"My Tilletts Journey"

We all have our own stories and tales to tell of how Tilletts came to be a part of our lives and why it has had a lasting effect on us. Mine will of course differ from yours, as will that of the next person and so on. Ultimately the one thing we all have in common is the end destination of our journey, Tilletts. I have wanted to tell you all my story for some time now but as the business continues to blossom and reach out even further to more of you fabulous ladies, finding a minute to put pen to paper can be difficult. Thankfully, today I have found that minute!

I hope this will give you a better understanding of how I came to be the Sheryl you all know today and why Tilletts is much more than just a ladies clothing company and a place of work. So, if we are all sitting comfortably I will begin...

I was 16 when my Dad died suddenly of a Heart Attack. My Mum and he had been separated since I was 10 and she had later gone on to marry my Stepdad, Derek when I was 12. By this point I had spent the last 6 years seeing my Dad each & every weekend, and I doted on him. I admired him for his love of animals, his wicked sense of humour and impeccable music taste. Throughout my childhood I always had a very close relationship with my Dad and my Mum but being so alike my Father meant I developed an affinity with him that I have only ever been able to replicate with my husband, Ashley. When he was snatched away so quickly, a huge hole developed inside me that I would subsequently spend years trying to fix but never able to fill.

This traumatic event sparked the very beginning of my battle with depression & anxiety and sadly the start of my unhealthy relationship with food and my own body image. Within a year of my dad's untimely death I had put on a couple of stone and had become somewhat of a recluse. At 17 years old, I was miserable and made the conscious decision to get back to my former bubbly self. To achieve this all I would need to do is become slim again because after all, if I was slim then that would mean I would be happy again. Right?

So, I lost the weight, I looked great but you guessed it, I was still unhappy. Even though everyone was constantly telling me how amazing I looked and how well I had done, I still felt fat, uncomfortable and out of place. This was a pattern that would follow me around for the next 13 years. Now of course, I look back at photos of myself from this time and I would give anything to have that figure and energy again. I wish I could tell my younger self to believe people when they told me I looked beautiful and to enjoy the moments because they will fly by so fast.

I’m sorry to say I spent a good 10 to 15 years not savouring the moments and never fully letting myself be happy. It’s pretty hard to have fun when the voice in your head is constantly berating you and scaring you into hiding away - not to mention being emotionally and mentally exhausting. Eventually there comes a point that every outing becomes something to dread, fear and avoid. Towards the latter part of my 20's I pretty much stopped going out altogether and hanging out with friends in public places. I was so sore and bruised from the mental beatings I had given myself for the last decade that I didn't have the energy to fight anymore.

I was at my very lowest and my toughest battle each day was simply trying to get dressed. The thought alone was so overwhelming that it would often end in a panic attack with my husband trying to console and comfort me. This was not your average ‘I Have Nothing to Wear’ tantrum, this was a daily meltdown on what should be the easiest of tasks. Picking something to wear to the corner shop for a 2-minute visit would take close to an hour before I was comfortable enough to leave the house. All I wanted was to not be noticed, to pass strangers by without fear of them looking at me. Soon enough leaving the sanctuary of my home became an impossible thought.

I had been signed off work for several months with Vertigo of which I later found out was a symptom of my Fibromyalgia however, all this time at home only exacerbated my depression and anxiety and I was at my lowest ebb. Then, something wonderful happened….

My MRI’s had come back clear, and the Doctor had finally given me the go ahead to return to work. I did not want to return to my previous role and opted for a fresh start. Pretty quickly into my search I came across Tilletts who were advertising a Customer Service Vacancy – I had lots of experience in this area and I also had purchased a couple of items from them before in store a year or so earlier and so I was familiar with the Company. At this point I wasn’t aware they had now transitioned to Online and I was delighted when I saw the Advert as my previous work had also been in Ecommerce. I began looking through the site and ordered myself several items (in my husband’s name – I didn’t want them to think I was a suck up after all!).

Now, unfortunately the items arrived the day after my Interview but luckily, I still managed to impress Jess without wearing Tilletts attire as she called me the same day (Friday) to offer me a trial and start on Monday. I accepted and the following day I opened my parcel. As you know Ladies, a Tilletts parcel is always a delight without exception but this parcel was more than that, this parcel actually changed my life! I tried on the clothes and…they all fit…. they all looked great AND I wasn’t uncomfortable, which was huge for me. I couldn’t quite believe it, I had avoided shopping for so long that to receive an order where everything fit me and fit me well was mind blowing. For the first time in a long time, I went out with my husband that weekend in my new Tilletts clothes and I felt incredible. I was out in the open, I had picked my clothes without any drama and left the house. I had forgotten what that felt like, it was extraordinary!

