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about tamara hill-norton sweaty betty's founder and creative director

As Founder and Creative Director of Sweaty Betty, Tamara remains as driven by fitness and adventure as she was when she first created the brand. Dividing her time between London and West Wittering by the English seaside, she includes running, barre and stand-up paddleboarding among her favourite workouts. A mother of three and a wife to business partner Simon Hill-Norton, her family time centres around active living and she regularly practises yoga alongside her teenage daughters.

the sweaty betty story




Sweaty Betty is a silver lining story. Faced with redundancy, Sweaty Betty's founder Tamara wanted to turn her luck around and embrace the opportunity to make a change for the better. So she thought about the things she loved – fitness, adventure, fashion – and how she could run a business that would appeal to all her passions. “Imagine if there was a community for women like me who want to lead an active life without compromising on style,” said Tamara. “My vision is to dress a woman, and at the same time empower her. I want to create workout wear that's more than something to sweat in, it's a tool for transformation.”


With a firm vision and the confidence to redefine the UK's activewear market, the only thing Tamara was missing was the name. Discarding many less provocative alternatives like ‘Egg', ‘Form' and ‘She's Active', she eventually settled on the most polarising idea of all: ‘Sweaty Betty'. Inspired by the American definition of ‘Betty' as a cool girl, and the juxtaposition of it against the less glamorous word ‘Sweaty', Tamara loved that it challenged conventions and made people look twice.


In 1998, equipped with a name, Tamara took the first step and opened the original Sweaty Betty boutique in Notting Hill. Within the stunning listed venue sat the most beautiful and technical in specially-designed workout wear for run, ski, yoga, swim and every discipline for the British fitness enthusiast. “It won't last a week,” said some passersby. But Tamara persevered and thrived off the connections she made with Notting Hill's most active and like-minded women. Some people got it straight away – Americans especially, who were already familiar with the US perception that activewear was cool. Some people didn't get it, like Tamara's very first employee, who quit after just three weeks.


Affirmation came from the Evening Standard, which named Sweaty Betty as “one to watch” two weeks after it opened.

And again three years later, when the company was named “Sports Retailer of the Year”. As more local Brits understood the value of buying technical skiwear alongside beautiful yoga wear, more boutiques opened and Sweaty Betty went on to open its first luxury concession in Selfridges in 2006. As the brand grew, so too did Tamara's vision. In 2012 she introduced Sweaty Betty to the American market with a new US website. She also looked within Britain for new ways to prove that activewear can be cool. In 2015, she embarked on a design collaboration with British fashion icon Richard Nicoll. Together they launched a capsule collection that made it to London Fashion Week and sold out in weeks.


Today, Tamara's dream has become an inspirational reality. Sweaty Betty has expanded into an omni-channel retailer selling premium women's activewear, designed in-house, across worldwide boutiques and an award-winning global website. From its humble origins, Sweaty Betty has evolved into a global fit fashion powerhouse. With unmistakable British style, Sweaty Betty enables and empowers every woman to push boundaries within her favourite workouts and beyond.

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