Think of Detroit, and you likely think of a city past its prime.
But while Detroit faces an uphill climb since filing for bankruptcy in July, Heath Carr, CEO of Dallas-based Bedrock Manufacturing, has taken a decidedly bullish perspective on the city: His group is the parent company of Shinola, a company manufacturing American-made watches, bicycles, leather goods and more in the Motor City.
“If you come to Detroit, you spend time there, you get to know the people,” Carr says. “The people that care about moving it forward, it’s an energy you want to be part of.”
Carr believes that Detroit could be the manufacturing capital for watches in America again.
“We saw the city, the community, the people of Detroit focused on the future,” Carr says. “We just said ‘we’ve got to tap into this, if we want to be successful with this story.'”
All Shinola goods are made in the U.S. The watches have gotten attention from distributors like Neiman Marcus to the French boutique Colete. The watches come engraved with “Made in Detroit” on the back.
“We’re not anti-anything, this is just pro-manufacturing in the United States,” Carr says. “There is a quality that can be made in the U.S., and yes, it’s an uphill climb to teach people how to manufacture … [but] there is passion that cannot be replaced by mass consumption.”