Creators of the Shinola brand originally hail from Dallas, but when looking for the American city to base their manufacturing efforts in, they found no better fit than Detroit. Replete with new partnerships around the city, they’re starting a visionary new project designing and creating watches, bicycles and leather goods.
“Bringing that back here and being able to do 500,000 units a year I think is wildly important,” says Heath Carr, chief operations officer for Shinola. “Made in Detroit meant something. And it means something today. And we think it’s going to mean something in the future.”
Shinola is already operating and employing Detroiters inside the College for Creative Studies’ A. Alfred Taubman Center. The company had already decided to base its efforts in the city when they originally found the Taubman Building, but the connection to the school and access to design talent were hard amenities to pass up. So far, Carr calls this collaboration… and city… a good fit.
“One of the things we talked about when designing the product was designing for a community,” Carr says. “Made in America means many things to different people and it’s kind of a broad generalization, but we wanted it to be localized to the community.”