** Trademark of Doncaster

Copyright Jeffrey Babener

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Founding Story
Doncaster is located in Rutherfordton, North Carolina. Doncaster was previously named Tanner Company, LLC, which started in 1931 as Doncaster Collar and Shirt Company. S.B. (Bobo) Tanner Jr., the son of a wealthy, Southern textile manufacturer, and his wife, Millie, the daughter of a successful mid-Western farmer, ( named the company after the town of Doncaster, England, which was a favorite stop on their honeymoon.

The Doncaster Business evolved from an opportunity in 1935 that transformed the familiar shirt patterns of the Doncaster Collar and Shirt Company into the fashionable shirtwaist dress. It was a call from the Junior League of Charlotte that introduced the idea of selling these fashionable designs through their organization to raise funds for their various civic projects. Doncaster launched the original direct sales of high-end fashions, with the earliest dresses being sold through the women of the Junior League. As women in other cities began to hear of these Doncaster fashions, mostly by word of mouth, the interest in wearing them and selling them spread quickly across the United States.

By the early 50's, Bobo and Millie's sons, Bobo, Jimmy, and Mike entered the business, which continued to grow. The Tanners became acutely aware of the value of "personal service" that in-home shopping offered the customer. They focused their efforts on pursuing this unique business strategy of selling to the consumer through a national network of Wardrobe Consultants.
In the late 70's and early 80's, both Pell Tanner, son of Jimmy, and David Pocock, a nephew, joined the Company as the next generation of Company leaders. During this time, Pell and David worked side by side with Bobo, Jimmy and Mike to build the Doncaster brand. As they assumed leadership roles within Tanner, Pell as CEO and David as President, began developing and implementing the blueprint that continues to move Tanner Companies into the future.
The New York based design team now develops four collections per year exclusively for Doncaster.
Doncaster also maintains a retail division comprised of outlet stores based predominantly in the South.

Impact on the Industry

Discussion of Products
Tanner Company, LLC sells, designs and markets clothing and fashion under the Doncaster and Elana brands.

Discussion of Opportunity
Doncaster offers the following information about its consultant program:



Doncaster offers unlimited earnings potentials through commissions, bonuses and incentive programs. The company offers marketing support through catalogs, direct mail campaigns, national advertising, and social and media programs. Doncaster also offers training through product calls with designers, training DVDs, online tools, and local meetings.

Discussion of Distributor Base and Sales Volume in U.S.

Company website:


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Jeffrey A. Babener, principal attorney in the Portland, Oregon, law firm Babener & Associates, represents many of the leading direct selling companies in the United States and abroad.