I’m not a designer kind of girl. Frankly, I don’t know my Mulbery from my Matalan, so this is quite an unusual post for me. I dress in supermarket chic, most of the time, and I tend to wear clothes until they fall off me. So it’s no surprise that my review of Sporting Hares starts with a hole. In my wellies.
Since we acquired a Hound, I’ve been gradually initiated into the pleasures, and sometimes pains, of walking a very large dog. Necessity meant the purchase of wellies for this task, as the school run, which I try to walk with the kids on my days off, is across a field, and the Hound’s usual walk territory encompasses four large fields out the back of our house. I’d had the same old pair of wellies since before I had the kids, and for ten quid off Ebay, they’d done me proud; eventually, though, they needed chucking out. After buying a couple of cheap pairs from the classy corridors of Sports Direct, and feeling the water seeping through my socks again after a couple of months, I decided enough was enough.
Now, I might not be a ‘brand’ girl, but even I knew about Hunters. And, in my weaker moments, I’d hankered after a red pair. However, at ninety quid a shot I wasn’t minded to splash out. I’m a size 8, you see, and they seem to be priced accordingly. So what could I do? Well, after googling for a bit, I came across a brand called Sporting Hares. Actually, what happened was, I looked for Hunters on Amazon and in a marketing master stroke, SH came up alongside them. Half the price, made in Wales and with excellent reviews, they had me at hello. Three clicks of my mousepad’s non-existent tail and I was on their beautifully constructed website and soon to be the owner of a glorious, cherry red pair of Sporting Hares wellies.
So who exactly are Sporting Hares, then? In their own words…
In 2011, a young university graduate spotted a gap in the market. The British countryside bumpkins had no sunglasses brand that represented their lifestyles. Designs for a range of preppy sunglasses were submitted, produced and, to the astonishment of the Sporting Team, sold out.
And so, Sporting Hares was born.
“With merciless uniqueness, stunning designs and a level of customer service and personalisation, we are a young, exciting brand shaking up the British country fashion scene. Always.”
Four years later and the award-winning brand continues to thrive amongst the stables and barns it grew up in. Run from a busy, family farm deep within the rural Welsh countryside, Sporting Hares has grown into a multi-product, internationally selling, demanding brand. With a line of handcrafted wooden sunglasses, acclaimed wellingtons, luxurious socks and a press-stopping blazer, we just can’t thank our fans and preps enough.
For someone like me, who isn’t fond of spending masses of money on, well, anything, Sporting Hares as a brand really hit the nail on the head. Their Ascot Wellies (of which I now own two pairs!), are very competitively priced at £40 a pair (in fact, there are often 15% discount codes floating around, which reduce the price even more). And opening the box on them was akin to the semi-religious experience of opening the box on my Macbook. You see, these lovely people get it. Packed in a glorious blue box, wrapped in tissue paper sealed with a branded sticker, when they arrive you feel like you’ve bought something really luxurious, without the guilt of having spent an obscene amount of money. I know all figures are relative, and £40 might still be OTT for some, and that’s fine; just as I wouldn’t spend nearly a hundred quid on a pair of Hunters, others would see that as perfectly reasonable, but for someone like me, this was the right benchmark. And that feeling of having treated yourself to something really special is very seductive!
The other thing about Sporting Hares is they only sell five products. Three of which I now own. They started with sunglasses, then the wellies (2 sorts), socks and blazers followed. I did splash out recently on a pair of their sunglasses, but price wise they seem to be on a par with Boots and other main market brands. The hook is the high end feel, though; they’re beautifully made, and beautifully packaged once again, and you feel as though you’re buying something lovely. The socks are the same; tissue papered and boxed; once you slip them on your feet feel very pampered indeed! I liked them so much, I jumped at the chance to own another two pairs when I bought my second pair of wellies. Now I just need the pink and blue pair to complete the set…
Finally, what has really sold me on this brand is their engagement with their customers. When you order something from them, they deliver for free, and your receipt is printed out and signed, with a handwritten personal message, from one of the team. They recently asked for customer product reviews on their website and offered a free pair of socks as an incentive to write one. When I emailed them to let them know I’d reviewed, and how much I liked their products, Marc replied within minutes to thank me. It underlines the fact that you’re buying from a company that values customer interaction and customer experience, and certainly brought a smile to my face! Social media wise, they’re on the ball, too, with a twitter account and a Facebook page. They will reply and retweet, and interact with their customers. And, like their website, their social media presence is elegant, beautiful and smacks of quality and attention to detail.
All in all, Sporting Hares deserves every success, and I hope they continue to go from strength to strength. I’ve already got one of their blazers on my shopping list for when Far From the Tree finds a publisher, and then I really will be a ‘preppy’ girl, from top to toe. I might not be their typical customer, but I’m certainly impressed enough by them to continue to be one. And I’ll probably end up buying quite a few more pairs of their wonderful socks!
And if you’ve been as sold on them by reading this as I was when I found them, don’t forget to check them out at www.sportinghares.com :).