office in Santa Barbara

Stay tuned for Part 2 about Nomad’s products and some other exciting product releases. What things interested you the most about our Nomad Interview? DM us on Instagram or Twitter :)

Published 16 Mar 2023 by Josephine Nuamah
Josephine Nuamah
E-commerce Executive

When Josephine isn't busy dealing with customer queries....she is busy getting all the latest content about trends in technology.

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