Shinola may be one of the strongest brands you have never heard of.
The company is best known for its two flagship products – watches and bicycles. I visited the New York City store over Labor Day and took a quick photo of the sign that said: A TRUE MANUFACTURING COMPANY IS BUILT NOT BY THE THINGS IT MAKES. IT’S BUILT BY THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE THEM. In fact, the brand is really focused on creating its products in the United States. As I understand it, both the watches and the bikes are actually made in Detroit, a town that could use some American love right about now. I recently purchased a Shinola Canfield, and it adorns my wrist right now.
Shinola is a testament to the rising spirit of American ingenuity. The brand has become so popular that President Obama gave Prime Minister David Cameron of England a custom-made Shinola watch recently, so maybe you should have heard of them :).
Earlier this year, Shinola CEO told the New York Times that the company plans on taking launching a new eyeglass vertical in 2017. Will it be able to take on the likes of Warby Parker (I wear a pair of WP sunglasses everyday while driving in LA)? I don’t know, but I love these businesses who care about style and design and substance.