Telling shit from Shinola… It’s not as easy as you might think

blog_shinola_logo_2

I don’t think I’ve ever weighed in one way or the other on Shinola, the somewhat controversial Detroit-based marketer of expensive watches, bicycles and notebooks. As I recall, I may have once noted how incredibly douchey I found the spectacle of four economic development professionals, at some point during a public forum on the future of Detroit, all pulling back their sleeves in turn, and pointing toward their $675 Shinola watches – watches which they clearly saw as signifiers of the new, more dynamic, brand-savvy Detroit they’d helped to create… But, douchiness aside, I don’t think I’ve ever really come out swinging against Shinola. As much as my gut might tell me that I should join the chorus of people calling them out as opportunistic carpetbaggers looking to cash in on a “Made in Detroit” brand that they didn’t help to create (by selling items that are merely assembled in Detroit, and not actually made here), I’ve never been able to convince myself that, all things being equal, their existence in Detroit isn’t a net positive, given the fact that the company employs a few hundred people a city that could very much use the jobs.

As for the number of jobs that Shinola is responsible for, it’s hard to tell. According to a late 2014 article in the Washington Post, the company employs 320 in Detroit, but lower numbers cited elsewhere would seem to indicate that those might not all full-time employees. Regardless, the company is either hiring citizens of Detroit, or bringing new workers into Detroit, in numbers far greater than other startups that have set-up shop downtown over the past decade, and I feel as though that should count for something… even if their list of offenses is long.

With all of that said, however, I’d like to share a very thoughtful analysis of Shinola by artist Rebekah Modrak, who, as you might recall, we talked with not too long ago about the marketing of perceived authenticity to the wealthy, who are apparently starved for meaning in their lives. The following clip from Modrak’s article, titled Bougie Crap: Art, Design and Gentrification, comes from Infinite Mile Detroit. If you find it at all of interest, I’d encourage you read the entire piece on the Infinite Mile Detroit site, where Modrak has gone to a lot of trouble to extensively reference her comments and provide links to other sources.

Start with a neighborhood or city that lacks economic incentives or that is populated by minority groups, which are underserved by municipal services including education, transportation, street lighting, police response time and maintenance. Enter a mainly white, middle-class population. Investors clamor to underwrite new businesses, sponsor grants or to secure real estate. This triggers a spike in real estate prices and a flood of new commercial ventures that sell expensive bougie crap that only the new residents can afford. Services are improved and capital investment flows, directed primarily to the now “safe” and shoppable neighborhoods.

In this scenario, one of the first signs of gentrification is the bougie crap. If you use the term, we may have different definitions, and mine is entirely subjective and, regrettably, intimately linked with art and design.

Bougie crap is expensive consumables that evidence wealth, power and discriminating taste under the pretense of an evolved palette, a demand for higher quality and the development of a social conscience that values local goods. Bougie crap contributes to the economic strength of the bourgeoisie and distinguishes this group because the failure to consume such elaborate products would be, in the words of Thorstein Veblen (speaking of conspicuous consumption), a “mark of inferiority.” The brands encourage us to see these products as an extension of our worth; though the exorbitant expense is profit driven, paying the high price deepens our sense of self. Bougie crap uses the design aesthetic of “calculated authenticity” and elements of hand-craft or personalization to suggest that the product is motivated by these values and not by crass economic gain.3 Bougie crap often claims connection with rural or urban traditions of manual labor and work, evoking the mirage of the artisan in his studio, the farmer hard at work, the pioneer tending his wilderness campfire or the grittiness of life in Detroit. For that reason, Bougie crap isn’t the Rolex watch or the Gucci bag, luxury items that act as luxury items. This is key for me in defining bougie crap. Bougie crap sells itself as a product inspired by manual labor, either related to the work of a craftsman, artist or designer or to the physical exertion of, say, a farmer, woodsman or rancher. Yet, bougie crap’s high sticker price ensures that only those with significant discretionary income may participate.

Bougie crap uses the pretense of “quality” to create a two-tiered system: the people who can afford to buy these products and the people who can’t. In that sense, bougie crap is a “means of laundering privilege,” of determining who has access and who does not. When immigrants move to a new country and neighborhood, they bring with them the products of their culture, which, eventually, everyone partakes in, and the city is a more enriched place. When middle-class people move to a lower-class neighborhood, they bring bougie crap that is accessible only to themselves.

One of the scary parts of this equation is the increasing mutual dependence between bougie crap and aritsts/designers. What you’re really buying is the mirage of a “special,” “authentic” experience created by savvy, contemporary design.

