We always find it so inspiring to hear entrepreneurs talk about their experiences. Often running your own business is as much about a personal journey as it is about a business one! As part of our series of Guest Blogs, we’re asking inspiring entrepreneurs to tell us their stories.
This week we are talking to Rachel Walker, founder of Euphoria Show Choir. Rachel is speaking as part of our guest speaker series, on Thursday the 9th of October 18:00-20:00, at the Large Shandon Lecture Theatre, 1.64 Main Building. For more information; click this link.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself, and how you came up with the idea for your business
After graduating from Cardiff University Music Department, I began teaching singing from my home. It started as a small business, but when I was invited into local secondary schools to teaching singing there too, my business gradually grew. I also set up a few vocal harmony groups, and composed songs.
When Glee first aired on British TV in 2010, many of my singing students mentioned how much they’d love to be in a show choir, but there weren’t any in our area of the country. Along with my colleagues Tina Kelly and Emma Mason, who are both dancers, we set up our own show choir.
2. Did you always see self-employment as a viable career option, or did you stumble upon it?
I always liked the idea of being my own boss, and working the hours I wanted. I love working in lots of different areas of music, so being self employed gave me the time to be creative and work with other musicians, dancers etc on a variety of different projects.
It was a very conscious decision to be self-employed. I wanted to be in charge of my own career, and keep pushing myself to achieve more
3. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome in starting-up?
To begin with, in both my singing teaching practice and setting up Euphoria Show Choir, it’s difficult to build up interest in what you do. If people don’t know who you are, you aren’t gaining students from recommendations, so therefore it’s financially a bit tight. My best advice is to persevere, and keep publicising yourself and your business. Network as much as you can, and gradually people will begin to know you and your business.
4. What has been the most exciting development in your business so far?
I think that has to be when we performed in New York in the National Show Choir Championships of America. From a performance we gave as part of the Britain’s Got Talent winners, Spelbound, tour, we were talent spotted from the performance footage on Youtube, and were invited to New York! The performance there opened many doors for us as a choir, and for me as a composer, and director. From this performance, we have won multiple awards, and have been invited to perform in venues all over the world. I composed a song, Body On Mute, as one of the songs we performed in New York. This song has since won three awards, been performed on Sky TV, BBC radio, American Radio, Canadian TV and has been made the official anthem for Beat Bullying. The lyrics are even on a range of American Apparel t shirts!
Since New York, I have also been invited to judge many international show choir competitions. I am the only British musician to ever have done this, so it’s a real honour.
5. What do you feel is the most rewarding aspect of running your own business?
Being your own boss is wonderful! It allows you to use all your talents and keep evolving your business into what you want. You also can’t blame anyone else if you don’t work hard enough, and have to keep going even when you don’t feel inspired. Running my own business is the most challenging but the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.
6. What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
My best advice is to persevere, and keep publicising yourself and your business. Network as much as you can, and gradually people will begin to know you and your business.
Euphoria show choir began with only 6 members, but we kept advertising the choir, asked local radio stations if we could sing live on air, and before we knew it, the choir had grown to 20 talented singers and dancers. Since then, it has grown every year.
It’s also important to keep on top of advances and new information in your field. Be willing to keep learning.