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Shinola, the Detroit-based brand creating handcrafted leather goods, watches, bicycles, and journals, has built a steady following with their American made products since 2011. Several years ago, Daniel Caudill came on as their Creative Director after years spent as a design consultant and designer for major American brands. While he was born in Trinidad and Tobago, Caudill was raised in Montana before ending up in Los Angeles to attend the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. Now, he finds himself carrying out the Shinola vision in Detroit overseeing the brand’s direction as it continues to expand with new products and stores worldwide. For this week’s Friday Five, Caudill gives us insight into what keeps him inspired.

Photo courtesy the  Judd Foundation Archive

Photo courtesy the Judd Foundation Archive

1. The Donald Judd Library
The simplicity of minimal shapes repeated in natural environments both inspires and calms me. I find beauty in simple design, it inspires me every day.

Art courtesy Judd Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Art courtesy Judd Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

2. Marfa Texas
I had the fortune of growing up in rural Montana and urban Los Angeles both. Marfa is the one place in the world I’ve visited where the both of those coexist. You feel like you’re stepping back in time and into the future at the same time.

Photo by Lorenzo Montezemolo, via Flickr

Photo by Lorenzo Montezemolo, via Flickr

3. Northern Lake Michigan
The beauty of northern Michigan is a hidden secret most people don’t know about. Lakes that look like turquoise Caribbean water. Sunsets like Hawaii. Orchards, farms and amazing food. It’s a place where I recharge and I can never spend enough time there.

Courtesy of Shinola

Courtesy of Shinola

4. The people I work with
I work with such talented, smart, creative people. It inspires me to be better at my job every day. Shinola is an amazing family.

Photo courtesy of Ray Charles' Facebook page

Photo courtesy of Ray Charles’ Facebook page

5. Positive people
They follow their hearts even though something might not make sense on paper, that’s how truly great things happen. That’s how Shinola was started and it inspires me every day.

Caroline Williamson is Editorial Director of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.