P&P only £1.95, Free Shipping for Orders over £20

Divine Legs on the BBC!

October 03, 2016

Divine Legs on the BBC!

Divine Legs founder, Christine Nicholson, was invited onto the Business Slot on BBC Local Radio in Lancashire on Friday 30th September - only 8 weeks after opening for business.

As a London based business it might seem a bit odd that a BBC local radio station over 200 miles away would be interested - but a local connection was unearth through social media.  Christine originates from Cumbria (it was Lancashire when she was born there) and did a photo shoot for her website at Bartle Hall, a beautiful Lancashire Country House Hotel.  The photographs were posted on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and caught the attention of John Gillmore, who hosts the afternoon show and is an award winning champion of Local Tourism.  

"Never having been interviewed on the radio before, I was quite nervous" say Christine, "But John is the consummate professional and immediately put me at my ease."

"Just after the 3pm news John introduced me as "a lady who had a bad tights day so she changed her career" - which about sums it up, though in reality it did not happen quite as simply or quickly as that.  As Candi Staton was singing about "Young Hearts" John was making sure I was capable of putting a couple of words together in a coherent sentence - silence being the enemy of the radio!"  

That's John on the left!

John Gillmore - BBC Radio Lancashire

So here's the interview.

John:  My next guest has, by her own admission had rather a strange career route. Christine Nicholson started out working in a bank, then had a spell in the Women's Royal Naval Service.  A variety of jobs followed and then one day she suffered a tights malfunction and that was to change her life.  Christine recently launched a website aimed at making life simpler for women everywhere, and possibly men as well - which we will talk about later.  

Divine Legs takes the trouble out of tights and offers a regular delivery of hosiery, making sure you've always got a pair to hand.  Christine's in the studio with me.

Firstly, Christine, how to you go from working in a bank to taking care of ladies legs?

Christine: Well there is no career planning at all.  And actually working for the bank was a bit of an accident.  So 1983, really high unemployment I literally borrowed a typewriter and hand typed 100 CV's and hand delivered them.  And I think at that point I wasn't quite aware but it was that determination that has got me into every other job I have ever done.  So I went from the Bank to the Royal Navy - actually the Royal Navy sounded like really interesting compared to working for a bank, and it was.  It was the best 5 years of my life.

John:  Did you see the world?

Christine:  Seeing the world is probably a bit of an exaggeration but I did go to the Falklands and saw a lot of penguins and a lot of snow.  I was in Cornwall, Portsmouth.  Ok so thats not glamour and exciting.  But when I left there I went to be a purser on a cruise liner so I saw a lot more of the world there, and travelled a bit.  Following that I realised that having left school with no qualifications I probably needed to do something with my brain to show that I had the capability.  It was all very well saying "I can do that", but showing the capability.  So I put myself through night school, qualified as an accountant and then went to work for a company in the Channel Islands which was by far the best business education I could have possibly had.

John:  Why do you say that?

Christine:  I was very lucky, the job description has two line which was 'Do stuff that keeps us legal' such as statutory accounts and VAT returns.  And then the second line was 'Find ways of providing more value' - and it was really was just find some way of saving us money, making us more efficient, developing or using new technology.  I pretty much had free reign and had an amazing boss who just didn't ever take "I can't do that" as an answer.  It was "find a way".

John:  Quite an interesting CV that, but one that we haven't talked about, thats on there, is you have run a zoo!

Christine:    Yes this was extraordinary, so sadly I'm very divorced now but I was married at the time and when I was married to a sailor.  He left the Navy and retrained. His second job out of University was out in the Middle East.  So I had to make the really difficult decision of either staying in the UK and following my career or just calling it a day and going to the Middle East as a housewife.  Most people who know me would think that was too horrifying, and I didn't survive very long before I really started to look around for opportunities. My radar ears overhead a conversation in a restaurant, where people were talking about how they needed someone with a particular skill level and where they were going to find someone in the middle of the desert, which is where I was living at the time.  So I just walked over there and said 'Sorry I was earwigging and I can do that job'.  So that was the Thursday, I started work on the Sunday and the following Tuesday the guy who was actually running the zoo got fired.  The next day I walked in and there was a queue outside my office and when I asked what they were there for. I was told I was in charge of the zoo now.

John:  Did you have to feed the animals?

Christine:  No no I didn't have to do that myself but I did have to get on the phone and talk to suppliers about getting food there because with the previous Zoo Director being fired the suppliers weren't sure that they were going to get paid.  There was a lot of human psychology that needed to be dealt with and lets just say that dealing with the animals was a lot easier than dealing with the people.

John:  Was it a big zoo, a lot of exotic animals?

Christine:  Yes it was fabulous, a fabulous zoo with an amazing conservation programme.  They did a lot of breeding gazelles basically in the zoo that were reintroduced into the wild.  And I was very lucky that a few years after I left that job I went to Jordan to visit Petra and part of the trip that I took was to see some of the gazelles that had been reintroduced into the wild while I was actually running the zoo in the Middle East.

John:  Always good to spotlight new businesses on the afternoon programme and we are talking to one now, it's about 8 weeks old, Christine Nicholson is with me.

Christine: 8 weeks today!

John : We talked about you running a zoo, but Russia was also on the CV as well, how long did you spend there?

Christine:  Yes that was just a year, and yes fabulous.  Russian people are incredibly hospitable.  You have to divorce the population as a whole from the politics of the situation.  I was there in the mid 90's when the iron curtain had come down and it was really starting to open up, capitalism was really opening up.  It was still a bit wild west-y.  You could go into one of the 5 star hotels and pay $25 for a cup of coffee and a cream cake.  But to actually get into the hotel you had to go though a metal detector and outside of the hotel there would be a gun repository.  

