Shinola Expands Operations in Detroit with 2,000 Sq. Ft. Watch Dial Factory

As Detroit struggles to emerge from bankruptcy, locally-based manufacturers and retailers such as Shinola are joining deep-pocketed investors inthe city’s revitalization efforts.

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

As Detroit struggles to emerge from bankruptcy, locally based manufacturers and retailers are joining deep-pocketed investors in the city’s revitalization efforts.

Shinola City Clock – Detroit

Shinola/Detroit LLC is in itself an example of how growth-motivated business decisions helped a century-old brand reinvent itself. What started in the early 1900s as a shoe polish factory based in Illinois is now one of the small but thriving makers of luxury goods such as watches, bicycles, journals and leather products. The name Shinola was acquired in 2001 by Bedrock Manufacturing, a venture capital firm based in Dallas, TX. Located on the fifth floor of the former Argonaut Building in Midtown Detroit, Shinola/Detroit LLC was founded ten years later by Tom Kartsotis, former chairman and chief executive of Fossil. The newly founded company opened its first store in Detroit in 2013. The motto “Where American is made” pretty much sums up Shinola’s commitment to make every product in the United States.

Less than one year after the grand opening of its flagship store at 441 W. Canfield Street, the company unveiled four city clocks across the city—by the Shinola store in Midtown, at the company’s headquarters, at Cobo Center in Downtown Detroit and at Shed 3 in the city’s Eatern Market—as an homage to Motown’s rich industrial history. Now, according to The Michigan Chronicle, Shinola has teamed up with its long-time partner BAT Ltd of Taiwan and wants to open a new watch dial production facility in Detroit.

Shinola Watch Dial Factory – Detroit

The factory will open in two phases and will occupy 2,000 square feet of space inside Shinola’s retail store at 441 W. Canfield Street. During Phase One, which launched at the end of November, ten employees will learn from BAT experts the printing process for dials for Shinola’s flagship model, The Runwell watch. As reported by the news source, the training facility will occupy 700 square feet of space, while the store will be expanded to accommodate the factory’s remaining 1,300 square feet of space. The new Shinola factory is scheduled to launch in January 2015.

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Images via Shinola