Well, if you are a Hip Daddy loyalist, you know we have a special affinity for certain brands. And Shinola, straight outta Detroit, is one of them! So yes, what better way to get closer and learn more than to feature a former colleague (Converse Alma Mater) who went from cool to more cool. Hip Daddy Chris Hull is the Chief Merchandising Officer for Shinola, which means he is inspirational in most of the things we love about this brand. Even better, let’s talk about Fatherhood and kids, oh, and some watches and leather goods and some Hip Mommy product too :). 45 is a good number, please enjoy yet another Hip Daddy Spotlight.
Tell us about your kids. What’s it like being a father?
I have two kids, Lincoln (4 year old boy) and Delaney (2 year old girl). They were both born in Amsterdam while I was there working for my previous employer. They are very different from each other. Lincoln appears to be the creative one. He loves to dance and sing. Delaney is shaping up to be the meticulous one. As a merchant and father, I appreciate both sides because in my role I combine the “art” and “science”. They keep me on my toes. I definitely play the “good cop” role with them. They know how to manipulate me. I am powerless around them!
What’s the one thing you cannot live without as a Dad?
My amazing wife’s patience (with me). I am the “yes man” with my kids, so they come to me when they want to watch TV or get more snacks. I am also a visual learner so I tend to need to see my how my wife completes a parenting task and then I can master it. She encourages me to be more instinctual! All in good time!
If I could list a second thing I cannot live without it is their hugs at the end of the day. It is the best part of coming home after a long day. They make me feel like a rock star (albeit an audience of 2). I never knew a 2 year old’s hugs could be so strong.
We love Shinola. Talk to us about your role at the company, and any exciting launches/news on the horizon.
Thank you for supporting the brand. We are excited that we have been able to create a brand that has resonated with the consumer and in turn has helped establish more jobs. My title is the Chief Merchandising Officer. This essentially means I work with our very talented product teams to determine what product to bring to the marketplace. It is my responsibility to determine the right product, right price, and the right amount in order to deliver a successful and profitable assortment in our stores and on our website. What I enjoy most about the role is helping craft the stories that we present to the consumer through product, marketing, and positioning. There must always be a cohesive and consumer relevant story when we bring our collection of product to the marketplace, and this story must be consistent across our stores, website and social media.
We have a lot of great product coming from all the categories. We will continue to evolve our watches through the use of new materials, colors and even movement. The Leather category will feature some great new bag silhouettes that seamlessly merge beautiful design and thoughtful functionality. I am most excited about our evolution with our Women’s business. We are spending a lot of time understanding our consumer and ensuring we are creating the right product for her and presenting it in an experience that resonates with her. We have some exciting product coming out this fall!
Detroit and Shinola seem to be perfect for each other. Tell us about some of your inspirations at Shinola.
The entire city inspires us. The architecture, the history, and certainly the people. We wouldn’t be successful without the people of Detroit. Whether it be our employees, consumers, or brand advocates, all of them have helped shape Shinola. The citizens of Detroit are creative, resilient, hard-working, and positive. We draw from these traits every day in our product design, copy writing, and marketing.
What does every Hip Daddy Household need from Shinola?
The Runwell Wall Clock. It is a 14” wall clock that we created in partnership with General Electric. Growing up I remember the GE logo on several appliances in our house. This clock brings back that memory. It is beautifully designed pulling inspiration from our iconic Runwell watch. I think it is a great marriage of craftsmanship, design, and functionality.