A prime example of bougie crap is Shinola’s products, especially their watches ($500 – $1500) and bikes ($1950 – $2950) that undergo “precise, custom-level assembly by experts in our Detroit Flagship retail store…. Because we believe there’s only one way to properly build” a watch or bicycle and that’s “one at a time, by hand, with rigorous attention to detail and using only the highest quality components available.” Shinola’s French style bicycle (with American-made frame and fork) is designed for “urban riding, commuting and running errands … in any weather” and costs $757 more than the $2,193 Detroit 2013 median household monthly income. But, they reassure you, if you care for your bike, you can “pass it on to your children and grandchildren”; bougie crap promises a legacy of permanence via consumer culture in contrast to the decay of Detroit.

Wandering through a new independent bookstore in New York City a few months ago, I looked down to see stacks of stylish black journals emblazoned with the words “SHINOLA … DETROIT.” The surprise of this union froze me for a second. In the sixteen years that I’ve been visiting family in New York, this was the first time I’d seen the word “Detroit,” and, now, here it was, as part of Shinola’s branding. Texas-based Bedrock Manufacturing notoriously attached their Shinola venture to Detroit after test studies showed that consumers would pay three times as much for a product associated with the tenacity of a bankrupt city. What do you call the adoption of one culture by a second group whose only culture is profit? “Cultural appropriation” sounds too innocent and even potentially transformative (like a cool mash-up) and doesn’t convey the imperialism at play. A better description is consumer culture scholar Jeff Pooley’s “the colonization of the apparently earnest”…

And Modrak goes on from there to talk about the impact of Shinola on the cultural landscape of Detroit. It’s fascinating stuff, and I’d encourage you to read it from start to finish.

Screen Shot 2015-02-11 at 9.42.08 AM

For what it’s worth, Modrak isn’t exaggerating when she says that Shinola chose to locate their assembly operation in Detroit as a result of market research showing that people would pay a premium for the sense of authenticity that comes with a product made by the hardworking people of Detroit. The following clip comes by way of Wikipedia: “In 2001, the name, Shinola, was acquired by Bedrock Manufacturing, a venture capital firm based in Dallas, Texas. The management at Bedrock Manufacturing chose the name ‘Shinola’ when the World War II era colloquialism, ‘You don’t know shit from Shinola,’ surfaced in a conversation. Unexpectedly, the joke generated a serious discussion about restoring the Shinola brand. Market surveys established that consumers—when faced with a choice of paying $500 for a product from China, $1,000 for one made in the United States, and $1,500 for one made in Detroit—would be willing to pay a premium for the latter.” And, it would seem, Tom Kartsotis, the founder of the company (who had also founded the watch company Fossil in 1984), was right. Shinola produced 55,000 watches in 2013, 170,000 in 2014, and plans is to sell 250,000 this year, though an ever-expanding network of company-owned boutiques and high-end stores like Barneys New York, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s and Neiman Marcus. The handmade in Detroit brand, it would appear, does have monetary value… at least when articulated by a high-dollar marketing operation willing to take out multi-page ads in Vogue featuring the lovely, hardworking, now-saved artisans of Detroit assembling watches.

One more thing… while it’s true that Shinola is presently importing almost 100% of their watch parts from oversees, that doesn’t mean this will always be the case. Just a few months ago, Shinola’s parent company announced that they would be opening a watch dial factory in Detroit, allowing them to stop importing watch dials from Asia. Again, this may not, in the minds of many, sufficiently offset the cultural appropriation of Shinola, and the wave of increasing gentrification we’re seeing in the wake of their setting up shop in Detroit, but I think it’s worth at least acknowledging that their continued success could mean bringing more manufacturing back to Detroit.

In conclusion, I’d like to say that it’s a damn complicated issue… and I still don’t know where I stand. I can see arguments both for and against them. Would Detroit be better off without them, though? I’m not so sure.

Regardless of where you might fall on the “Shit or Shiola” continuum, though, I think this is a good conversation for us to be having. And I look forward to hearing what you have to say.

Shinola-Henry-Ford-Pocketwatch-05

This entry was posted in Art and Culture, Detroit, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

41 Comments

  1. Frosted Flakes
    Posted February 11, 2015 at 4:46 am | Permalink

    I find Modrak’s article interesting but it seems like if she is going to attack the quality and price of the product she would want to include the opinions of people who are qualified to comment on the the relative quality of the products as well as an analysis of Shinola’s operating costs that may or may not be higher because of USA assembly, partial USA manufacturing and/ or any fair trade agreements they may or may not have with parts suppliers.

