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Inspirational Women Q&A: Ciará Moriarty, The Performance Studios

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Ciará Moriarty is the founder and creative director of The Performance Studios, an award-winning theatre school based in the heart of Lancaster, at the Dukes Theatre. In September 2022, Ciará was awarded Creative Industry of the Year at the Enterprise Vision Awards, which recognises women in business across the North West. She shares her own inspirational Lancashire woman in business story.

What does your business do?

The Performance Studios (TPS) provide singing, dancing and acting classes to students aged between four and 15. Our theatre space, coupled with an industry-trained team provides children with an opportunity to explore their passion on stage and realise their potential.

Why did you start your own business?

I knew I loved theatre and had always wanted to open a theatre school from a young age, but funnily enough when I went to Lancaster University, I didn’t know what entrepreneurship even meant and took a leap to study it as part of my degree.

I fell in love with learning about business, and having racked up previous experience of managing a theatre school, I decided to set up TPS during my third year at University.

What has been your biggest business breakthrough?

Launching the business during COVID was difficult, and to add to this I also had the pressure of studying towards my degree. I know this would be tough but I did it in the end and I finished university with a degree and a resilient business that withstood the impact of COVID.

What has been your proudest achievement in your business?

This year was a big year for us, I recently just won my first award, the EVAs Creative Industry award and I launched my first ever end of year showcase which was sponsored by BMW, Mini & Kia. We gave the students and their families a night to remember!

The business has only been running for two years but there have been so many achievements to get to this point. I make sure to try and celebrate the little day to day successes too, because they are equally as important!

What is the most effective support or guidance you have received?

I was always guided by my family to do what I love and follow my passions, not to do things for the sake of doing them. I adore my job, and when you do what you love it can never feel like work. I find when you do this, the success comes along naturally as you devote more time to doing something you want to do.

What keeps you going when things are tough?

When things get tough, I always try to keep in mind the positive impact TPS has on our students. Children join us from all different backgrounds, and some with very little confidence.

Seeing their transformation, where they form characters, strut confidently and find the courage to take to the stage and perform makes me proud. It’s what keeps me going.

What are your best three tips for maintaining your wellbeing?

  1. Physical health, whether that’s dancing in our studios or elsewhere, it is so important to keep active.
  2. Do what you love – it is much easier to be happy if you want to get out of bed every morning.
  3. Do something creative every day, even something small, this will keep your imagination flowing and offers escapism from the busy times in life.

What advice would you give to a female entrepreneur starting a business?

My biggest piece of advice as a young female is to have confidence in yourself, I always thought that business owners had it worked out, and the truth is they don’t! As cheesy as it sounds, fake it until you make it!

Everyone is learning on the job and COVID was a clear indicator of this as things were so uncertain and unpredictable. In order to make this situation better, we had to adapt and experiment to figure out what would work.

Don’t let anyone decide for you that you can’t achieve something – no matter what the odds. www.theperformancestudios.co.uk


Would you like to see your business grow? So would we. To speak to someone from the Growth Hub about business support, contact Boost online or call 0800 488 0057.


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