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Razzamataz Early Years Theatre School Special Feature
The news of Thomas Cook’s demise has been particularly poignant for the Founder and MD of a Dragons’ Den backed theatre school franchise.
Franchise Information
  • BFA Membership StatusAssociate
  • UK Years Established13 years
  • Current UK Coverage5%
  • Franchisee Support Staff10
  • Personal Investment Req.£5,000
  • Total Startup Cost£7,500
  • Home-based business locationYes
  • Business to consumer servicesYes
  • Franchisee operates individuallyYes
Next Steps

Opportunities after Thomas Cook

The sad news of Thomas Cook’s demise has been particularly poignant for the Founder and MD of a Dragons’ Den backed theatre school franchise. In light of the news, she wants to reach out to those affected to share her story and offer a new beginning.

Former dancer Denise Hutton-Gosney was in the same predicament as many performers when she decided to retire from dancing professionally. The idea to create a theatre school that would not only prepare children for the demands of the industry but would also offer a place where they could grow in confidence was a dream that she had for many years. However, taking the leap into the unknown and running a business was a fear that almost stopped her from creating the successful franchise network of Dragons’ Den backed theatre schools.

Denise explains:

“It was 20 years ago when I was offered a job as a cabin crew member for Bmibaby Limited.  The airline industry is a natural route for many former performers and I know that many have been affected by the closure of Thomas Cook. I had the idea to start Razzamataz but wasn’t sure if I had the confidence to pursue my own business. It was actually my good friend and now colleague at Razzamataz who said that there really is no such thing as a secure job, so I took the plunge and went for it.”

Bmibaby Limited was shut down in September 2012, Razzamataz is gearing up to celebrate 20 years of successful business in January 2020.

Denise continues:

“My heart really goes out to all those people who have lost their jobs at Thomas Cook.  I won’t pretend that running your own business is not really hard work, but it does give you the ultimate control over your success and failure.  When I opened my first few theatre schools I know I did make many mistakes. The schools that open now have the huge advantage of learning from what went wrong for me because we have a robust franchise system in place. Even if you have never run your own business before, we give you all the tools and training you need to be successful. What you need to bring is enthusiasm, a positive attitude and the promise to work hard.”

Razzamataz is reaching out to Thomas Cook employees, especially those with a performing arts background, and would like to offer informal sessions to explain more about the franchising route. For the right candidates, Razzamataz will discuss funding options to help them on the path of business ownership.

Denise adds:

“Now is the time for many to grieve the loss because it is not just a job, it was a dream career for many people.  Running your own business, especially one that inspires children and teens, is also much more than just a job. We would love to work with people that have this passion and we believe it can be used to create a really rewarding new career."

Being part of a successful franchise network allows theatre school owners the chance to offer students amazing opportunities. Razzamataz prides itself on creating special memories for the whole family with many wonderful experiences such as performing at Disneyland® Paris, London’s 02 and Her Majesty’s theatre. There are many training sessions and business webinars that are offered (free of charge) with experts in everything from social media, business growth and building confidence and self-esteem.

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.

To find out more about joining the team of Principals and all the benefits of joining an Award-winning franchise just click below.  If you are a former Thomas Cook employee, please let Razzamataz know so they can help you with understanding what opportunities are available.

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