  2. Jcp2
    Posted February 11, 2015 at 5:13 am | Permalink

    It’s the J. Peterman catalog without the self-deprecation. But that’s still okay in my book, as jobs are jobs, and money is money. The alternative would have been unknown. It’s like somebody looking at a Jackson Pollack and saying that they could have painted that. Maybe or maybe not, but they didn’t.

  3. Posted February 11, 2015 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    Why do things have to be made in Detroit?

    No one calls out record labels when they don’t get their records pressed at Archer.

  4. Posted February 11, 2015 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    In general, I find arguments that products universally must be made in Detroit, Michigan or the US to be flimsy at best.

    As someone who once ran a business which sold products that had to be manufactured in factories, I can tell you that I would have happily paid less money to a Chinese firm to produce records. At market value (retail prices for music products are not elastic to manufacturing costs), my margins would have been vastly higher if would have had to pay less for manufacturing.

    This would have meant that I could have put our more records and been able to absorb more risk with each release. There’s a lot of music that would exist that otherwise would have not and a lot of bands might have had more records to sell at shows, making their own business far more viable.

  5. emma
    Posted February 11, 2015 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    I haven’t seen any of their other products or ridden their bikes but the bikes are incredibly beautiful, to the point where it seems like a shame to get them wet or dirty. Not sure if you’ve been in a bike store recently but they were also not the most expensive ones there. Seriously what is the point of hating on people who manage the be successful in an environment where everyone isn’t?

  6. TheBigPicture
    Posted February 11, 2015 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    interesting — but the truth is you just wanted to write a headline with the words “shit” and “shinola” — right? lol

  7. Meta
    Posted February 11, 2015 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    From Four Pins.

    What I can’t take is the white knighting of Shinola’s promotional campaigns. The company insists that “Detroit isn’t as bad as it seems”—that there are happy and proud people here too. To demonstrate just how optimistic and amazing Detroiters are, Shinola enlisted Bruce Weber and Carolyn Murphy—both out of towners, both white—to shoot the company’s latest ad campaign. The accompanying video, subtitled “A snapshot of life in the Motor City,” features photogenic models pedaling two thousand dollar bikes through the city. Photos of adorable black kids with a beautiful, benevolent white woman seem to be the centerpiece of Weber’s campaign for the company. They even have a video of one of the little girls rapping. Bruce Weber is quoted saying, “People were really friendly. They looked you in the eye when they said hello on the street, and they greeted you with a smile.” Detroit may be bankrupt, but that doesn’t mean its citizens aren’t normal, functioning human beings, Bruce.

    Read more:
    http://four-pins.com/style/shinola-detroits-misguided-white-knight/

  8. Posted February 11, 2015 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    @Peter

    People don’t complain when “Detroit” records aren’t pressed at Archer because it takes 3 months to actually get something back from them.

  9. small photo
    Posted February 11, 2015 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    The way I look it it, it’s a win/win. Detroiters get jobs and the chance to rally in righteous indignation against the occupying force that is Shinola. Plus, we have an easy way now to spot douches. We don’t have to talk with them. All we have to do is look at their wrist.

  10. Steve Pickard
    Posted February 11, 2015 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    The “grant funded recordstore” annoyed me more than Shinola for some reason…I don’t know how successful it has been, but it seemed like a slap in the face to actual Detroit based record stores for someone to fly up from Texas and open one using a grant. http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/wayne-county/2014/10/25/detroit-record-store-paramita-west-village/17918361/

  11. Anonymous
    Posted February 11, 2015 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    I think it just pisses people off that it took at venture capital firm from Texas to come in and say, “You’ve been sitting on a goldmine and didn’t even know it.”

  12. Lynne
    Posted February 11, 2015 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    I guess I am bougie because I really want one of those Shinola watches. I like the designs they have and I like that they were assembled by hard working people in Detroit. I can’t bring myself to spend that much on a watch though.

    I agree that there is a class issue at play and that many areas of Detroit are gentrifying and thus, imho, losing some of their character. That isn’t Shinola’s fault though. The real problem is our income inequality. I have some very selfish reasons to want a more egalitarian society. I know that if Shinola was bringing in lot of jobs and paying people well enough to afford their watches, I would be able to enjoy my bougie proclivities in peace and without criticism.

