DETROIT, May 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Shinola, known for its Detroit-built watches, bicycles, journals, leather goods, and shoe polish was excited to announce the opening of its in-house leather factory.
Shinola's Leather Factory has begun by producing a portion of Shinola's leather watchstraps and will expand to small leather goods and eventually handbags. This venture is significant when factoring in these statistics: in 2013, 88.4% of the demand for US leather goods manufacturing was met by imports; in 2018, that number is projected to rise to 91.7%. Today the global handbag-making business is a $12.8 billion industry, with US manufacturing accounting for less than $500 million of that figure.
"We are proud to continue our growth in Detroit and the opening of our leather factory is a very important step for us," said Steve Bock, CEO of Shinola. "The more we can manufacture at Shinola, and the more we can manufacture in Detroit, the better. Investing in our people, equipment and facilities is essential to our long-term success."
Similar to our partnership with Swiss movement maker Ronda AG for our watch factory, we've found an ideal partner in Braloba—a Swiss family-owned and run business that has been making leather goods for two generations. Braloba's expert craftspeople provide leadership and training to Shinola's leather workers.
In addition, we've partnered with Galli S.P.A., a leading Italian leather goods machine company, to design and produce an innovative line of custom-built machines for Shinola's leather factory— the first of its kind in the world.
"We're proud to have built highly innovative, world-class equipment for Shinola's new leather factory," said Carlos Galli, of Galli S.P.A. "Leather watch straps demand more precision and care to make than handbags, wallets, or even boots. They are the most difficult and complex leather goods to produce."
The nearly 12,000 square foot factory launched with a team of approximately 50 professionally trained leather makers led by Paloma Vega-Perez, formerly of a leading French manufacturer of luxury goods. By year's end the number of employees will rise to about 60.
Along with the addition of leather manufacturing, Shinola also recently supplemented its watch factory with two new lines. Since the company's inception in 2011, Shinola currently employs 260 people in total, with 136 people in bicycle, watch, and leather manufacturing.
To experience our full brand story and manufacturing facility Shinola invites the public to tour our factory by contacting email@example.com.
For more information, please visit Shinola.com
In 2011, Shinola, a Bedrock Manufacturing brand, was conceived with the belief that products should be built to last, and they should be built right here in America. As makers of modern, handcrafted watches, bicycles, leather goods, and journals, we are proud to be based in Detroit, a community-minded city with a strong manufacturing legacy. We built our watch factory within the College for Creative Studies in the former Argonaut building. As a new company with a storied name, we stand for skill at scale, the preservation of craft, the beauty of industry.