A story about great leggings, and how simply having a good product isn’t enough

A story about great leggings, and how simply having a good product isn’t enough

A story about great leggings, and how simply having a good product isn’t enough

My new favourite leggings are from a company called Sweaty Betty. 

I like what they make, but that isn’t all, and it’s not enough. 

I like what they say in their marketing, and who they are, and the way they interact with me as a human (not simply a “buyer”).

A few weeks ago they shared a new swimwear line on Insta, with models who looked like normal people. 

Not the super-perfect, ultra-skinny, airbrushed models we’re used to….just normal women, as they are. 

I noticed it (on Insta, of course, my favourite platform of them all) because for a second I was kind of startled. These women looked different. It looked like a picture I could have taken on my phone (if I was hanging out with three friends casually in new matching swimwear). But you get what I mean. It was…imperfect. 

Interestingly I used the word “imperfect” and had a few friends message me to say using that word implies that perfect is possible. I still think it’s the right word, but only because we ALL are imperfect. That there is no perfect human body (on this earth anyway) and therefore it’s not about these models being imperfect and the others being perfect…it’s about these models being shown for who they actually are. 

Either way, the point is, i loved it, we’re all tired of being shown fake-perfection, and it’s great marketing. 

But good words on their own, or good photos or a good concept, isn’t enough.

I shared it then on Insta, and I’m telling the story now in my Notes, because i loooooooove the Sweaty Betty leggings I own. (I now own two pairs, which I consider to be merely the start of my collection). 

They fit beautifully, they feel amazing, they’re tough enough to protect me from stinging scottish nettles but light enough to not weigh me down, and I like how I look in them. 

The Sweaty Betty stuff isn’t cheap, but I spent ten quid on a pair of leggings from tescos, and I liked them for a few weeks until they got all ratty and pilly and stretched out, and after a few months I realised I never wear them anymore. 

I thought about that, and i thought about their insta post, and then I thought about the very first time I went to buy a pair of leggings from them. I found exactly the ones I wanted, but it appeared they were out of stock. This is what happened: 

  • They had a live chat option, so I picked that to get an answer quickly
  • Someone came on live chat very quickly, and was friendly and grasped the issue quickly as well 
  • They offered to check stock in a local store 
  • They found it in stock, and gave me two options – go to the store and pick it up, or have someone ring me to take my order over the phone so they could deliver it to me 
  • I am not a big fan of phone calls, but I wanted the leggings sooner rather than later, so I said they could ring me
  • They rang me maybe ten minutes later, took all my details quickly and simply, and put the order in
  • The order arrived a few days later, along with a handwritten note from one of the team at their Glasgow shop to thank me for buying

(Do you notice how many times I used the word quickly? When a buyer is ready to buy, after all their research, make sure they can get what they want when they want it.)

So yea, i really like what they sell. 

But I also like their marketing.

And I also like their people. 

You have to have all of these combined. 

If you do great work, but your marketing is rubbish or your people aren’t helpful (or both), you’re not getting as much business as you could be.

If you have amazing marketing and really nice people, but your product isn’t write-an-email-to-everyone-you-know-worthy, clients won’t stay with you or buy more. 

You get the idea. 

What I’d love to hear from you today is:

Which one of the three do you think needs most work in your business, or in the place you work? 






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Well. So. Small update.

Was out hiking on mull and slipped on a rock crossing a burn, and broke my ankle. (I remember hearing an audible “crack” as I went down.)

No signal on phone. Managed to climb down a ravine to get to a more open place and hopefully signal. At that point still convinced it “wasn’t that bad”. Tried to walk along the path and realised yes, it was that bad.

Phoned coast guard, who were utter legends. Sent a boat AND a helicopter. Sun was setting and they didn’t want me sitting in the dark. Oh my word it was cold. Helicoptered out to fort William hospital (nicest people ever), then down to airdrie where I got a cast.

Ankle broken in one place. Doctors pleased (as much as you can be!) it’s a clean break & lining up well. I’ll be down for 4-6 weeks.

I’ve repeated myself a lot over the last few days so here’s the short version to all the questions, with appreciation for the care.

Yes, I’m okay. I’m also utterly exhausted & have hit the “damn, this is going to be a long road” phase. Taking it one day, one hour at a time. 

I’m being looked after. Very kind friends and things being delivered. My amazing sister @secondsunrise2 flying in tomorrow from america to be with me for a few weeks. SO grateful.

What do I need? I’m good on the basics. There have been unexpected costs and more coming so if you want to PayPal monies for deliveries or getting my car & belongings back or all the taxis or whatever, feel free. I’m hardly destitute so only do that if you want to send something useful and aren’t sure what. PayPal username karenlreyburn. Amazon wishlist in bio. Random care packages also happily received!

My car & belongings are up on mull. I have people to help and we are working on timing. But if you’re on mull and want to return a car near Glasgow, let me know :)

Shout out to the Coast Guard for being so swift, & that beautiful combination of sympathy and practicality.

Download the @what3words app. Literal lifesaver.

That’s all for now. All the love. Oh - and no, I don’t hold this against mull at all. It’s still my happy place. Things happen & the mull community has been beautiful. Shout out to @treshnish who couldn’t have been kinder. ❤️
Morning walk. I stood and watched the ferry come in and the sun lighten this little edge of the world.
Been going through old photos and letters - the last of the boxes i had stored at my sister’s house in america. 

When I first moved to Scotland, I only planned to live here for a few years and then go back. Then after a few years I wasn’t ready yet…then I got my residency…still not quite ready….then started a business…then Scottish citizenship…bought a house …finally accepted this is my home and I wasn’t moving back. 

And with every visit back to the states I would go through more boxes, more photos and letters and memories. I’d keep some and throw others away; take photos out of frames and give away the frames; and as time went on I was able to distinguish between the ones I definitely wanted and needed to keep, and those which were lovely at the time but didn’t need to be saved anymore.

Over twenty years on and this past trip I went through the very last of the boxes. I joked to my sister that I’ve now officially settled into Scotland 😆 

This photo of me and my Gramps is a fave and definitely a keeper. Most of the photos and letters I’ve kept are those of family - parents, grandparents, sisters, nieces and nephews. And as much as I love taking landscape photos, I noticed that 20 years later it’s the people photos I am more likely to keep. Thankful for the traditions and patterns of seeing family every year or so since moving to Scotland. They’re small things - baking Christmas cookies and going for walks and going for road trips - but it’s the time together and the continuing family jokes and the memories which remain. And a few photos.

My grandfather (and all my grandparents) have now passed on, but I remember with fondness sitting around at their kitchen table, eating fresh vegetables from the garden, playing scrabble, laughing and talking and drinking coffee.

It’s the small things, and the rhythms of family, which last. ❤️ 
#family #memories #grandparents #oldphotos
Made fresh mince pies for the first time ever. Over twenty years in Scotland and I’d never tried to make them from scratch, so I figured…now is the time! I’m doing lots of thanksgiving baking (yes, we stretch it out here so I’m still prepping!) and decided to buy the ingredients. 

Dried fruit…mixed peel…lots of spices…and Venezuelan rum :) I made up the mincemeat last night, and then today put it in the little pastries and even cut out the wee stars to go on top!

I think I can safely say they’re the best mince pies I’ve ever had. Fresh out of the oven sprinkled with icing sugar and with a glass of said rum alongside :) 

Now we are curled up with a Harry Potter marathon, with plenty of mince pies AND a thanksgiving feast still to come. Happiness! 

#mincepies #homebaking #maryberry #maryberryrecipe #happythanksgiving #happychristmas #harrypotter #hpmarathon