  13. HH
    Posted February 11, 2015 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Ween should take them to court.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOBkm6g_nuc

  14. Posted February 11, 2015 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    The grant funded record store is extremely infuriating.

    Why was that a good idea? How about just investing in existing record stores?

  15. James Williams
    Posted February 11, 2015 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    Modrak is a professor at UM Art school.

    “Bougie Crap: Art”: 1k Shinola watch.

    “Somehow Not Bougie Crap: Art”: 100k 4yr Art degree from the University of Michigan.

    How is Modrak not a willing participant in the same type of behavior that she finds objectionable in the case of Shinola?

  16. site admin
    Posted February 11, 2015 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    If you’re interested, James, we had an interesting conversation here on the subject of art school not too long ago.

    http://markmaynard.com/2014/03/emu-makes-the-atlantics-list-of-u-s-colleges-and-majors-are-the-biggest-waste-of-money-and-its-total-bullshit/

  17. Posted February 11, 2015 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    Bougie Crap: I guess this person believes that the only products businesses should sell are soviet style, functional objects.

    Who cares about expensive bikes? If you don’t like it or think it’s too expensive, don’t buy it.

  18. Posted February 12, 2015 at 1:05 am | Permalink

    I went to their site.

    I sort of fail to see what the huge controversy is here. The site is very clear that they moved to Detroit from somewhere else. It is also entirely clear where products are assembled from where parts are sourced. There is no implication that Shinola is a home grown company. In fact, it is even clear that Detroit was strategically chosen. It is also made clear who Shinola’s owners are. One doesn’t have to dig for any of this information.

    If Detroit’s best sales point is its image, I say that’s a good thing. I would encourage more businesses to come to Detroit and set up shop here. We need the influx of capital, Detroiters need jobs and Detroit itself needs to have its name spread across the world as a place where things happen.

    I’m sorry that you don’t like expensive bikes, Mark. I’m sorry that you don’t like expensive watches. I’m also sorry that you don’t retain ownership over the Detroit name. While I recognize that your personal views are much more nuanced, it would appear that you are simply anti-business, particularly businesses which appeal to high end consumers.

    While I don’t think it is true, it would appear that you only support businesses which lose money. While I appreciate your support for the underdog, I think in Michigan’s troubled economy, we should be supporting everyone. While your views of Shinola are more nuanced than this art professor (who seems like a twit), I don’t think it productive to bash on new businesses in Michigan.

    I won’t buy any of Shinola’s products (outside maybe a notebook), but I’m happy they are here.

  19. eno laget
    Posted February 12, 2015 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Could it be? Y’all missing the point of this “Crap” essay? The mission of InfiniteMile appears to be this: Build a landing strip for critical thinking about art and design in Detroit.
    “Calculated authenticity” arguments are not new. (The Sundance Catalog has been around since 1969). The “trews” being mined here may be buried in examining the relationship between CCS (Center for Creative Studies) and Shinola as “partners.” For well-endowed art/design students at CSS what could be better than practical experience working for a “real” company that makes things? The writer, Modrak, appears to be reminding us that artists in Detroit now, more than ever, need to question the priorities of an industrial culture that emptied out a city chasing after profits. The developers are back to make the most of planed rent gap that has been 50 years in the making. Who else, except artists, have agency to challenge the status quo of an exhausted narrative about the idea of Detroit? Detroit has always been about making a buck. We have an opportunity to envision what sustainable city living looks like. Skinny jeans on expensive bikes are broken dreams of a dying middle class invented here.

  20. Kit
    Posted February 12, 2015 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    “Skinny jeans on expensive bikes are broken dreams of a dying middle class invented here.”

  21. Frosted Flakes
    Posted February 12, 2015 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    I might be missing the point (maybe not).

    The thing I find laughable about Modrak’s little essay, which cynically paints Shinola as fraudulent and purchasers of their products as douchebags experiencing identity crisis, is the total failure on her part to evaluate the product or show any knowledge of the industries in question. Are the bikes overpriced crap? Where are 95-99 percent of all bike frames made? Where are vast majority of bikes assembled? Are leather sadles, leather hand grips, internal hub gears, disk brakes, fenders, bells, racks, Schwaub tires, etc, high end components driving up the cost?

    What Modrak does give us is a reason to not buy a bike: If you buy it you will be perceived as an inauthentic dupe. Why does Modrak put so much emphasis on perception? The bike might be a sweet ride….

