THE BLOG
01/07/2014 09:14 am ET | Updated Mar 08, 2014

American Ingenuity Returns

I am always on the prowl to see what is new and exciting in the accessories world.

Being the creative director of an American made handbag line, I can appreciate what others are doing in the market and particularly pay attention to brands that are made in America.

A few months ago, I was scanning my emails and noticed an ad from Barneys, highlighting a new watch company being made in Detroit. I quickly clicked and connected to Barney's website, where I discovered Shinola. I was intrigued to learn more. It was timeless in it's aesthetic, but had a homegrown feel.

Detroit has been in a desperate state for some time now and I was thrilled to see a brand seeking out an opportunity to help get it back on it's feet. This all very much piqued my interest and I was thirsty to learn more about this brand. I immediately went to their site, www.shinola.com for additional information.

A couple of months passed and the name presented itself again, this time through press. I learned of a store opening in Tribeca. This area, being very close to where I reside in downtown New York, I made a point to go check it out.

Stepping inside, I discovered coffee brewing and the best vegan peanut butter and jelly cookies I had ever experienced. They stopped me and my husband in our tracks, drawing us further into the store. A few steps more had us totally engrossed in the array of product offerings. Bikes were hanging from the ceiling, leather goods scattered about and a machine in the corner, which looked as if it would offer up some type of monogramming options. I needed to inquire further so I politely asked for the manager and we struck up a conversation about all things Shinola and Bedrock Manufacturing.

Shinola, a Bedrock Manufacturing brand, was conceived in 2011 with the belief that products should be built to last, and they should be built right here in America. It was acknowledged that if you could create a luxury timepiece in America, than you could create anything. And they have done just that, offering everything from watches to bikes to leather goods, with the evolution of new products continuing to grow. I learned that Bedrock has dedicated further focus over the past couple of years to investing in other American made brands too.

As a New York business owner, passionate about my New York made brand, I felt a sense of pride as I stood in the Shinola store, now with a greater understanding of the brand and all it stands for.

Just about everything in the store is made in the US with great plans to continue down this path.

Recently, I received an email about the launch of Shinola's new collection, The Wright Brothers Limited Edition Watch created to honor the Wright Brothers historical mark towards American Innovation. The timepiece along with 25 exclusively custom build bicycles are being sold for a limited time and it is my understanding that they will continue to release a different US Innovator yearly.

Purchase of any limited edition timepiece includes automatic membership into The Foundry, an elite group, created to provide a private collectors club for owner of these limited edition Shinola watches.

The presentation of this first release, was what enamored me most. The watch is elegantly packaged in a beautiful box with a coffee table book and leather wallet included, all, situated alongside the watch which is nestled into a birch box. A lovely gift for someone extremely special, who appreciates quality.

Next on the list... a pocket watch to honor Henry Ford. Could there be a possible Shinola for Ford collaboration in the works?

In conclusion, everything about this brand puts forward an experience from the store to the quality of the products, right down to the packaging. It all has a very rich, strong feel, something Americans can be proud to have made here. As I consider my plans for 2014 and the possibility of opening my own store, I have found great inspiration from the Shinola brand.