I’m Sarah and I’m very lucky to be running my very own business, Gene & Rita, at the age of 23!
The shop is located in the North East of England, in a coastal town just outside of Newcastle city centre.
I’ll try and keep this as short and sweet as possible, but here’s a little bit about me and how I came to starting my own business:
I completed my diploma in Musical Theatre at Newcastle College, which helped me gain a place to train at a leading performing arts school in London. Throughout my training, my sights were always set on something business related but I constantly flicked from idea to idea, and to be honest, only ever spoke about it as if it were something that was going to happen when I was about 65.
I moved back to Newcastle in Feb 2017 and settled back into work and life pretty quickly. I attended some self-employment courses and business workshops but all I kept doing was talking about it, rather than actually doing it (Caroline!). I had definitely decided on the concept and the idea of the shop but struggled to visualise anything.
With MASSIVE support from my family and friends, I started putting little bits into place, and I hate the saying too but honestly, the rest is history! The premises literally jumped out on us, the name came following about four all-nighters Googling alternative words for ‘dance, train, lemons, pink, elephants’ etc – I’m not even joking! It went on for days.. My talented best friend designed the logo and branding and, thankfully, we had full reign on transforming the shop so we basically started from scratch (see transformation pics!).
I landed on my feet with pretty much everything, which is why I truly believe this has all happened for a reason and is definitely the path I was meant to take.
I LOVE meeting all the kids, students, mams, dads, dancers, gym goers and the people like me who love to wander round in leggings and a hoodie pretending we like to go for a run on a morning when really we like a lie in. My passion for dance, musical theatre, and performing is still very much alive inside of me, I just like to share it in a completely different environment.
Of course, the brands, products, and stock are extremely important, however, the main concept for the shop is to offer help and guidance to young performers, share my experiences and knowledge (which I’m still learning every day), and even just boost a little confidence!
The dance, health, and fashion world are all combining and you can certainly get that from the shop and the brand. It is modern, up to date and isn’t cluttered with leotards from 1968! We offer activewear, as well as traditional dancewear, and offer new and exciting brands for both.
It is difficult to reflect everything I believe in for Gene & Rita on the website, so if you do get the chance to call into the shop, please do!
And with that, thank you so much for reading.