John:  Did it frighten you, that at all?

Christine:  I think because I have a military background, it was one of those things the you just accept it.

John:  And you were working as a consultant when you had what you call a bad tights day.  And now if only for the benefit of the fellas amongst us, what's a bad tights day? 

Christine:  Well its something that I don't think men do, but women kind of tolerate, is wearing articles of clothing that are really uncomfortable, that just don't fit well, that will make you fidget.  So a pair of tights often, and it doesn't matter whether you are long legged or short legged, they won't quite stay up or they will dig into your tummy.  Or they will roll down, or you just look at them, one contact with a hard surface and you've got a ladder in them - and its tough being a woman! Especially since tights were actually invented by a man when his wife was complaining about how stockings were uncomfortable.  So he just made something equally uncomfortable to combat that.

John: Your experience then inspired you to set up Divine Legs offering hosiery on a subscription basis. Explain how that works?

Christine:  So through all my bad tights experiences I have spent a fortune on tights - and I've spent a small amount of money on tights and a big amount of money for a pair of tights, but I've never actually found a pair of tights that were particularly comfortable.  And then when you are actually looking, there's a very crowded hosiery market.  You can spend hours looking at thousands literally of pairs of tights but it doesn't actually tell you whether they are comfortable or whether they are a good fit for you and you then have to spend a fortune trying to find them.  So what I did I went on this journey to find only tights that were comfortable and fit really well.  And so far I have found three really good types of tights that fit and are comfortable.

John: Did that journey take you abroad?

subscription hosiery - black tights

Christine:  No it didn't but it did put me in contact with a lot of people overseas.  And what I've discovered is that where hosiery manufacturing in the UK used to be really vibrant and lively, its diminished to almost nothing and there is literally one man left standing in the hosiery manufacturing market.

John:  Lancashire and Cumbria were full of manufacturers.

Christine:  Yes well as a kid, living in Barrow, I remember the Elboa factory up in Millom because some of the ladies in Barrow use to work in the Elboa factory and they used to get a bus, there was the Elboa bus that used to go up there.  But that closed down in the 80's before I even started work I think.

John:  Now as I said, its all on-line.  Did you say 40% of your customers are male?  So men in tights?

Men in tights

Christine:  Yes, so this was a real surprise.  Now I knew men wore tights but I was really surprised at how many very quickly not only found me but then started asking me questions.  Not just about my product, but if I sent them the product how they would receive it and whether my service was particularly discreet.  And its fine, you know its plain brown packaging

John: So word has got round?

Christine:  Yes well, I was very lucky in that one of the first people who found me is a guy called Bill who runs a blog called Hosiery for Men and he contacted me on twitter and said "Hey how are you doing?" I entered into quite an oblivious conversation with him, not focusing really on "Come and buy tights from me" it was just an interesting conversation.  He then transposed that into an interview on his blog and the day my website opened one of his blog readers, within 10 minutes, was emailing me saying "OK I'm really interested in a pair of tights, tell me something about them".  And again because I didn't see him as a customer per se, and I wasn't really 'selling' I entered into this really focused conversation, where I can get passionate about tights and then he said "Great, where do I order?" And it's been a bit of a waterfall since then.

John: I bet you are great fun at a dinner party aren't you?

Christine: It's funny how the number of people who talk to me about the men side of the tights situation, its quite extra ordinary.  I walked into a room fairly recently and it made me the happiest I've been because it was always been "Come and help me with my business" or "Oh you're an accountant can you help me with my tax return?" And I walked into this room and someone said "Oh my goodness me, YOU'RE the tights lady!" And I just thought "Yes, I've arrived!"

John:  Also as well at just 8 weeks old today, that's a new thing -  you've got a big event coming up haven't you?

Stylist LIVE 2016 - only hosiery retailer!

Christine:  Yes so the Evening Standard which is a freely distributed newspaper in a number of different cities has a style magazine which comes out, I think, on a Thursday called the Stylist and they are doing a 4 day Live magazine show with catwalk shows, pampering booths and seminars on various life hacks, writing a book and setting up a business, those kind of things.  And they have 100 shops there and I am the only hosiery service actually in the show - I'm the newest business they have got there.  To say I am quacking in my boots is an understatement.

John: Well Christine, thanks for joining us this afternoon.

Christine: Thanks John.

 

If you are looking for great tights that are ultra comfortable, super stylish and fit really well, then check out our collection -CLICK HERE.  If you need any help, call us, or email us or use our live chat.  

We offer a great subscription service that no commitment (pause, change or stop at any time), and zero risk as we give a 100% money back guarantee on all our products.

At Divine Legs we love hearing from you - and any suggestions you have which will improve the service we offer is gratefully received.  Whilst we can't always respond to every idea, we do read every email with interest and try to give a personal response to everyone.

 





Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Size Guide

20d and 50d Tights and Stay-ups

Beauty Tights

70d Tights

Dress Size

Dress Size

Dress Size

Small

8-10

8-10

10-12

Medium

12-14

12-14

14-16

Large

16-18

16-18

18-20

Large +

20-22

20-22

22-24

Leg Length

For over 5’9” choose a size up

L1 up to 5’6” and L2 for 5’7” and over

For over 5’9” choose the size up

Seamless Tights

Heights

Weight

Average dress size

Up to height 5'4"

55kg / 8st 10lb

8-10

Up to height 5'4"

68kg / 10st 10lb

12-14

5'5" - 5'9"

61kg / 9st 8lb

10-12

5'5" - 5'9"

74kg / 11st 9lb

14-16

5'10" - 6'0"

63kg / 10st

10-12

Seamless tights are very stretchy and soft and will suit the leg length typical of the sizes above