GRAND HAVEN, Mich. - A West Michigan father is sewing huge profits, selling American-made goods after learning his craft with the help of his grandmother.
Todd Hancock's self-made company called Tenden sells hand-made clothing, accessories, and leather goods with the help of Etsy.com. Hancock said it started by making clothing for himself. Now friends, family, and strangers around the world want in on the action.
"It is like my stress reliever and I can come here for an hour, and it puts me in a better mood the whole day," said Hancock. "I try to source all American-made materials."
Hancock makes hand-made leather goods, bags, and utility aprons in his studio tucked away in Grand Haven.
"I had people in Japan ordering custom jeans and they’d send me the measurements, and I’d cross my fingers they’d get them," said Hancock. "They fit perfect and the rest is history."
Learning how to sew as a child from his grandma before she died, Hancock now honors her by using the last six letters of her maiden-name for his company, Tenden.
"She was in a nursing home and I used to go in and talk to her," said Hancock. "I went in one time wearing a shirt that I made out of fabric that I picked up in Italy. She looked at it and instantly started crying. And she’s like, ‘you’re better than I ever was.’"
Hancock told Fox 17 Tendon launched in 2010 before receiving $5,000 from the Parentpreneur grant program. He said he sells almost everything he makes, more than 4,000 items to date.