It’s a sense of pride. A feeling of triumph. A shared dream for all to see and to celebrate. There’s something about the stamp of hand-made in Detroit that develops a product into more than just a material good … it’s a craft made to signify a city that’s proudly united.
And that’s exactly what Shane and Melissa Douglas wanted to share with the launch of their new handmade leather goods company: Douglas & Co. With the introduction of many local handmade enterprises to the Detroit area, handcrafted goods have proven to be just one more way Detroit shines. With a successful launch party this past Saturday, I was able to take a look at the first line of Douglas & Co. products and witness firsthand that this company is ready to shine right alongside this city.
Douglas & Co., formed by husband and wife Shane and Melissa, began with a desire to pursue a passion. After the couple spent some time working with leather and surrounding themselves with the craft, Shane and Melissa developed a true passion which lead them to developing the first real investment: creating a product designed with integrity.
100% manufactured in Detroit, Douglas & Co. takes pride in hand-making their merchandise and focusing on the process, not just the product. Co-owner Shane Douglas says that he “finds beauty in the process,” allowing the consumer to know they are walking away with a product created from a deep-rooted passion. Though the materials are sourced from all over the United States, Shane and Melissa work to keep them as close to home as possible.
As a southeast Michigan native, co-founder Melissa found her drive to contribute to the economic development of Detroit after getting a degree in Urban Studies at Wayne State University in Detroit. Shane has also lived in Detroit for some time, so it just didn’t make sense to launch the company anywhere else. As many Detroiters have seen with the success of Shinola, the city cultivates a wealth of growth, and Douglas & Co. has faith that this growth is contagious.
“If we were ever compared to a company as great as Shinola, we would be honored,” Shane comments in regards to being compared to the highly admired handmade watch and leather goods manufacturer, Shinola, also based in Detroit.
In the upcoming year, the company hopes to sell their products in multiple states while continuing to grow their lifestyle and brand.
The launch party, held at Nora in the Midtown neighborhood of Detroit, was the brand’s first public debut of their products. Items featured include tuck & sew bags, exclusive cardholders, designer clutches, and leather key lanyards, all from the brand’s first line of products. Beginning the day of the launch the products are also now featured on their site, however many of these items have already sold out of availability since.
Obvious to everyone present, the passion that drives Shane and Melissa Douglas is as contagious as the passion within the city itself. And as the couple likes to say, “In Detroit, no dream is too big.”
Below are a few pictures from the launch party and of the brand’s latest products.