“Through the training process, I know that I can turn my passion for performing arts into a profitable business.”
Profile: Amber Gibney, age 24, is the youngest franchisee in the network and is looking forward to launching Razzamataz Stockton-on-Tees, where she grew up. Amber attended the University of Cumbria to do a degree and upon completion, became a performing arts teacher and theatre technician. She applied for a position as a classroom assistant at Razzamataz South Lakes and after just one and a half years, she took the step to becoming a Razzamataz franchisee and opening her own school back in her hometown.
How did you hear about Razzamataz?
“Lots of my friends saw the advert for the job at Razzamataz South Lakes and I was tagged multiple times. I thought I would give it a go and see what opportunities I could discover. On meeting the Principal Asha, I was offered the role of a dance teacher and I have quickly progressed, doing lots of the admin and marketing duties and then becoming an assistant Principal.”
What business experience did you have?
“Very little as I’m only 24 but when I looked at the opportunity available, it just felt perfect and too good to walk away from. I’ve always wanted to work for myself, but I didn’t envisage it happening so quickly and on this scale. But when I looked at all the Principals within the Razzamataz network, there are many from different backgrounds and ages and I thought there is no reason why I can’t achieve the same as everyone else. I’ve been wanting to move back home to Stockton-on-Tees for a while and this has given me that opportunity to do that while doing something I love.”
What attracted you to the franchise sector?
“I knew a little about franchising from having a part-time job in McDonald’s when I was at school, but I didn’t really think about it in relation to what I wanted to do in my career. I love the fact that Razzamataz allows me to be my own boss but with support of the network and a framework that gives me the tools that I need. This support is something that independent performing arts schools don’t receive and I believe this ongoing support and community spirit across the network is an integral part of the success of our students.”
How was the process of deciding to become a franchisee?
“It was much quicker and easier than I thought. Asha encouraged me to go along to a Discovery Den to find out more about the franchise opportunity. She said to go and see what I thought as what is the harm in trying? I chatted it through with my family and then came to the decision that the money I had saved up for a house deposit, to use for the franchise fee and launching the school.”
How has the initial training and support been?
“Going into training I was quietly confident about some areas because I do them daily but other areas, I really had no idea about. Training gave me that confidence that it would all be manageable and achievable, so it is a very reassuring process. The most important thing is that you are encouraged to ask for help wherever you need it.”
What are your goals
“The first thing is to establish the Razzamataz brand in Stockton and ensure people understand why we are here and what we can do for children and young people. I then want to aim to be part of the 100 club (100 students) because I was part of the team that helped Asha grow so quickly at South Lakes so I have seen first-hand how it can be done and I don’t see any reason why I can’t do the same in Stockton.”
How do you hope Razzamataz will fit into your lifestyle?
“I’m excited that becoming a Razzamataz franchisee has allowed me to make the move back to my hometown. This is my opportunity to build the life that I want around my business.”
What are you most looking forward to in becoming a Razzamataz Principal?
“I’ve loved working for Razzamataz South Lakes and feel proud watching the children grow in confidence and seeing how the school positively impacts the community. Having my name as the school’s Principal is going to be so gratifying and I can’t wait to build a future for myself. Developing into a leader and building my school to keep offering children wonderful opportunities is very exciting.”
Did you have any initial worries or concerns?
“Investing my savings into Razzamataz is quite a bold move and being so young sometimes will be a challenge in terms of life experience. But through the training process, I know that I can turn my passion for performing arts into a profitable business. As a business owner, my life is going to be different, but I know there is so much support within the Razzamataz network.”
What advice can you offer others considering investing in a franchise?
“Think about what you want for your future. Although everything feels daunting in the beginning, I can imagine in six months’ time I can sit back and think why was I worrying. I look at the other franchisees in the Razzamataz network and believe that there’s no reason why I can’t be just as successful.”
“This is my opportunity to build the life that I want around my business.”