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dedicated to the spirit of shinola.
May 30, 2018
May 30, 2018
Sharp-witted and genuinely kind, the two play off of one another like best friends who like to take jabs as much as they like to dish them out.
"It's so easy to know him, because he's me—as much as he doesn't want to hear that," said Brian. "He thinks he's so slick and so cool, but 'Dude, you're me.'"
Kyle with the quick response: "I don't think I'm cool."
Brian: "I didn't think I was cool either."
Kyle: "We're just naturally cool people then."
Brian, 40, and Kyle, 19, describe their father-son relationship as being very open and honest—which is a good thing, because now they work together. For the first time, we have a father-son pair working at Shinola at the same time: Kyle in the watch factory and Brian in social media, focused on community engagement.
"I stop by at least once or twice," said Kyle. "It's like the coworker you're really close with. I get to tell him what I've been up to."
While they absolutely like to tease each other, their appreciation for one another is undeniable.
"Kyle is one of the funniest, most interesting teenagers I know," said Brian. "He has a wide variety of hobbies including astronomy and car enthusiasm in general. He's an excellent artist, he's a writer. He's a good dresser for his age despite what he's wearing to work."
Brian went on to explain one of Kyle's "dressy" phases in middle school, where he wore a suit and tie to school every day during eighth grade.
"He was known as 'the kid in the suit,'" said Brian.
There was also that yearly tradition of wearing a flight suit from Space Camp on the last day of school even when it got a little too small.
"It didn't fit. I ended up ripping it," joked Kyle.
He said his father raised him to be open but also very independent.
Brian said he was especially proud when his son, at age 18, went on a cross-country road trip with his friend. They planned and paid for everything on their own.
"Any time he wants to accomplish something, he never asks for help," said Brian. "He just figures out how to adult."
Kyle said he's not afraid to fess up when he's done something wrong, referring to his dad's child-raising methods as "future proofing"—making him and his brother feel comfortable being honest no matter the situation.
"It worked, now you tell me too many bad things," Brian quipped.
But the admiration is mutual, Kyle said he loves his dad's sense of humor and outgoing personality.
"He brings light to every situation and brightens up any room," Kyle said.
When they're enjoying quality time, you'll likely find them together at a coffee shop sharing in casual conversation. They say it's one of their favorite things to do together.
"I'm a coffee snob," joked Brian. "I like garbage coffee or I like $16 a cup."
"You're weird, dude," Kyle added.
It's the similar banter you'll hear when Kyle stops by his father's desk at Shinola each and every day.
While it's a quick moment, the gesture is sweet and about giving your dad the most cherished present of all: time.
"Fatherhood is the most rewarding experience any man can go through hands down," said Brian. "I don't even hesitate to say that when you have a kid, it puts everything into perspective and you see the best of you in your son or daughter."