Q&A with Jacques Panis, Shinola

1. What are some of your key insights on managing an ever-growing team?

Every Shinola team member is crucial to our long-term success, both as a brand and as a manufacturing company. We provide ongoing training to all of our workers, and that allows us to build increasingly complex products and expand the capacity of our operations in Detroit. 

Office culture is also a high priority here. We want to cultivate a creative, high-energy environment that drives innovation. It’s important to me that all of our teams across all departments and factories have the chance to spend break times together sharing meals and exchanging ideas. That’s why our headquarters is set up in a way that encourages all of our teams to interact. We also host frequent Townhall meetings where anyone can voice anything that’s been on their mind.

2. How important is a sense of community to you and the brand?

At Shinola, we think of our community as any person who interacts with our brand. The people of Detroit are an immense source of pride and inspiration to us. We also pay close attention to the cities like Chicago across the country where we have stores and manufacturing partners. These communities where we live and work inspire us to make every effort to increase our capacity and create more world-class jobs here at home, and we work hard towards that goal everyday.

3. What is the most important thing that you’d like people to know about the brand?

We have always been a job creation vehicle. Since coming to Detroit four years ago, we’ve seen the creation of two hundred and thirty-seven manufacturing jobs in our factory alone. We say it a lot, but out of all the things we make, these American jobs are what we are most proud of. We want people to know that there is a team of people in Detroit committed to seeing the return of American manufacturing.

4. What would you like Shinola’s biggest impact to be?

Job creation. It’s as simple as that. We can make a difference through bringing jobs to Americans, and we will continue to do that.

5. What motivates you to go to work each day?

I’m motivated, inspired and excited by the people I work with and the ideas they bring to the table. I work with the best team in the world.