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“I’ve learnt so much about business over the years but I’ve also learnt a lot about myself”

“I’ve learnt so much about business over the years but I’ve also learnt a lot about myself”

Eve Aston is celebrating five years of amazing experiences as the Razzamataz Tonbridge franchisee

Eve Aston joined the Razzamataz franchise after a successful career as a seamstress and a role within the gaming industry. With two grown-up daughters, Eve has reinvented her working life to become a successful business owner.

“I was a busy mum with daughters at stage schools, which meant taking them to lots of auditions, classes and shows,” Eve explained. “I helped at 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, Eve looked into the company and found out that a school in Tonbridge was up for sale as the former principal wanted to retire. And once she had done her research, Eve jumped at the opportunity. 

Back to the beginning

“I knew absolutely nothing about running a business before I joined Razzamataz,” Eve explained. “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.”

Talking about Razzamataz Tonbridge, Eve describes it as “a strong community”, which often performs in local events – from Christmas fairs through to Fairtrade Fortnight. And the school goes 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 sleepover at a trampoline park,” Eve added.

Milestones to be celebrated

But one of the best things about running a Razzamataz business is celebrating its students’ achievements after helping them build their confidence.

“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,” said Eve. “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.”

Staff progression to be proud of

But it is not only her students that make Eve proud.

“I’m extremely fortunate that I still have the same members of staff as when I took over,” she said. “They have all been brilliant, especially over lockdowns when they went above and beyond for our families.”

Eve’s daughter, Natasha, who is the Razzamataz dance teacher, has now received a British Citizens Award from the government following a nomination from one of the parents. 

“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,” Eve added. “I’ve learned so much about business over the years but I’ve also learned 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.”

Life changing for the better

Apart from the joy of working with children, Razzamataz has given Eve the freedom to plan her week the way she wants to.

“If I want to sit down and sew, then I can dedicate some time to that,” she added. “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.”

Plans for the future

Going forward, Eve is feeling hopeful about what the future holds for Razzamataz Tonbridge.

She said: “I took over the school when it was already established and next year the school will be 10 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.”

So, the advice Eve has for anyone who is considering joining Razzamataz is to just “go for it”.

“Even if you’ve not had any experience before, don’t worry because Razzamataz will train and mentor you through the whole process,” she said. “You will also learn on the job and be supported by lots of other friendly franchisees.”

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