  22. Ytown
    Posted February 12, 2015 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    I will never get those 5 minutes back. That was the most irrelevant story involving an irrelevant professor try to become relevant. Since when do we criticize companies for making quality products and bringing jobs to Detroit?

  23. kjc
    Posted February 12, 2015 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    “I will never get those 5 minutes back. ”

    wow you’re a fast reader. i mean liar.

  24. Ytown
    Posted February 12, 2015 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    kjc, that’s your response? You are so witty!

  25. Posted February 12, 2015 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    Interesting.

  26. Greg Thrasher
    Posted February 12, 2015 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    Super narrative and of course this elevates the quality of the post comments….I no longer live in the ‘D’ so all news from my birthplace is sucked up by me… Living here in DC it is surreal how so much of the urban discourse and malaise is similar everywhere in urban America.

    At end of the day I want to grow the entire city and despite my reservations about many ventures in the city I support this endeavor and others which generates employment and opportunities ….

    I can with life and all of its flaws and imperfections…
    Peace
    Greg Thrasher-Director-Plane Ideas-Alternative Think Tank-Washington DC

  27. Posted February 12, 2015 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    Speaking as a working class laborer who has spent a good deal of his working life assembling products for others consumption. I would be proud to work for any company who produced a quality product and treated its workers with dignity and fairness.

  28. Al McWilliams
    Posted February 12, 2015 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    So, I fall somewhere in the “I see what you’re doing there, and FINE but I’m gonna roll my eyes REALLY hard at you,” camp when it comes to Shinola. Like, when I see a kid suckering his parents into feeding him a ton of cupcakes. “good on you kid, but c’mon Mom, you gotta see through this by now? No? Okay.” Which brings me to the only real contribution I can make to this discussion; as a bike dude, I can speak to the bikes. They’re Waterfords (http://waterfordbikes.com/w/) … which are 100% amazing, lusted-after-by-bike-dudes-forever, authentic, sincere, American bikes. … but they’re Waterfords. Buying a shinola bike is like buying Ford brand coffee that was really intelligentsia but you bought it cuz Ford. I’m not going to judge Shinola for selling it, but I might judge you for buying it. Check out waterford. They’re great bikes.

  29. Junie M.
    Posted February 12, 2015 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    “One of the great debates of history has been over the whole question of ends and means. All the way back from the days of Plato’s dialogues coming on up through Machiavelli and others, there have been those individuals who argued that the end justifies the means. But in a real sense, the nonviolent philosophy comes along and says that the end is pre-existent in the means. The means represent the ideal in the making and the end in process. And so that in the long run of history, immoral means cannot bring about moral ends. Somehow man must come to the point that he sees the necessity of having ends and means cohering, so to speak. And this is one of the things that is basic in the nonviolent philosophy at its best. It gives one a way and a method of struggle which says that you can seek to secure moral ends through moral means.” Martin Luther King Jr., Dec. 7th, 1964

  30. Frosted Flakes
    Posted February 12, 2015 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

    Consistent with Peter’s point, Shinola’s does not hide the fact that their frames are made by Waterford, in fact, if you check Shinola’s website they promote their partnership with Waterford and offer video tours of the Waterford factory.

  31. Frosted Flakes
    Posted February 13, 2015 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Adding to Julie M, I beleive it was Jesus Christ himself, reading from the golden tablets that exclaimed: “Where there are spokes, there is Sodomy”. Amen.

  32. Posted February 15, 2015 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Haven’t read the article– just Mark’s entry and the comments here– interesting thoughts. Two quick thoughts to add:

    * As a middle-aged, well-educated, securely employed, upper-middle-class white guy who would also like to see Detroit succeed, it looks from my pov like a sort of “damned if you don’t, damned if you do” situation. When folks from “outside” (especially folks with money to invest) attempt to ignore and/or write-off Detroit, long-time Detroiters et al accuse them of all kinds of bad things. When folks from “outside” (especially folks with money to invest) decide to take a chance and set up shop in Detroit (partially as a “service” but also to make money), Detroiters et al accuse them all kind of bad things.

    * Consumer goods that are over-priced based on logos and brands aren’t exactly a new thing– my favorite being the $120 Kanye West t-shirt. But these things are all relative to consumer interests and desires. Take those watches, for example. I used to be someone who never would spend more than $30 for a watch at Wal-Mart. Now I have two decent watches that are on the low-end of something you might buy in a jewelry store in the mall–I can’t remember, but I paid something between $125-$200 for each of them– and I don’t think I’d get another super-cheap watch again.

