The word 'shinola' was popularized during World War II when the phrase, "You don't know shit from Shinola," became a commonplace colloquialism. Back then, it referred to a Texas brand of shoe polish, which was government issue for all soldiers.
In 2011, the name was bought, the product created, space found and since then the demand has gone through the metaphorical roof. Watches assembled entirely in the Argonaut building on Milwaukee, bicycles crafted by hand in the back of the showroom on Canfield and leather goods stitched in Missouri are part of the Shinola brand of Made in America products. They're part of a company that employs 100 people in Detroit. They're also part of a movement to restore quality manufacturing to the forefront of American consciousness. Shinola is building something and people are coming. The first collection of Shinola watches featured at Barney's in NYC sold out almost immediately and the company is having trouble keeping up with demand online.
Stop in the TriBeCa New York City showroom, the Detroit showroom on Canfield or one of the many boutiques around the country that sell the Shinola bicycle and see for yourself what it's all about!
There's even an option to pick up your watch from the Detroit factory on Milwaukee. I took the tour myself and I'd highly recommend it. There's a positive spirit in the air that's highly contagious!