Fast forward 1 x Year and my position had changed from Head of Customer Experience which I had proudly handed over to the gorgeous Donna and I was now Head of Content. My wardrobe was overflowing with Tilletts clothing and not much of anything else AND I had posted several photos of myself in VIP while appearing in a couple of Live’s. My panic attacks had long stopped at the thought of leaving the house or simply getting dressed and was now reserved for unsettling situations only. Suffering with Anxiety is a lifelong deal and I’m grateful that for the most part I have control of it now since working at Tilletts, but it will always be there and there will always be occasions where I struggle and I’m ok with that.

2018 was full of challenges for me personally and I’m proud to say I made it out the other side. My intention last year was to lose excess weight in order to improve the pains and symptoms of my Fibromyalgia, but as the late, great John Lennon said ‘Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans’. After such a difficult and emotional year, it’s easy to lose your way but amongst all the chaos, I had a constant in my life keeping me on track, keeping me sane and that was Tilletts.

Unfortunately, diets do tend to go out of the window during times of turmoil and now we are in February 2019 and I’m pretty much where I was physically this time last year. Does that matter? Well no not really, it’s never too late to make a change right! I will cut back, eat better and exercise more but no matter my shape or circumstance, one thing will remain the same.

My size will forever and always be……One Size - Tilletts Size.

Thank you for reading.
Sheryl & Team Tillett xx

Author: Sheryl Gibson-Hill

If any of you lovely ladies would like to share the story of your ‘Tilletts Journey’, please feel free to contact me.
  • Pauline Edwards says...

    Hi I have a cloths shop in Ormskirk Lancashire
    Do you whole sale

    On June 02, 2019
  • collleen mc ginn says...

    I am so glad i found your page your clothes look fantastic

    On May 07, 2019
  • Linda Brighton says...

    Thank you Sheryl for sharing your very emotional and inspirational story. You are a credit to yourself and your Dad would be very proud of you indeed! Linda Brighton xx

    On March 10, 2019
  • Sara Butters says...

    Sheryl what a lovely story and how brave of you to get over your demons and share it that is a massive thing to do,you are an inspiration and its people like you that make it that little bit easier for us ladies to follow suit,well done xxx

    On February 17, 2019
  • Christine O’ sullivan says...

    Sheryl you should be so proud of yourself for the post you have found the strength to write.You truly are an inspiring lady.Welldone.Onward and upward x

    On February 14, 2019
  • Karen Hardy says...

    What a lovely story, sad but still lovely , I have a similar story as lost my mum early in life and life has been a rollercoaster too, you are very strong and when I hear your laugh it makes me smile x

    On February 14, 2019
  • Caroline Husband says...

    What a wonderfully inspiring lady you are! I myself can relate to a lot of what you wrote as I suffered depression and anxiety after losing both of my parents suddenly. You are a beautiful lady inside and out and you are proof that you don’t need to be a size 8 to look fabulous. You rock girl!! Xxxx

    On February 13, 2019
  • Jayne Weaver says...

    What a wonderful inspirational message to put out there .Life happens to us all and to have the strength to tell your story is an achievement in itself .I’m not the biggest fan of Facebook but if I wasn’t a member I wouldn’t have been introduced to Tilletts and met the fantastic people that also shop with them .Sometimes to read blogs and comments such as this makes you realise that we are not on our own .A very big Thank You.!!!

    On February 13, 2019
  • Jackie Butcher says...

    Hi sheryl have just read your blog and you are a very brave and beautiful lady and I’m so glad things are easier for you and that you have found Tilletts and they have found you ❤there are alot of us ladies who would be lost without you all🙂

    On February 13, 2019
  • Belinda Pickles says...

