WRITER | CANDIE CONAT
PHOTOS | TENDEN
Todd Hancock, owner of Tenden, has been a lover of fine quality clothing since he was a teenager. When he was young, he watched his grandmother making clothing, and he paid attention, both to her skill and to what she created. He made his first pair of jeans when he was 20 years old and never looked back. From then on, he was creating his own high-quality clothing.
Hancock traveled with sewing machines when he accompanied his wife on work trips, and he practiced by making clothes for friends and family. In the beginning, he made anything and everything. Whatever someone wanted, he created, including one-of-a-kind dresses from vintage fabrics.
In the early years, Hancock would set up shop at festivals and markets. But clothing was a hard sell in those situations because he could not accommodate the customers’ desire to try things on for fit. So, he focused on some of his most popular products – aprons, totes bags, utility rolls, and log carriers – that didn’t require a fitting room.
In 2016, he and his family decided to return to Michigan and stay put. He was able to return to creating the highest-quality clothing, his true passion. In May of this year, he officially opened shop just outside of downtown Grand Haven.
Visiting Tenden is an interesting experience. Upon entering, you will often see Hancock working away at one of his vintage sewing machines. His customers love to see the machines and the designer in action. Hancock is proud of the collection of sewing machines he has assembled over the years. Some are rare vintage machines not commonly found in the US, as they are usually shipped overseas, where so much of today’s apparel is made. HIs collection includes some rare finds, like a Reece 101 keyhole buttonhole machine and the Union Special 39200F Overlocker. The best part is, Hancock rescues these machines from old barns, salvage yards, and antique stores. He takes great pride in bringing them back to life and using them in his work.
Selvedge is Tenden’s most popular style of jeans by far, followed by the Mechanic and Field pant, respectively. You can’t go wrong pairing them with his button-down shirts, available in solids and vintage prints. This winter season, Hancock will begin slowly expanding his line into women’s jeans and dresses. Be sure to stop in and watch him hard at work and check out his ever-expanding product line.
Tenden 19 North 7th Street, Grand Haven MI 49417 l (616) 638-9242 l Tendon.us