T.R. McTaggart history

It’s Our 50th Anniversary!

At T.R. McTaggart we are celebrating our 50th anniversary in September. That’s right. 50 years of T.R. McTaggart history!

From the trunk of a car to a business with loyal customers across the United States, it’s been quite a ride!

A Time of Reflection

The significance of a 50th anniversary is a time looking back and looking ahead.

We look back at serving you, our customers, and want to thank you for your loyalty. We’ve been through a lot of changes to keep up with trends and the industry, and hope to celebrate 50 more years of continued success!

According to Harvard Business Review, business anniversaries are “an ideal time to ask people to think together about why their work matters and how it should move forward.”

At T.R. McTaggart, we try to practice this often. Reaching the milestone of 50 years has made us think even more about where we were, where we’re going, and how we can serve our customers better going forward.

A Brief History of T.R. McTaggart

In celebrating our 50th anniversary, we would like to highlight some key points in our proud history.

T.R. McTaggart History

It was in the 1960’s …

T.R. McTaggart was founded in 1967 by Helen and Lyle McTaggart and their oldest son, Rod.

Hard work and a dream

Lyle was dedicated to the hard work it takes to start a business, most of all because he had a family to support. This strong work ethic resulted in a sundries business that consisted of souvenirs and items you use when you are vacationing. Some examples included keychains, mugs, can coolies, shot glasses, and sand toys. These are items we still sell to this day! (But with different designs, of course!)

  • Keychains
  • Mugs
  • Can coolies
  • Shot glasses
  • Sand toys
  • And more!

Lyle drove around Michigan selling these types of items from the trunk of his car. Oh, humble beginnings!

After taking customer orders, he would drive home to pack the orders and then deliver them. As the business grew, he started soliciting friends and family to help.

Shirts added in the 70’s

In the 1970’s, Lyle and Helen expanded the business to include transferred T-shirts with funny sayings printed on them. After adding shirts, however, they realized they had outgrown their garage!

In 1979, they moved the operation from Sterling, MI, to a commercial building in Standish, MI, 5 miles away. There they added a 4-head manual screen press and continued to add new products and lines to the sundries.

Ownership changes hands in the 80’s

In 1980, Lyle and Helen decided they were ready to ease into retirement and Rod wanted to pursue other interests. So, they sold the business to their son/brother and his wife, Terry and Robin.

Lyle continued to sell on a route and two part-time sales representatives serviced other routes. In 1986, sales continued growing. It was time to add a full-time sales rep. and so John Rudberg was hired to service sales routes with a focus on clothing.

In 1987, McTaggart Wholesale merged with Forward Corporation, of which Terry was vice president. The merger solidified the strength of the business. Two years later McTaggart Wholesale moved into the new building Forward Corporation had purchased to house their corporate offices, home heat division, and bulk oil division.

All the while, McTaggart Wholesale continued to expand, adding commercial embroidery machines to offer more products to more customers.

Taking it national in the 90’s

In 1990, the business decided to expand from Michigan to become a nationwide business. McTaggart Wholesale began adding independent sales reps across the country, starting with states east of the Mississippi River. With new reps came new orders, helping the business to grow even more.

What’s in a name?

With the tech boom of the 90’s, technology was reflected in the business.

In 1996, McTaggart Wholesale changed its name to T.R. McTaggart to better reflect its success. As T.R. McTaggart moved into the technology age with graphics and the latest equipment, the name fit the company’s core building blocks: Trust and Reliability.

And that’s how T.R. McTaggart got its name!

T’ is for ‘Trustworthy’ and ‘R’ is for ‘Reliable’ 

  • T – Trustworthy
  • R – Reliable
  • McTaggart – Surname

It’s show time!

The company didn’t change in name only that year.

In January 1996, the company opened its first permanent showroom outside of Michigan. The new showroom was opened at the Merchandise Mart in the Kennedy Building in downtown Chicago, IL. This led to a point in T.R. McTaggart’s history that included even more business expansion.

The 2000’s: T.R. McTaggart lightens up!

T.R. McTaggart’s history continued into the new millennia. In 2005, we purchased Kristin and Company Candles.

Kristin and Co. candles are hand-poured 100% soy candles. They are made here at T.R. McTaggart’s facility in Standish, MI, and have been a tremendous addition!

We are always looking to grow our offerings to our customers and serve them in even more ways.

Unique to T.R. McTaggart

In 2011, T.R. McTaggart expanded the resort side of the business. In addition to providing resort gifts and garments, we began creating our own original designs. Now T.R. McTaggart designs and manufactures unique garments for its customers.

The business started off small with four garments. In 2018, we offer over 21 garments exclusive to us!

Today: The Here and Now

That brings us to the present day. We are excited to celebrate over 50 years of successful business!

We have been a family-owned company since we started, from the trunk of a car to where we are today. Perhaps the personalized touch is the key to what has made T.R. McTaggart’s history span 50 years and counting! With great leadership and an excellent staff, T.R. McTaggart will continue to grow and operate with Trust and Reliability for our staff and you, our customers.

Thank you for 50 years of support. You are a part of our history and our story. We couldn’t have done it without you!

We are proud of our history and plan to continue serving you for years to come!

Contact Us

Have a project where you need a trustworthy and reliable partner? We would be more than happy to collaborate with you. Give us a call today or contact us! We look forward to making more T.R. McTaggart history with you!