Tamara Hill-Norton, Founder and Creative Director of the phenomenally popular activewear brand, Sweaty Betty knows a fair few things about the fitness biz (and Lycra)!
Way ahead of the curve, she founded her brand in 1998 after spotting the lack of sportswear on the market. This spark turned into her creating an active lifestyle brand for all women, and so she set up shop in Notting Hill, London.
Since then, the brand has skyrocketed in its twenty years and you can see why with it’s technically on point and stylish performance wear that hits all audiences. And as such, you’ll find 60 points of sale worldwide, including Nordstrom in the U.S.
When did you first realize that there was a gap in the market, and how did it come about? Sweaty Betty was born 20 years ago in 1998 when I spotted a gap in the activewear market. After graduating, I had been working as a buyer for an underwear company and was starting to introduce some lounge/sportswear to our offering when I spotted an amazing female activewear brand being manufactured in one of our underwear factories. At the time, most main sportswear brands focused on their male customer and had a “shrink it and pink it” approach to womenswear. No one was selling beautiful technical women’s activewear in a female friendly environment at the time. I wanted to curate and create clothes for women who lived an active lifestyle that made them feel powerful and beautiful.
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Your husband is also a part about of the firm, what does each of you bring to the brand? It’s always been a good partnership, we complement each other, respect our different skill sets and totally trust each other. We work well at creating things together, I am more focused on the product and creative side as the chief creative officer while Simon is our CEO. We’re both really passionate about our work and could talk for hours and hours when we get in at night, but the kids help keep us grounded by telling us to shut up about work on a regular basis!
What are the cornerstones of Sweaty Betty? Our mission as a brand has always been to empower women through fitness and beyond and this still stands today. We want women to feel powerful and motivated to live an active lifestyle. We have an in-house female design team that create all of our pieces to fit, flatter and look amazing from studio to street. We also test each piece multiple times in our London office, to…