Shinola expands staff to 20 as it grows Detroit presence

Shinola, the Detroit-centric brand for bicycles and watches, is not only taking root in the greater downtown Detroit area but starting to show signs of blooming this spring.

Tom Kartsotis, the founder of the Fossil watch brand, is launching Shinola out of Detroit so he can leverage the city's storied brand for making things. Shinola plans to make a line of watches, bicycles and leather goods from its new facilities in Midtown and New Center. So far Shinola has hired 20 people and could employ as many as 160 when it hits it production goals.

Shinola is opening a 30,000-square-foot factory of the College of Creative Studies' A. Alfred Taubman Center in New Center. The factory will produce watches and the brand has set a goal of producing 500,000 watches per year. Production is set to begin within 60 days.

"Today it's just for watches," says Heath Carr, principal of Bedrock, which is the parent company of Shinola. The bicycles will be produced just in Midtown."

The bicycles will be produced in Shinola's first storefront, which is being built out in the ground floor of Willy's Overland Lofts. The store is set to open this spring. "We will open a store in Tribeca (a neighborhood in Manhattan) after the Detroit store opens," Carr says.

Source: Heath Carr, principal of Bedrock Brands
Writer: Jon Zemke

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