31 March 2021|Latest Posts, Meet the Successful Founder
Anne-Marie is an inspirational female founder who has turned her life as a professional dancer into a love of teaching toddlers to dance. Her passion for giving children a happy healthy start in life and a love of movement that will last a lifetime has seen her grow a single local class in London into a nationwide brand giving over 40 individuals so far a business opportunity sharing her passion of working with under 5s. A mum of 2, she is leads by example teaching classes herself and lead her network through the pandemic moving classes online, doing a 24 hour diddi danceathon for charity and launched the brand onto a new platform gaining over 45k followers in less than 9 months.
Can you tell us a little about your background and the company?
I started as a trained dancer and then 18 years ago saw a gap in the market for preschool dance classes, I grew across London and then franchised the company across the UK.
How did the idea come to you for the company?
From so many parents asking me about classes in the play centre I was working in part time.
How did you achieve awareness?
Through pounding the streets with flyers, attending toddler groups, word of mouth and schools and nurseries. Back then social media wasn’t big.
How have you been able to gain funding and grow?
I have managed to fund the company myself to grow through the franchising model.
What are the key successes?
That pre covid we taught nearly 7000 children a week across the network, hitting £1m turnover and know we will get back here again. Also growing the franchise network into the supportive group of franchisees we have to date
What were/are the challenges and how have you overcome these?
Coming from a dance background a massive learning curve to running a business and overcoming the all too popular imposter syndrome. Through having professional advice and guidance and constantly learning I have over come these hurdles (although there is always something to learn)
What are your plans now/for the future?
To keep growing the network to be able to give the business opportunity to more amazing individuals.
What would you like to share with others to encourage them to start their own entrepreneurship journey?
That if you don’t have your own unique idea to start a business from scratch then buying into a franchise network in an industry your passionate about whether its working with children or in the food and beverage sector that is also a fantastic option into entrepreneurship.
Can you share you top 5-10 tips for entrepreneurial success?
Find/start something you’re truly passionate about, do all the trademark and IP checks on any name you think of, you do not want to infringe on someone else’s name or IP, be prepared for it to consume yourself for a while and make sure those around you support your venture, make sure you ave enough working capital until the business can take off and seek expert help in areas you’re not confident in, you don’t have to do it all.
Who are the 5 people who inspire you the most?
Claire O Connor – www.instagram.com/_claireoconnor_ for the amazing collaboration and support we ave given each other this last year
Karen Hauer – www.instagram.com/karenhauer for her constant motivation to keep fit and moving through lockdown
Jack Wells – www.tiktok.com/@1legdancer123 for is inspirational dancing showing how nothing holds him back.
Dee Brown – www.tiktok.com/@ampudee another amputee who shows how being a single mum who’s battled cancer doesn’t stop her.
Rachel Fay – www.instagram.com/rachelfay for inspiring me to collaborate on clubhouse to provide support for all those in the activity providers industry.
What are your favourite inspirational /motivational quotes?
“Face the fear and do it anyway”
“you can be the juiciest, ripest peach, just some people don’t like peaches”
What are your social handles and website links so our readers can connect with you?