Susie Tompkins Buell
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Susie Tompkins Buell (Born Susan Russell, 1943) is an American entrepreneur and a liberal political donor associated with the Democracy Alliance.
Investor and businesswoman
In 1967, Tompkins Buell and Jane Tise co-founded the Plain Jane clothing label. Plain Jane was making $2 million/year by 1970. Tompkins Buell's new husband Douglas Tompkins recommended changing the name to Esprit.
By 1986, the global clothing brand had reached $800 million in sales. The Tompkinses divorced in 1988.
The early sensibility of Esprit was seen as flowing from the personalities and interests of its founders. They were once described as "a pair of San Francisco hippie merchants who sold clothing over a North Beach massage parlor"
Democratic Party activism
In 2006, the Washington Post published a story about the Democracy Alliance, calling it an "exclusive donor club" for progressive donors and identifying Buell and her husband Mark Buell as members.