1960 - 1980
Dehen never ceased to be a family business. At one time or another all ten of Bill’s children worked there, as well as several of their Dehen cousins. Just like their father, all of the Dehen kids started in the factory on weekends, after school, and during their summer breaks. They learned the craft from their older cousins and siblings, and shared not only an appreciation for the art of knitting, but also a deep respect for the family business that William had built.
The company opened a new downtown store near the waterfront on 2nd and Alder, and built a state-of-the art knitting mill and apparel factory on Flanders and 10th street in Northwest Portland (in the present day Pearl District). Dehen grew to over a hundred employees, expanded into new product areas, and invested in new machinery that would allow them to knit cotton and other materials.
While the business grew and their capabilities expanded, Dehen held close to its traditional ways. Quality never wavered, corners were never cut, and the company continued to focus on the small “mom and pop” retailers that had been with them all along.