Posted on July 26th, 2013 · Music/Events/Other


There is an old saying…”You don’t know shit from Shinola.”

I’ll leave you guys to do some GOOGLE HOMEWORK and learn the “history” of this line. For you short-cutters out there—Shinola was an American brand of wax shoe polish manufactured by the 2-in-1 Shinola-Bixby Corporation from 1907-1960. During World War II the line “You don’t know shit from Shinola” became extremely popular–with the reference being to Shinola’s black polish. A long story short, the manufacturer went out of business in the early 1960s and the brand was dormant until very recently.

Now, for the ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT part of the story…a couple of years ago, Tom Kartsotis, co-founder of the Fossil retail chain acquired the Shinola trademark and in early 2013 via Shinola/Detroit LLC -opened a factory in Detroit to manufacture upscale watches, leather goods and bicycles. As of today’s date, Shinola products can be purchased at the Company’s website (, specialty retailers (like Barney’s) and most recently at two Shinola retail stores-1 in New York City and 1 in Detroit.

From what I’ve heard, the “plan” is to develop Shinola into an upscale luxury brand–think Michael Kors, Coach…

Now…only time will tell if Mr. Kartsotis can “pull this off”…that said, Jeff Eats’ bet is–that Kartsotis will hit a home-run based on Fossil’s success and the “rarity”- to find a “start-up” retail business that has instant name recognition -literally with millions of people. I also think, that although the “upscale” accessory arena is a crowded one–there is always room for a new player who has a different “take” on things. The “picking” of the Shinola name–tells me, that just maybe Mr. Kartsotis has some fresh-ideas up his sleeve to woo consumers to the brand.

Let’s watch this “one”…

In closing, I know that you guys appreciate how hard it is to start a business from scratch…Let’s see if Tom Kartsotis knows or doesn’t know “shit from Shinola.”


  1. Dean G says...

    great story.
    from what i can see it is in its infancy. products are first coming onboard.
    you are right, we’ll see if this guy can make this happen.

  2. ZeeBest says...

    The guy knows what to do. The big question is whether or not the public buys into what is in essence an upscale Fossil?

  3. Jerry E says...

    Jeff checked out Fossil in Boca Town Center this pm.
    The mdse is much more upscale than it use to be. Haven’t been in one of their stores in maybe 3 years. Very impressive.
    This Shinola seems very similar to what Fossil is now.
    I think the space maybe too crowded for a new player.

  4. Rig says...

    I think you maybe onto something here.
    The name alone will get loads of people to at least look at the company’s products.

  5. Sheldon Hechtman says...

    Funny, I had the same reaction this week end, but I had to explain “Shit from Shinola” to my beautiful wife. She led a sheltered life in Brooklyn. I of course am from the Bronx.

  6. DinkieMalone says...

    I think the guy is a long shot to make it big with this new brand. Too similar to Fossil.

    • KenG says...

      I’m with you Dinkie.
      I think that Jeff is overestimating the demand for what this guy is making as well as how well known the name Shinola is.

  7. Carls says...

    Web based with minimal expenses plus “a sucker is born every minute”. So I predict limited success for this guy but will bring in money none the less. Make him $300,000 per year

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