We sat down with Charlotte Melia, Co-Founder and CEO of Dazzle & Fizz, to hear how she's navigated the high's and low's of entrepreneurship - from a luxury immersive events company based in Guildford, Surrey.
From a small seed of determination, and only £50, Charlotte has grown Dazzle & Fizz into a thriving, multi-million pound creative studio and immersive events company.
Keep reading to find out how Charlotte pivoted her business online, with the help of a supportive community and a dose of inspiration.
IS: Hi Charlotte, can you tell us a little bit about Dazzle & Fizz and how it got its start?
Charlotte: Dazzle & Fizz is a creative studio and luxury immersive events company. It all started in 2011 when I was eight months pregnant and had just 50 pounds in my bank account. Despite my lack of business experience, I was determined to provide the best children's entertainment in London.
IS: That's quite the determination! How did you it?
It wasn't easy, but I worked hard and kept my eye on the prize. By 2020, we had a turnover of over a million pounds and had just secured a quarter of a million pounds in investment. We were doing great - with a record number of staff and record profits. And then the pandemic hit and everything changed.
IS: How did you navigate the challenges of the pandemic?
It was a tough time, but I knew I had to be proactive to keep the business going. So, we pivoted to an online model and started small - putting out content and building a strong social media presence.We eventually developed an online members club for parents and children and one of our biggest hits was Nanny Rose, a storyteller.
However, we learned that entertaining children on a screen was very different from doing it live, so we started developing three unique technologies to focus on child mental health, physical well-being, and community.
IS: That's quite an impressive pivot. Was it difficult to make the transition to an online business model?
It definitely had its challenges. There was a lot of trial and error, and things that worked well in a live setting didn't translate online. But I was determined to make it work and had a great support system - Inspiration Space.
It's a community for business owners and startups that provides expert advice, mentorship, and support. Without their help, I don't think I would have been able to reinvent and grow my business the way I have.
IS: Can you tell us more about the benefits of working with Inspiration Space?
Definitely. Inspiration Space provided expert advice and mentorship from experienced entrepreneurs. The encouragement and motivation from Pam Iannotti, one of the Entrepreneurs-in-Residence, was particularly helpful when it came to keeping me focused on the bigger picture. And the sense of community and connection I received from other women trying to keep their companies alive in the midst of a global pandemic was the sense of relief and solidarity I needed.
IS: What are your goals for the future of Dazzle & Fizz?
My goal is for Dazzle & Fizz to be the go-to platform for active, positive content for kids. I want to continue to innovate and find new ways to connect with our audience and make a positive impact on children's lives. We've recently launched the latest version of Vesta, now renamed The Dazzle & Fizz Club.
The Dazzle & Fizz Club brings the sensory excitement of our live parties – and our experience as parents – to children at home or on the go, with a safe, interactive space for them to learn and play online.
Knowing that our children will spend time on devices – and how handy that can sometimes be for us as parents – we wanted to create a safe, educational and positive introduction to life online for pre-school and primary school aged children. There are many proven benefits to active screen time so we’ve created content that children will love and a platform that parents can trust.
I believe that by continuing to pivot and adapt to the challenges that come our way, we will be able to achieve this goal and create a brighter future for children everywhere.
"Inspiration Space has been a lifesaver for, Dazzle & Fizz. Their support, mentorship, and expert advice really helped me navigate the challenges of the pandemic and grow my business. If you're an ambitious female founder or aspiring entrepreneur looking to succeed, I highly recommend checking out their community and expertise. So, if you're a business owner or startup, I encourage you to take inspiration from my story and seek out support and guidance from resources like Inspiration Space." - Charlotte Morris, Founder and CEO of Dazzle & Fizz.
Want to hear the story? Experience Charlotte's charm and wisdom in this must-watch video
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