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Q&A with Denise Hutton-Gosney, founder of Razzamataz

Q&A with Denise Hutton-Gosney, founder of Razzamataz

We grab five minutes with Denise to discuss her lightbulb moment with the business, risks she has taken and what's in store for the future

Denise launched her performing arts business, Razzamataz, in 2000 and after braving the Dragon’s Den in 2007 and securing the backing of Duncan Bannatyne, her success has rocketed. She now runs a network with 46 franchisees, and over 400 employees. We grab five minutes from her busy working day.

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WF: Sum up your business in five words.
Exciting, fun, fast-paced & rewarding!

WF: When was your lightbulb moment?
After establishing seven schools that operated on a part-time basis, single-handedly, and seeing the difference I was making to young people and the local communities. That’s when I knew I had something special.

WF: Thing you love most about your job?
Seeing young entrepreneurs like me start their journeys and watching a shy child blossom into a confident young adult.

WF: Greatest sacrifice you’ve made to get where you are today?
Probably sacrificing some family time. Running any business, in the early days you work very long hours.

WF: Biggest risk you’ve taken and how did it work out?
I remortgaged my house to franchise the business when I didn’t really know if anyone would want to buy into my brand. It worked out great! We have an amazing network of very passionate hard-working people.

WF: Proudest achievement – work or otherwise
Gaining charitable status for our ‘Razzamataz Future Fund’, which offers grants to our students to go to PA Colleges, and of course my two gorgeous boys - both my legacies.

WF: Who gives you advice?
My PR Karen Keeman and I go a long way back! We’ve been colleagues and good friends for 26 years. Also, I work closely with Suzie from Platinum Wave who always has great advice when it comes to the franchise world.

WF: Who do you most admire?
I most admire anyone who grafts really hard for what they have in life. Or do you mean a famous person? I guess Duncan. You have to admire him, as he started out in business quite late on in life, with no money, and grafted really hard for his wealth and success.

WF: Biggest lesson you’ve learned along the way?
Be kinder to yourself, it’s OK to have a day off.

WF: Why do you love franchising?
It’s a great way to grow your brand with like minded people, together we are stronger. You’re always stronger as a network.

WF: What advice would you give a younger you?
Try not to take things personally. With it being your brand it’s also your ‘baby’ so sometimes it’s difficult to not take it personally, I know this now.

WF: If I’d know then what I know now….
Be really careful and choose who you bring into your network wisely - which I do and have done for some time now.

WF: What next?
Our 20th Anniversary celebrations! Starting in London in January with a huge conference for our network and some surprises, then a West End Gala Performance followed by around 400 of our students leading the parade at Disneyland! After that, who knows? The sky’s the limit!

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