Inspirational Woman: Charlotte Ayoub | Director, TLC Sport

Charlotte Ayoub is the Director of TLC Sport. Immersed in the world of activewear from a young age through her mother’s pioneering work, Charlotte officially joined TLC Sport in 2012. Together with her mother, she has championed body confidence and empowerment for women worldwide.

A Warwick University law graduate and an alumna of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme 2018, Charlotte’s entrepreneurial journey began after a brief stint in London. Recognising her passion for business, she dedicated herself to scaling TLC Sport, aiming to make it the leading inclusive athleisure brand for women.

Under her leadership, TLC Sport has expanded its product lines to cater to diverse body types, reinforcing its reputation for inclusivity and body positivity. She secured retail partnerships with prominent stores such as Very, Debenhams, and Decathlon and spearheaded a successful collaboration with renowned designer Julian MacDonald. Charlotte’s vision and advocacy for women in business continue to inspire, making her a significant figure in both the activewear industry and women’s empowerment initiatives.

Charlotte, can you tell us more about your background and how your experiences growing up in the world of activewear influenced your journey to becoming the Director of TLC Sport?

Growing up surrounded by the world of activewear, I was naturally immersed in the industry from a young age. My mother, Sara Hanna, founded TLC Sport, and I witnessed firsthand the passion and dedication she put into the business. This upbringing instilled in me a deep appreciation for quality, innovation, and the importance of empowering women through clothing. When I graduated from Warwick University with a law degree, I realised quickly that my true calling was to work for myself and support my mother in growing the business. Over the past 12 years, I’ve never looked back, dedicating myself to building a brand that stands for body positivity and empowering women.

Can you share a particularly memorable moment or success story from your journey with TLC Sport that highlights the impact of your work on body confidence and empowerment for women?

There have been so many highlights, from hearing stories of women feeling empowered in our clothes to our collaborations with renowned designers and securing distribution in major retailers. One memorable moment was receiving the opportunity to join the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program. This experience not only benefitted my personal growth but also significantly impacted the growth of TLC Sport.

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced when scaling TLC Sport, and how did you overcome them to achieve your current success?

Scaling TLC Sport has come with its fair share of challenges. One of the biggest hurdles was maintaining our commitment to quality and inclusivity while expanding our product lines and entering new markets. We overcame these challenges by staying true to our core values and mission. Investing in sustainable manufacturing practices and fostering strong relationships with our suppliers and employees has been crucial.

Your educational background is in law. How did your education at Warwick University and your experience with the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program shape your entrepreneurial journey?

My education at Warwick University equipped me with critical thinking and problem-solving skills that have been essential in my entrepreneurial journey. The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program further honed my business acumen, providing practical tools and networking opportunities that have been instrumental in scaling TLC Sport. These experiences have shaped my approach to business, emphasising strategic planning, resilience, and the importance of building a strong, value-driven brand.

Inclusivity and body positivity are core values at TLC Sport. How do you ensure that your products cater to diverse body types, and what steps do you take to promote these values within your company and to your customers?

Our products, especially our leggings, are designed with a unique formula to enhance all body shapes. Whether postpartum, starting an exercise journey, or anywhere in between, our leggings are crafted to make women look and feel great. We integrate these values throughout our company, from our photography and social media to our product development and partnerships. Body positivity and empowerment are at the heart of everything we do, ensuring that our customers feel confident and supported.

TLC Sport’s revolutionary leggings offer discreet support and sculpting for postpartum mothers and beyond. Can you elaborate on the design and impact of these leggings?

Our leggings are meticulously crafted to provide unparalleled comfort and style, ensuring women feel beautiful and confident. Recognising the unique challenges faced by new mothers, our Compression Range includes post-natal and maternity leggings designed to offer exceptional comfort and support during this transformative phase of life. These leggings are not just about aesthetics; they offer versatility and practicality, suitable for both everyday wear and intense workouts.

Can you talk about your successful collaboration with designer Julien Macdonald and how it has influenced TLC Sport’s brand and mission?

Our collaboration with Julien Macdonald has been a remarkable fusion of high fashion and high performance. The TLC Sport X Julien Macdonald collection features 18 exquisite pieces available in sizes XS-4XL and three stunning colourways. This collaboration has redefined the boundaries of activewear, empowering women to look and feel their best. Working with such a visionary designer has elevated our brand, showcasing our commitment to style, comfort, and performance without compromise.

How have retail partnerships with stores like Very, Debenhams, and Decathlon contributed to the growth and visibility of TLC Sport, and what advice would you give to entrepreneurs seeking similar collaborations?

While most of our sales come from our website and developing our community, partnerships with major retailers like Very, Debenhams, and Decathlon have been incredibly powerful in raising brand awareness. These collaborations have brought new visibility to TLC Sport, and we are grateful for the opportunity to share our products and mission with a wider audience. For entrepreneurs seeking similar partnerships, my advice is to stay true to your brand values and build strong, mutually beneficial relationships with retailers.

Social media plays a significant role in promoting body confidence and inclusivity. How has TLC Sport leveraged social media to connect with and empower women globally?

Social media has been a crucial tool for us to connect with our community, share our values, and promote body confidence and inclusivity. We have an engaged community that we interact with regularly, through platforms like Instagram and our active Facebook group. Social media allows us to listen to our customers, share their stories, and bring our community together, reinforcing our mission to empower women globally.

As a business leader and advocate for women in business, what advice do you have for aspiring female entrepreneurs who are looking to make an impact in their respective industries?

Building a business takes time, but taking daily steps and staying committed to your vision is essential. Follow your gut and instincts, as they will guide you through the journey. Surround yourself with the right people who share your values and can help you build your business. Most importantly, enjoy the process and stay true to your mission.

Looking ahead, what are your future plans for TLC Sport, and how do you envision its role in promoting body confidence and empowerment for women evolving over the next few years?

We have exciting plans for the future of TLC Sport, including expanding our product lines and entering new markets. We are open to new retail partnerships and collaborations with relevant partners. Our commitment to promoting body confidence and empowerment remains at the forefront of our mission, and we will continue to innovate and develop products that make women feel confident and comfortable every day. The future is incredibly exciting for TLC Sport and we can’t wait to bring more products, and positivity to women in the UK and beyond.

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