Nostalgically named for a World War II-era shoe polish, Shinola is the latest brand to capitalize on the burgeoning appeal of made in America fashion products. Launched this month via an e-commerce site, and with flagships set to open in New York and Detroit in June, Shinola is selling retro-inspired watches, bicycles, leather accessories and stationary goods all made and assembled in its own Detroit production center, or elsewhere in the U.S.
While the name may be quaint, Shinola is a state-of-the-art operation, situated in a custom 30,000-square-foot facility within the historic Argonaut Building in Detroit that can now turn out 500,000 high-quality watches a year. The ambitious start-up is the latest venture from Tom Kartsotis, the founder of watch giant Fossil Inc., who retired as chairman of that company in 2010 and has since dedicated himself to building up his private equity and brand management firm, Bedrock Manufacturing Co., based in Plano, Texas.
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