Tom Kartsotis

Founder, Bedrock Manufacturing

What is the BoF 500?

The BoF 500 is the definitive professional index of the people shaping the $2.4 trillion fashion industry, hand-selected by the editors of The Business of Fashion, based on hundreds of nominations received from current BoF 500 members, extensive data analysis and research.

Biography

Tom Kartsotis founder of multi-billion-dollar watch company Fossil Group, founder of brand management firm Bedrock Manufacturing Co ., and founder of American luxury lifestyle brand Shinola, which specialises in watches, bicycles and leather goods.

It was in the early 1980s that a then 24-year-old Kartsotis started making cheap fashion watches under the name Fossil. His older brother Kosta, a former Sanger Harris executive, helped get the line into department stores. Less than 10 years later, the brand went public and, along the way, grew from a small watch company to a global lifestyle brand, selling $3.2 billion worth of watches, handbags and clothing annually. Kartsotis was chairman and chief executive until 2000 and remained chairman until 2010. He still holds a small but undisclosed stake in the company.

In 2003, Kartsotis founded his private equity and brand management firm, Bedrock Manufacturing Co., named after the hometown of cartoon character Fred Flintstone. Bedrock itself flies under the radar, but the Texas-based company has quietly built up a portfolio of consumer brands, with a particular interest in American products.

Kartsotis is active on a daily basis in the management of Bedrock and its various brands. In 2011, he set up a state-of-the-art operation called Shinola that now produces 500,000 high-quality watches a year, as well as bicycles, leather goods and hand-crafted journals.

Shinola takes its name from the American shoe polish that was popularized by the expression, “You don’t know shit from Shinola.” The no-nonsense attitude also comes through in the Detroit-based company’s designs, which evoke a “Made in the USA” sense of pride, a badge of quality and reliability.

In 2012, Bedrock added Filson to its portfolio. Founded in 1897 and based in Seattle, the brand continues to hand-make all its designs, from outdoor wear to leather bags, in America.

Career

Bedrock Manufacturing

Bedrock Manufacturing

Founder

2003 - Present

United States

Share This Profile

Vital Statistics

Born
1959
Nationality

United States

Location
United States

Similar Profiles

Jung Kuho

Executive Director, Seoul Fashion Week

Zowie Broach

Head of Fashion, Royal College of Art

Jimmy Moffat

Founder, Art & Commerce

Giovanni Testino

Chief Executive, Art Partner

Links

website
bedrock.com
BoF 500
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH TARGET