Monday, June 2, 2014

DoncasterCharlotte owner celebrates 20 years in business

Local businesswoman Marguerite Rupar is celebrating the 20th anniversary of her wardrobe-consulting business, DoncasterCharlotte, with special events on Tuesday.

She'll host a sample sale at her studio, located at 228 E. Park Ave., and serve appetizers and beverages. Prizes and chair massages will be offered.

Rupar started DoncasterCharlotte in 1994 from her home. She describes her business this way:

"DoncasterCharlotte focuses on the busy professional woman to help her create the perfect wardrobe for her busy life. Each season, the client makes an appointment to come in touch, see and try on the current collection and decide which pieces are right for her. Maybe she needs a power suit, maybe she needs a business casual look or is going on a trip and just needs some fun clothes, we can find it all in the collection and make the most of each piece she purchases. There is lots of personal attention but no pressure! I love giving women a few minutes to relax and have fun while accomplishing a difficult task! DoncasterCharlotte is the best way to find quality clothing for any occasion in just one hour!"

According to its website, the Doncaster concept started in 1931, as the Doncaster Collar and Shirt Company in Rutherfordton, about 70 miles west of Charlotte. With encouragement from the Junior League of Charlotte, the business eventually evolved into direct sales. These Junior League members were the original 'Doncaster consultants', providing personal service and in-home shopping experiences. The idea quickly spread to other parts of the country, according to Doncaster.

Rupar says she started DoncasterCharlotte without knowing much about owning a business. Through on-the-job training, and help from the National Association of Women Business Owners and other mentors, she grew her business.

Rupar says she was able to move her home-based business to a Fourth Ward studio in 2002. In 2007, she moved to a studio on Providence Road that she shared with other Doncaster consultants. Then in January 2014, she moved her business to her current studio location in Dilworth.

Most of her clients followed her through every move, and even referred clients, Rupar says.

While featuring stylish clothes is part of DoncasterCharlotte's appeal, Rupar says it's the easy shopping experience that keeps clients coming back. "The service part of it never changed over the 20 years," she says. "It's the ease of the shopping. They like me, they like the experience, they like the clothes. It's something they come back to all the time, because it's easy."

Learn more about DoncasterCharlotte by emailing Rupar at