Samantha Wingfield-Jones is the franchisee and principal of Razzamataz Leighton Buzzard, a multi-award-winning, Dragons’ Den backed franchise network. and proud finalist of the SME Luton & Bedfordshire Business Awards.
The judges were looking for businesses that had quickly become established as demonstrated by Razzamataz which launched in September 2021 with 50 students growing that number to 130 in under a year.
But the business success is not just down to growth, Samantha and her team are committed to providing incredible experiences and lifelong memories for her students and their families.
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So far, students have taken part in a huge range of workshops led by professional West End performers including Mamma Mia! and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The children have also had the confidence-building experiences of performing at the local Christmas Lights Switch On and a local carnival.
Samantha’s success is more even commendable as she had no previous business experience.
She said: “I trained in musical theatre and performing arts and after I graduated, I was lucky enough to travel the world performing on cruise ships, at Disney, on the West End stage, in TV and films. I was fortunate to play the leading role in the musical The Producers, was part of the cast of Funny Girl UK tour, sang as Elsa in Disneyland Paris and was in the film Judy starring Renee Zellweger.
“During lockdown, like many, I started to re-evaluate my life and I wanted to focus more on my home life and sharing my performing arts experience with the next generation.
"I didn’t know lots about franchising and it’s only after I attended the training that I realised just how much you get from Razzamataz. Without Razzamataz, I really wouldn’t have known where to start.”
The SME Luton & Bedfordshire Business Awards final is on September 22 with winners going through to the SME National Business Awards Final.
“We love what we do at Razzamataz and the part we play in the Leighton Buzzard community,” said Samantha. “We pride ourselves on making a positive difference to the lives of our students and it’s an honour to be recognised in this way.”