    Thanks for sharing. We all go through tough times and often it gets the better of us. 4 years ago I lost 5 stone and was a size 12/14. I felt fabulous and the amazing comments only added to my happiness. I kept the weight off for around 2 years then the menopause hit. Now this isn’t the reason I gained the weight, that was simply down to reverting to bad habits. What the menopause did though was make me tired, cranky, suffer with aches and pains, hot flushes and the dreaded night sweats.. I still cooked from scratch but all those snacks added up. The worse I felt in myself the less I could be bothered to eat properly. So the meal deals crept in and so the weight crept up. I found Tillets last April/May and since then I’ve become hooked. The free size and style of clothing gave me my confidence back. I’m not back where I want to be but haven’t found my way of dealing with my symptoms yet. Thanks to Tillets I’m getting my mojo back. Xx

    On February 13, 2019
  • Jane Cleggett says...

    Oh Sheryl just read your letter as I’m having a late coffee so brave if you to share your life story I’m sure many of us will get comfort from it as many suffer with panic attack’s and anxiety Love Tilletts . Love jane xx

    On February 13, 2019
  • Karen says...

    A fantastic blog , bless you , glad you found Tilletts , well done , I sure many of us are do glad we found Tilletts , I know I am ❤️

    On February 13, 2019
  • Gillian Noakes says...

    I’m not going to say much, just what a totally honest and lovely woman! I’m sure so many of us can identify with Sheryl in one way or another and think that we are totally ‘alone’. Not so, by knowing others suffer in silence too, this can, with determination, all be turned around into a positive situation. Love and many, many thanks Sheryl – life is much too short to waste it! Women are funny creatures sometimes!!

    On February 13, 2019
  • Lorraine Latham says...

    You are a inspiration sheryl ❤️ I myself suffer with fibromyalgia and I’m fighting it the same as you! a positive mind and continuous support from tilletts vip and tilletts clothing is a god send. Your story brought a tear to my eye. Keep positive and carry on girl your a star xxx❤️❤️

    On February 13, 2019
  • Emma Hill says...

    Hi Sheryl,

    What an honest & passionate blog. You’ve been through so much & thankfully seem to have made peace with yourself.
    You always look lovely but what really counts is what’s inside, your passion & obvious love & dedication to Tilletts is beautiful. They are lucky to have you.
    As are we, the all shapes, ages & sizes Tilletters. We all have our demons but finding clothes that actually flatter all sizes certainly helps us all to get out the front door.

    Well done Sheryl you are awesome 💕

    On February 13, 2019
  • Alison Wainwright says...

    Im crying. What an emotional story from a beautiful woman inside and out. THANK YOU for sharing it with us. Im sure most can empathise regarding body image ❤ xxxx

    On February 13, 2019
  • Lisa Mussell says...

    Your story is so inspiring and sadly so common . So many people battle with their weight and depression . Your clothing is lovely. And your live shows cheer everyone up. Not only showing everyone your new styles but by showing us that we’re not all perfect size tens. But can still look lovely x

    On February 13, 2019
  • Christine Kitchen says...


    This made me cry, but happy tears. How brave to open up and post this, must have taken a lot to do this. I don’t have any of your medical problems or didn’t lose my dad early but the rest I can really relate to. Thanks for sharing, I for one, will always keep this in my mind ♥♥

    On February 13, 2019
  • Shirley says...

    Sheryl so honest and open about how you felt. A lot of us who have lost a parent (s) totally understand how you feel.
    If we worry about the weight it gets worse because your constantly thinking about it and only makes you want to eat more because you feel you are losing all the time.

    When my mum was in hospice in the final weeks she said never worry too much about your weight because I would give anything to be the weight I complained about.

    Just enjoy life and try your best it’s all we can do x

    On February 13, 2019
  • Caroline Driscoll says...

    Well done Sheryl, it takes guts to be so open. Illness & disabilities forced me to give up a job I loved , 10 years later, plus 3 Grandkids, my outlook on life has changed.

    On February 13, 2019
  • Maria Pratt says...

    Hi I am so glad you found tilletts the company is much more than clothes your story is an importation to others I think we can all relate to some things in your story your a very lovely lady I can read that between the lines never stop trying and always embrace who you are I try and count my blessings everyday Evan when things are difficult. Lots of love Maria xxx

    On February 13, 2019
  • Annette Fox says...

    Hi Sheryl

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog and can relate to how you have felt as I have been through so many life events that have detrimentally affected me but having 5 children I have had to deal with each sad event in the best way possible to ensure my children didn’t suffer .
    I could write a book but I look positively back at each event good or bad and learn from the experience and as a nurse I have used this to help others especially as a drug and alcohol nurse .

    It’s good to share experiences and to hear how others deal and learn from and it’s great to see you have come out the other end .

    On February 13, 2019

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

← Previous Post Next Post