Shinola has consistently stood out from the crowd, both with an unlikely combination of product categories (high-quality watches, bicycles and leather goods) and a commitment to manufacturing those products itself. But its diverse product line and do-it-yourself supply chain are ultimately supporting players. What has made Shinola thrive has been its ability to deliver a sense of authenticity and storytelling that deepens the customer relationship, with shopper insights driving the retailer’s loyalty strategies even further. During a Q&A conducted via Skype, Glenn Taylor of Retail TouchPoints sat down with Shannon Washburn, President of Shinola, to get a first look at her upcoming Retail Innovation Conference (RIC) session with Ernan Roman, President of ERDM Corp., which will highlight the retailer’s powerful though non-traditional loyalty strategies. Additionally, Washburn gives insights into: The work Shinola has done with third-party firms to generate customer insights, drive brand awareness and improve customer retention; The company’s entrance into the hotel business with the opening of the Shinola Hotel in January 2019; Shinola’s approach to personalization both online and in stores, particularly with the deployment of in-store artisans in six markets; and How her time as a merchandise buyer provided a solid foundation for her career.