Handmade in America always has a nice ring to it. Handmade by a company based in Detroit really gets people’s attention these days. The Great Recession has certainly taken a heavy toll on American based manufacturing and it seems that Detroit has taken one of the hardest hits of all. So, when a company drives a stake in the ground and says we’re going to make our claim in Detroit, it makes news. In 2011, that’s just what Shinola did.
“We know there’s not just history in Detroit, there is a future.” – Founders of Shinola
Originally, “back in the early days” (which generally means ‘before the majority of our online readership was alive’), Shinola was just a brand of shoe polish. Now, repurposing the brand name and anchoring their base of operations in Detroit, MI, Shinola works with artisans and craftspeople located in Michigan, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Florida. Not only do they create fine leather products, they also are building watches, bicycles, pet products, and journals. All truly made in the good ol’ USA.
BestLeather.org was pleased to receive the Shinola Envelope for iPad Mini, in an eye-pleasing dark blue color (there are seven color choices available). The vegetable tanned Horween leather is, to no one’s surprise, extremely supple and elegant. It features a simple flap design with a snap closure. Attributing to the elegance of design and Shinola’s dedication to offering premium products, each piece created is individually numbered. The iPad envelope measures 6 inches by 9 inches and has a whip-stitched internal card pocket on what can be considered its back wall.
Shinola uses the expert craftspeople of Eric Scott in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri to create all of its leather products. Their facility uses an intensive hands-on production process, where everything – from the cutting and stitching to the splitting and skiving – is done by skilled workers, many of whom have been perfecting their craft for decades.
Shinola’s envelope for iPad Mini is well designed, created with skill, and performs its role perfectly. It’s a case for a tablet. But, what it does though is creates a feeling of high style and allows you to carry your iPad Mini swathed in luxurious leather, and yes…people notice. This simple blue case has garnered comment after comment. People want to hold it, touch it, feel it. Trust me, you’ll receive lots of “oohs and ahhs” because of this case. And that is exactly one of the primary goals Shinola has in place. They want to be seen as luxurious…artisanal. Kudos to them for accomplishing that task well.
Shinola’s attention to detail and their desire to have everything connected with them “ooze quality” is evident at every step. You’ll notice this as soon as you pick up delivery at your front door and open the box. People some times joke about presentation in the world of cuisine, real estate, and other places…but, while it may be something that gets tossed around somewhat jokingly, it’s always something that remains etched in people’s minds. You simply don’t forget about how delicious a meal looked or how beautiful that one house appeared. Such is the case with opening up the box for the Shinola Envelope for iPad Mini. The nicely crafted box, heavy butcher paper, and the cotton drawstring bag…it all speaks back to Shinola’s mission and vision for their company. Open up the bag, touch the leather, pull it out, open it up, and you discover a weighty metal piece that is similar in size to a business card. On that metal plate is the number that matches the one etched on the back of your case. And, that plate proudly displays the crafter’s name who made your case. Impressive.
The case itself is certainly not trumped by the presentation of its packaging though. Again, the attention to detail here is over the top. Fine stitch work, perfect edges, and a snug fit that makes you feel comfortable about having your iPad Mini encased in it.
Shinola’s Envelope for iPad Mini is definitely a buy it for life product. Along with the heirloom quality materials and workmanship, your iPad Mini envelope is covered by their repair/replacement warranty for life. BestLeather.org’s conclusion is that if you love your iPad Mini and want it to be swaddled in the best leather possible, while creating a stunning appearance for it, get a Shinola Envelope for iPad Mini.