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With Shinola, Dallas Entrepreneur Brings Manufacturing Back to Detroit

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.”

Listen to Carr speak with KUT's David Brown:

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.”

David entered radio journalism thanks to a love of storytelling, an obsession with news, and a desire to keep his hair long and play in rock bands. An inveterate political junkie with a passion for pop culture and the romance of radio, David has reported from bases in Washington, London, Los Angeles, and Boston for Monitor Radio and for NPR, and has anchored in-depth public radio documentaries from India, Brazil, and points across the United States and Europe. He is, perhaps, known most widely for his work as host of public radio's Marketplace. Fulfilling a lifelong dream of moving to Texas full-time in 2005, Brown joined the staff of KUT, launching the award-winning cultural journalism unit "Texas Music Matters."
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