I met Todd Hancock when I relocated to West Michigan for an employment situation. He began as my go-to bartender at the Theater Bar, a position he began after qualifying as a sushi chef at the Grand.
For six years, I've watched with excitement and wonder as he's grown his custom, designer clothing business, TENDEN. What better than enjoying wine and the occasional microbrew pint served up by a man you like a great deal? What's better is watching that man pursue his dream of a more creative and authentic life, learning to market his custom shirts and blue jeans to distant countries of Finland and Japan and beyond. I wouldn't be surprised that Kim Jong-un, dictator of North Korea, has accumulated a wardrobe of TENDEN attire, acquired through a front in South Korea and smuggled over the border. In six years, he's built the business into an international brand thanks to social media, purchased a house in Grand Haven and even taken a bride. We'll all have a celebration when he opens his design and retail space in downtown Grand Haven, just like clothing designers in Nashville and New Orleans.
To be honest, I allowed the package to rest on my coffee table for four days. Hancock works in spray paint, and each package of merchandise is tagged with a special touch before shipping out from the Grand Haven post office. I wanted to savor the moment of opening by slowly unwrapping the knit stevedore cap he mailed me. I hope my pictures show off just the sheer joy of opening a package from Hancock.
I'll be putting my red Carhartt knit cap aside as soon as the olive green cap is washed and dried. Yes, Carhartt is a proud Midwestern brand; handmade by a friend in Grand Haven has a slight edge when I step out into the cold to proudly pursue my day. Pictures posted soon.