Feel Good Friday: Shinola, Where American is Made

When you think about Detroit, you might think cars.  Start envisioning something else-watches, bicycles, and more.

Shinola is part of a growing movement that celebrates the beauty of manufacturing and investment in the American workforce. It was founded in 2011 with the goal to make quality products and to make them right here in America. The company started by partnering with a world class watchmaker based in Switzerland to help build a state-of-the-art watch making factory in 30,000 square feet of the College for Creative Studies (CCS) in Midtown, Detroit. Detroit locals were trained in the delicate process of movement and watch assembly.

Both the corporate headquarters and watch factory are housed within the College. Shinola relies on an open and collaborative interaction with CCS students through Shinola-sponsored classes. Engaging with students on programs that range from graphic and interior design to product and craft, these hands-on workshops provide students with real-world experience and direct access to Shinola executives. They believe the integration of local creative talent with their manufacturing operations will enable the brand to produce consumer goods that are beautiful, meaningful, and built to last.

The Manual asked a few questions of Shinola Creative Director Daniel Caudill –

What makes you extra excited about producing product in Detroit?

The most exciting thing about producing products in Detroit is the people. We not only are making products in a city that is steeped in manufacturing history, but we are working with passionate and skilled individuals, creating jobs and together working towards a position future for the city.

What product category do you get most excited about?

My perspective is to make sure our categories connect and are aesthetically aligned.  Each category is unique and exciting. The fun part is tying them all together. As we do with our current range, we will work with experts in each area to produce the highest quality product.

Where next will your product categories be expanding?

We are reviewing a number of categories including footwear and expanding our leather accessory offering. The tag line for Shinola is “Where American is made”.  Being raised in Michigan, I couldn’t be more proud of the investment in American made coolness.

You can also check out Shinola at Barneys.

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