Jayne Mason was born with a congenital sight defect and left school with no qualifications. She lost her parents and her partner and was diagnosed with cancer, before setting up the Fancy Dance Shop, selling dance wear and fancy dress costumes and accessories in York and Harrogate.
Jayne deals with everything from serving customers to ordering stock and managing staff, marketing, networking, as well as her very important role as tea maker. The Fancy Dance Shop is York’s one stop dance shop, for all dancewear, supply and fancy dress needs. Jayne started her specialist dance shop after working a childminder for some time. “When my daughter got older, I wanted to work for myself, so I looked around for a niche in the market,” Jayne said. “My daughter suggested a shop that sold items for dance. So I did further research, contacting dance schools. I learnt a lot from manufacturers and found myself involved in a wonderful fascinating business. “I was a top ten national finalist in The Trading Places competition which is supported by Barclays, and I got there with no form of qualifications, but determination and hard work to succeed. You need to follow your dream and believe in yourself; if I can achieve it any one can.”
Sales of her dancewear plus her fancy dress and accessories expanded so fast that her business outgrew its Blossom Street premises and moved to a shop in Micklegate, taking on two staff.
“Our new website www.fancydanceshop.com is now complete so people can order online”. We are also developing our own brand and there is a possibility of a third shop.”
“At the beginning I struggled to create an opening in the market, as dancewear suppliers were reluctant to give new ventures credit so I had to build up her relationships with them while keeping tight control over my cash flow”
Part of the secret of her success is that she is unafraid of diversification where needed. When Royal Ascot came to York, some space was made amid the dance wear for hats.
“My dream is to franchise out nationally what has proved to be a winning formula.”