    And $700 or so for a good watch that is also a piece of jewelry isn’t that crazy– if you’re into that sort of thing. Lots of watches cost about that much, and many cost a lot more than that. I was in a jewelry store in downtown Ann Arbor the other day (one of my previously mentioned watches was getting repaired) and this store happens to sell Rolex watches. They’re quite nice; and they start at $5000.

  33. Rastas Margold
    Posted February 22, 2015 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Seems to me Shinola is a brand and a brand only. How much does the company import vs actually manufactures? If I want Asian goods I will by from Asia. Rhonda watch movements are really quite inexpensive and can be had for some models less than $10. The tug at the heart strings and marketing are the biggest value adds in my opinion and I won’t pay for that.

  34. anonymous
    Posted February 25, 2015 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    And now they’ll be on Main Street in Ann Arbor.

    http://www.mlive.com/business/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2015/02/shinola_to_move_into_former_se.html?ath=1a2b9195dc89240610728fd30f2cbd27

  35. Posted March 14, 2015 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Apparently the folks from Shinola were at UM yesterday. Here, with her permission, is Rebekah’s FB post.

    Screen Shot 2015-03-14 at 3.31.04 PM

  36. Lyra
    Posted January 24, 2016 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    I have just received my Shinola Runwell and I have to say it’s amazing. I also admit, I love the packaging and the narrative they’ve created. They may have launched a little over the top, but I think they are beginning to hit their stride two years into production. As for the watch itself, the most meaningful element in the brand, it is far better quality than the name-brand made in China watch it replaces. I appreciate that it was built by American workers and don’t mind that they have used quality Swiss parts for the guts. From dial to strap to assembly, unlike other quartz watches on the market, this one helps improve the US economy by employing US workers. It would be even better if those workers were also shareholders in the company of course. An important element that none of the company detractors have mentioned is the lifetime guarantee that comes with these watches. I’ve been through a number of $100 watches over the years that just weren’t worth repairing or replacing the mineral crystal. I expect I will have my Shinola repaired if it is ever needed. I am thinking about saving up for a second one that will serve as my dress watch.

  37. Peter Larson
    Posted January 25, 2016 at 4:57 am | Permalink

    All business is evil. We should stop it wherever it happens.

    Only small places which hire very few people, provide them no benefits and pay them under the table, will be excused.

  38. Peter Larson
    Posted January 25, 2016 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    That was snark.

  39. Posted January 26, 2016 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    Break it down in a simpler form
    Is it a quality product that couples pleasing aesthetic with quality build?
    The marketing suggests this is what they have, and while I don’t own one, they are handsome products. My old Movado (at one point haut fashion) has been to the shop more time than a Detroit automobile. If they are producing a quality product more power to them.

  40. John Gatsios
    Posted June 2, 2016 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    I purchased a Shinola Runwell 36mm Men’s Watch recently. It shipped with a Women’s watch band. 36mm is the most common size for every Men’s watch in the history of watches. Shinola insists that it’s a unisex watch and that it always is made with a Women’s watch band, although it was listed as a Men’s band on the website. They offered me a discount on another band ($50 for a band that retails at $95), which is an insult at best. It’s a $500 Men’s watch—it should come with a men’s watch band. I wanted to help this fledgling watch company succeed. If I had to do it over again, I would have bought another company’s watch. Shinola doesn’t stand by its products.

  41. Marielle
    Posted February 17, 2017 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    I’ve got one of those two-thousand dollar Shinola bikes, and I absolutely love it. As someone else pointed out, if you have been to a bike store lately, they are not the most expensive — and bikes costa lot these days. I ride my Shinola bike in regular clothes — no Bougie bullshit crap Spandex costuming, helmets. and generally ridiculous posturing in order to ride an expensive bike. My bike is gorgeous, American made, and aptly comes from the Motor City. That you actually have a problem with that, dear douchie author (the only douche I’m seeing), speaks volumes about your crazy liberal brainwashed self than it does about Shinola. Why does it bother you so much that they are successful? Why does it bother you so much that many Americans can afford their products? You don’t attack foreign brands with high end prices. Instead, you choose to attack an American success story, simply because the people who were smart enough to have the imagination and creativity to buy the Shinola brand and build on it in a great city for building products came from outside of Detroit. Wow. That is really pathetic. Go get in your little Smart Car and go home now, cheapie.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Connect

Sidetrack ad Aubree’s ad BUY LOCAL... or shop at Amazon through this link Banner Initiative Sleestack