Back in the 1960’s, father and son, Harold and Tom Lenderink shared a common interest — trees. One had a degree in forestry and the other in wood technologies. Together, with their knowledge, they developed a way to make and print cards made of thin wood veneer. For several years, Harold and Tom perfected their techniques in micro-veneer technologies and made business cards as a hobby. The cards were durable, beautiful, and unique.
Before long, friends and colleagues wanted cards for themselves. By the mid 1970’s, they discovered that their hobby was in high demand and it could be profitable. It didn’t take long for Harold and Tom to be overwhelmed with orders and decided it was time to hire an additional employee and make their cards available to the public.
Cards of Wood has been expanding ever since. In 1990, Harold’s grandson, Tate, bought the business with aspirations to develop and expand the business. He has broadened production to include more wood species and larger applications. The company has since grown and moved into a larger facility and continues to invest in new technologies.
Tate travels the nation looking for the perfect trees for his cards, making sure to select them responsibly. Logs are shipped from across the United States and around the world to his shop in Belmont, Michigan, to be sliced into the beautiful veneers used for the cards. All production of the wood items are done in-house.
With wood shaved as thin as tissue paper, one log will produce thousands of wood products. Compared to the process of making paper, it takes less wood to make a product out of real wood veneer than it does regular paper. Cards of Wood is in the last stages of becoming FSC Certified. It has always been important to the Lenderink’s to be good stewards of God’s creation and support sustainable yield harvesting techniques. The FSC Certification is just part of that effort.
Cards of Wood is still family-owned and operated. Tate is accompanied by his sister Tara, in the office. Together they plan to expand the product base and increase the awareness of their unique products. Their grandfather and father had developed a neat idea. The next generation of the Lenderink family plans to build that idea into something even better.