Will Leather Goods


Let me start by saying - No, this is not a knockoff of Shinola. Will Leather Goods was actually founded in 1981 in Eugene, Oregon by a man named Will Adler. Over the last 3 centuries, the company has established a global clientel, built a successful physical and digital presence and distribution model, and in most recent news, opened its newest store, which is somewhat of a concept, in Detroit, Michigan.

The 9,000 square foot space, once an infamous grocery store called Tomboy in Detroit's Midtown neighborhood, has taken on a whole new presence. From a coffee shop built entirely out of refurbished materials sourced from a local fire house along with Oregon timber, to on-site production that happens in front of visitors eyes, Will Leather Goods is a playground of discovery, with stories told throughout the space. As Adler puts it "The store is less about small talk and more about deep conversation. It’s about including everyone—whether or not you want to buy something, just come here and get coffee."

3 Things You Should Take Away:
1. 9,000 square feet in Detroit is much different than 9,000 square feet in large developed areas like New York or San Francisco. One of the main enticing elements of this space is the large expanse of space which holds product, art, the coffee shop, on-site production, 'make your own' product areas, and so on. This concept has taken the shape of a small museum in a sense, which would not be achievable in many other places given rising real estate prices.  2. Every space in the store has a story. From the handmade furniture crafted in Oregon, to the actual coffee bar itself, constructed of refurbished materials, down to the handcrafted product assembled right in-house, storytelling is one of the store's most prominent elements that sets it up for success. 3. The 'Mumford and Sons' syndrom has now spread to the midwest..if you don't know what that means, you'd better find out really quickly ;)

Location: 4120 2nd Avenue, Detroit
Architect: Poris Associates
Founder: Will Adler
Brand Website: Will Leather Goods
Social Media: Twitter  

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