Michigan

The Detroit Bus Company.

Sometimes you have to take matters into your own hands. That is what the video below about the Detroit Bus Company is all about. I could go on about the production value of the film and how good it is, but that isn’t the point of this post. This is all about how one individual can make a huge impact on the lives of others, their community, and their city at large. Oh, and if you have time, check out the really nice Dark Rye website.

“Young entrepreneur Andy Didorosi believes that the way to Detroit’s new era depends on better leadership and a solid connection between the city and the suburbs. So when the city in 2012 axed its plans to build the M-1 light rail, the transit solution that would’ve bridged that vital connection, Didorosi was mad as hell. So what’s an angry young man in this situation supposed to do? Well, Didorosi bought a bus, had a local artist trick it out with a wicked mural, and he started the Detroit Bus Company. Dedicated to a more connected city, Andy Didorosi is bringing Detroit home one ride at a time.”

Shinola, Designed and Made in America.

With the Fourth of July just a little over two weeks away, I’ve been looking into products that are designed and built here in America. One item that has been on my radar for a while now is Shinola watches. I first discovered them about 9 months ago, but haven’t written anything up. Today I am, with Shinola being the first Designed in America – Made in America post. The two videos included in this post show the pride, craftsmanship, quality, and design thinking that went into Shinola watches.

Shinola is more than a watch maker. This Detroit based company also produces bikes, leather goods, and journals. All of these items are designed and manufactured here in the United States. Shinola believes that American design and manufacturing is world class, and capable of leading the world in craftsmanship, innovation, and quality. Shinola has partnered with a group of extraordinary American manufacturers whose obsession with craftsmanship and quality matches their own, and it shows in the products they produce.

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When I first read about Shinola watches I was intrigued. There hasn’t been a watch maker in the United States for almost 40 years. Shinola is starting a new chapter in American watch making with production of timepieces crafted from “Steel, Leather and Labor”. As a testament to the quality of the watches they make, everyone is sold out on their website.

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The watches themselves are hand made with an obsessive focus on crafting a watch of the highest possible quality. Yes they use Swiss parts, but the design and manufacture takes place in Detroit Michigan. The timepieces are limited edition, numbered units that feature serious attention to detail. All watches feature sapphire crystals. The watch faces are over printed up to 14 times using sophisticated luminous paint. The leather straps are produced by Horween of Chicago. The cases, screws, dials, bolts, buckles, and assemblies have all been well thought out and designed to produce a watch that is a hybrid between a fashion watch and a high quality daily driver. The result, a beautiful timepiece designed and hand built with high quality materials in the American Midwest.

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Grand Rapids to Newsweek, We Ain’t Dead Yet.

When a major news publication like Newsweek writes an article calling your city “A Dying City”, what do you do? Well in the case of Grand Rapids Michigan, you fight back with a video, that is linked to both Facebook, and Twitter.

On May 22nd, the citizens of Grand Rapids joined forces with Rob Bliss Events and SEF Video to produce the worlds largest lip dub video performing a rendition of Don McLean’s “American Pie”. The video involved 5000 people, and temporarily shut down a major section of downtown Grand Rapids, which was filled with everything from guitar toting troubadours, to marching bands, weddings, and pillow fights.

The video was created to showcase the fact that the citizens of Grand Rapids, feel their city is filled with life, passion, energy, and is anything but “Dying” I have no idea, how successful this is going to be for Grand Rapids, but you have to give the city kudos for pulling out all the stops on this.