The family business was started in 1961 near Umtali, Rhodesia. Where Chris was tanning in the night and working at Umtali (Mutare) leathers. Having saved up every penny Chris and Francis with their young daughter, Debbie moved to Marendellas where shortly after the other two siblings André and Sandra-lee were born.

The family’s new company Rhotan was started on the 13th of April 1977 and his Hon D C Smith officially opened the new company. Rhotan soon became one of the most successful businesses, with Francis producing nearly 500 handbags per week which became the true start of the family’s career in tanning. After the elections in 1981, Rhotan had a name change to Eagle Tanning. In 1983, Chris and his family emigrated to Krugersdorp (West Rand), South Africa. Chris continued his career in game skin tanning, while specialising in the treatment and curing Zebra skins.

Both André (son) and Grant (son-in-law) completed their studies under the guidance of Dr. David Boast at the Leather Institute, Rhodes University in Grahamstown. Having completed their studies, they both went to work for Chris at Oryx Tanning Company until it was sold in 1998. That same year the family started Oasis Tanning Company, becoming the leader in the field of Exotic Tanning including a variety of game skins, veg and taxidermy.