Huge congratulations to Eve Aston, franchisee of Razzamataz Tonbridge, who is celebrating her fifth anniversary. Eve joined the Razzamataz network after a successful career as a seamstress and role within the gaming industry. With two grown up daughters, Eve has reinvented her working life to become a successful business owner. This is her story.
In the beginning
I was a busy mum with daughters at stage schools, which meant taking them to lots of auditions, classes and shows. I helped on the front desk of a local theatre school and that is where I thought this may be something that I could do. My daughter Natasha is a dancer and performer and worked for Razzamataz overseas in 2016 and said what a lovely, friendly community it was. After doing some research, I looked into the company and found out that a school in Tonbridge was up for sale because the former Principal wanted to retire. Once I had done my research, I jumped at the opportunity.
Describe the community at Razzamataz Tonbridge
We are such a strong community, and everyone knows who we are. We often perform in local events from Christmas fairs through to Fairtrade Fortnight, if there is something going on, you will more than likely find us there. We have supported so many events and even if we can’t be there in person, we make sure to support them on social media throughout the day and provide sponsorship. Having fun is a big part of what we do at Razzamataz and go above and beyond to ensure there is always something amazing to look forward to. If our families want to do something out of the ordinary, we will do all we can to make it happen, including a sleep over at a trampoline park.
After every summer, parents come up to us and say they can’t believe their child got up to sing, dance or do an act when they were on holiday because previously they have been so shy. Without a doubt, we have seen students achieve so much because we have helped them with their confidence. We’ve also had children that have gone on to work professionally and we currently have twin girls who have just signed up to a professional agency. Many of our Senior students volunteer at Razzamataz to achieve their Duke of Edinburgh Award and they learn many skills that will help them at university or when entering the workplace.
As well as seeing the students do well, I’m so proud of the opportunities that Razzamataz has given my staff. I’m extremely fortunate that I still have the same members of staff as when I took over. They have all been brilliant, especially over lockdowns when they went above and beyond for our families. In fact, one of our parents nominated my daughter Natasha who is the Razzamataz dance teacher, and she has now received a British Citizens Award from the Government for her dedication.
Stand out experiences
There have really been so many amazing experiences but if I were to pick out a few, it would be having our recent end of year show at Hever Castle, the magnificent family home of Anne Boleyn. The children got to experience being on stage at this magical place and it was an exceptional experience for our families. Last year, we also opened a show for musical theatre star Kerry Ellis and one of our students even got to sing a duet with her, which made my year. We’ve danced with Darcey Bussell and most recently were invited to lead the very first Tonbridge Pride Parade.
I’ve learnt so much about business over the years but I’ve also learnt a lot about myself. One of the main things is that I just love working with children and can’t wait to get back to see them after the summer holidays.
Building a lifestyle through franchising
Razzamataz has given me the freedom to plan my week the way I want to. If I want to sit down and sew, then I can dedicate some time to that. It’s really allowed me to live a completely different way of life and given me the opportunity to do the things that I really love.
Support through Razzamataz
I knew absolutely nothing about running a business before I joined Razzamataz. They have literally taught me everything from how to create spreadsheets to posting Facebook adverts. I wasn’t even on social media before Razzamataz so it was a huge learning curve, but I’ve loved every moment of it and found the whole process so interesting. I’ve had a career, raised a family and then started a business with Razzamataz, who supported me through the entire process.
Advice for others
Go for it and even if you’ve not had any experience before, don’t worry because Razzamataz will train and mentor you through the whole process. You will also learn on the job and be supported by lots of other friendly franchisees.
I took over the school when it was already established and next year the school will be ten so I’m planning lots of fun events. I have a year to get everything together, so it is going to be wonderful for the children and their families and I hope to make some amazing memories for everyone.
Join our team
We are looking for dynamic partners to own a Razzamataz Theatre School. If you are looking to make a difference in your local community to the lives of young people and you have a passion for performing arts, we would love to hear from you.
Occasionally franchise territories come up for re-sale due to a change in the franchisees’ personal circumstances or simply because they have decided to sell their asset and reap the rewards of their hard work. These re-sale schools very rarely stay on the market for long, so if you are interested, don’t delay in contacting us. Re-sale schools in:
- High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire
If you would like to find out more about our ambitious growth plans and be part of multi-award winning Razzamataz Theatre Schools network, drop Charlotte a line from our friendly Head Office team to book on to one of our virtual Discovery Dens.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Telephone: +44 7821 122242