In 2020, Razzamataz will celebrate turning 20. From humble beginnings, the franchise theatre school has built a network of inspiring franchisees. As part of their celebration, we speak to one of them about their own journeys and what joining the Dragons’ Den backed franchise has done for them.
Jessica has two children, Paige, 13 and Dawson who is five. Razzamataz Brentwood opened in September 2017 and Hornchurch September 2019.
I was at an age and stage in my life where I really wanted to do something in my career that I was really passionate about and for it to be something that I could commit to for the rest of my life. It was always my dream to open my own theatre school but although I had a lot of performing experience, it was hard to know where to start when I thought about opening my own school. I started to research different franchise options and when I found Razzamataz, it felt like it was the perfect fit. The support was just so much better than anything else that I came across and I could really see the passion that the company had, which mirrored my own feelings. The one thing that really stood out was the importance of creating a family atmosphere, which was something that was really important to me too.
Watching the business steadily grow month by month has been exciting and has enabled me to introduce more opportunities for the students. When I sit back and watch a video of one of the shows it really hits me just what I’ve been able to achieve. Watching the children steadily grow in confidence and the feedback from parents really makes me appreciate what a wonderful business this is.
I’m my biggest critic because I want to run before I can walk sometimes! Slow and steady is much better though and gives a really secure business foundation.
Do your research into the franchise thoroughly and make sure that you fit into the franchise’s ethos. Razzamataz is a welcoming, happy and supportive community which is reflected in all the marketing with its bright and happy images. This is exactly what I want for my school so the fit is perfect.
I’m excited about the 20 year celebration and everything that comes with it. Being part of this network has allowed me to offer wonderful opportunities to our students and their families including performing at Disneyland Paris and being part of the premier of the film The Kid That Would Be King. The children really feel that they are part of the extended Razz Family and that’s down to being part of a large and supportive network.
There are amazing events to look forward to in the future including Razz at Sea, a chance for the older students to see what life as a professional performer on a cruise ship is like. After the success of launching Razz Project Intense, we are looking to launch more Razz products such as Razz Acro Arts.
I have a wonderful business that fits around my life as a busy mum to two kids. I work better in the evenings so that’s when I do the majority of my work. All the events that I attend on behalf of Razzamataz have also been fantastic for my children, so this really is a great family business.
We have children who have got professional work, Darcy is in the new Harry Potter advert. But it is often the messages that I get from parents who say how their child’s confidence has grown, which are the most rewarding.
Razzamataz are particularly keen to recruit in Scotland; specifically, Dundee and Aberdeen and Wales; specifically, in Cardiff and Swansea and have resale opportunities in Wimbledon and Hackney.
For those looking for a part-time enterprise, the Early Years Franchise has been created to cater to the demand for people wanting to work in the children’s performing arts industry but who do not have the relevant experience to launch a full Razzamataz Theatre School.
For Debbi Ledwith quitting a secure job to start her own franchise business was a chance that she knew she needed to take for a better balance between her home life and work.
Zoe McKibbin is the Principal of Razzamataz Edinburgh and Razzamataz Glasgow South.
Meet Tara McGoune, franchisee owner of Razzamataz Early Years Tryone & Fermanagh.