Fully immersed in the denim-fashion industry, Ted and Tamara Greve travel the country meeting with designers and fashion-brand presidents to bring the best of their finds back to Tucson’s Loop Jean Co. Originally from Southern California, the
Originally from Southern California, the Greves found a home in the Sonoran Desert and, together, opened the premium-denim retail shop in 2008. In addition to carrying Italian- Japanese- and American-made denim collections, their shop is Tucson’s only Robert Graham retailer and was recently approved to carry the exclusive line RRL by Ralph Lauren.
Juggling store ownership and staying up-to-date with the latest fashion trends keep this couple busy, but the Greves remain connected to their community, holding a First Saturday Trunk Show, November through April, that donates 10 percent of the sales of several featured brands to a local charity. The couple enjoys hikes through Catalina State Park with their teenage daughter, and the family’s handsome black poodle often tags along to the shop, keeping the Greves and their customers in good company.
What is the best part about owning a retail shop in Tucson?
Introducing new product to our clientele and being in a position to give back to our community through our First Saturday Trunk Show events. The customers we have make each day fun and interesting and make us genuinely love what we do.
What was the most challenging thing to get used to when moving to Tucson from Southern California, and what do you love most?
We have always loved Arizona, but giving up the beaches and SoCal’s weather was the biggest change. The drivers here cruise at a much mellower pace than in Los Angeles; it took a couple of months to get used to that. What made it feel like home are the super-friendly people. Tucson is pretty laid-back and really is our lifestyle. The desert is so beautiful and we love the heat, so it's a perfect fit.
What are a few of your favorite items in the store?
One of our favorite categories in the store is the heritage brands [often made by hand and in smaller batches]. Not only do our customers love the product, but there’s always an interesting back story to each of these vendors. Loop is also the only store in Tucson to carry Shinola watches manufactured in Detroit, Filson outdoor accessories made in Seattle, and select smaller denim brands made in San Francisco, Kansas City and Los Angeles.
Tell me about the sterling-silver belt buckles sold at the store.
The sterling-silver buckles are inspired by Southwestern art deco and traditional designs. The silversmiths are from all over the country, but mainly New Mexico. We offer a great selection from classic one-piece buckles to engraved four-piece, Western-style buckles and everything in between.
What distinguishes “premium denim” from other denim?
The denim industry defines the term “premium denim” as the highest quality denim sourced from Japan, Italy or select mills here in the U.S. All of our brands are of this quality.
Which designer would you most like to meet?
We travel across the country and have had many opportunities to meet the designers, presidents and CEOs of our brands. Every designer aspires to create a lifestyle collection based on his or her vision, and no one in the world has done this more completely than Ralph Lauren; he is someone we’re very excited to meet.
If you could explore the fashion industry of any city in the world, where would it be?
When you live and breathe denim like we do, going to Japan would be at the top of the wish list. Much of the best denim is made in Japan, and visiting some of the factories we know about and read about would be a real treat.
Tell us about Loop Jean Co.’s canine friend.
At this point, Cash, our very large standard poodle, has become a full-fledged member of the team and works five days a week. He is our official store greeter and often has more people dropping in to see him than us!
Is your daughter involved in the business?
Our teenage daughter has been going on buying trips with her dad since she was 9 years old; however, now she is more interested in rock bands than retail.
Is she the best-dressed in school thanks to having parents who work in the fashion-retail industry?
She has a very eclectic sense of style. It's kind of a mix of hippie and pop punk. Right now her hair is pink. She loves dresses more than denim, but her denim selection is pretty great. When she goes on buying trips with us she ends up with a lot of swag from the vendors. Most of them have watched her grow into a teenager over the years and her sense of style reflects the industry’s influence.