Meet Alison Beveridge, Principal of Razzamataz Durham

Charlie Maxwell with Lesley Joseph at Annie

Background
Whilst working as a sales advisor at Jack Wills, I was bitten by the business bug. I loved serving people and making them feel special and happy with their new purchases. Swapping shifts for rehearsals and auditions was complicated and I soon realised that in order to be in control of my time, I had to be my own boss. I wanted to combine my passion for business with my desire to act.

Razzamataz brought all my skills together and provided me with a ready made platform for my business to excel. By choosing to set up a franchise, lots of the time-consuming leg work, such as branding and creating a website, were already accomplished making it easy to launch. Head Office and the support and experience of the other Principals was also very valuable.

PJ Day 2016

Pinch me moments 
There have been so many but recently I looked back at old photos and videos and seen just how far our students have come. I’m immensely proud of them but also my team of teachers for helping them with this progression. Another wonderful memory was the Christmas Ball. It was a magical evening, everyone looked stunning and the event brought our Razz Family closer together.

The challenges
Every business will have its challenges but I’ve learnt that it is best to try not to be all things to all people. There’s lots of competitors out there offering similar but slightly different activities and lessons so it’s important to be the best you can be. Our success and testimonials certainly show that people like what we offer and want to be a part of the community we’ve created.

Chloe, Sophie and Sophie waiting to perform ‘Roar’ at the Showcase dress rehearsal this summer

Proudest achievements
Working as part of a network the size of Razzamataz has given me some wonderful opportunities to enhance my career progression. This has included being presented with the Best Customer Service Award as well as the invitation to speak about my time with Razzamataz at the Annual Conference. The commitment of our students is also incredibly humbling. We’ve been part of a PJ and Onesie Day where we get to raise money for our registered charity, Future Fund. There’s a prize for the best dressed and this year, we’re looking to have a cake sale too. We have a great relationship with the Prince Bishops Shopping Centre and they invite us to sing at their Christmas light switch on every year. Last year, the nearby Patisserie Valerie even supplied our students with hot chocolates and fresh macaroons!

Alison performing as Pimpinella Pinefrost the Reindeer Fairy with Razzamataz student Ellana from Juniors 1

Future plans
It has been a very rewarding journey so far and I’m looking forward to continuing to strengthen and grow Razzamataz Durham. To expand as a business, it is really important to give our students unforgettable experiences and make their time at Razzamataz as special as possible. Some of these experiences have included a private backstage tour of the Sunderland Empire and to see the national tour of Annie after our Annie inspired Easter Stage Academy. Student Charlie Maxwell played Miss Hannigan at the Academy and met the ‘professional’ Miss Hannigan played by Lesley Joseph after the performance.

Top tips 

  • Are you; willing to learn, serve your community, work super hard, be your own boss.
  • Sleep well, eat clean and exercise.
  • Read, read, read and do, do, do – there’s no point having loads of great knowledge if you’re not going to act upon it (a couple of my favourite books include; Tools of Titans (Tim Ferris), Permission Marketing (Seth Godin), Living Forward (Michael Hyatt).
Christmas Light Switch On in Durham City Centre
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