In 1931, S. B. Tanner opened the Doncaster Collar and Shirt Company in Rutherfordton. In 1933, Mrs. Tanner persuaded her husband to make a shirtwaist dress for her from the shirting material. Soon women's dresses were coming out of the plant and the garment grew in popularity. In 1955, the company changed its name to Tanner of North Carolina. In 1951, S. B. Tanner III, became company president. He is featured in We the People of North Carolina magazine's Businessman in the News.