Setting the stage for success

Former drama teacher Raquel Varela raised the curtain on her Blue Door Theatre Company earlier this year. Here, the mum of two talks about her journey so far and why our Business Start-up course deserves rave reviews.

“My theatre company is dedicated to young audiences and their families. We’re currently running creative movement sessions in a studio near Forest Hill and are also devising some shows. Everything is designed for children from two months to five years old and their families.

My children are my inspiration. I’ve been a drama teacher and performer and I completed a qualification in physical theatre before my children came along. After becoming a mum and experiencing the unity you have with your child at the very beginning, it just made sense for me to create something that children and their parents could enjoy together.

I wanted to experience something new and do something I would enjoy. By setting up my own business, I felt I was doing something for me. It also meant I could work flexible hours and spend more time with my sons.

The experience of being with other women who were pursuing the same thing was really important to me and it gave me the confidence to go forwards


I joined the Successful Mums course while I was still in the planning stages. The experience of being with other women who were pursuing the same thing was really important to me and it gave me the confidence to go forwards. Jane also had a lot of practical advice and information that was very helpful.

Things can be really up in the air when you’re starting out but the course helped me bring clarity to my plans. One exercise we did was to imagine our customer: their age, the newspapers they read, where they shop… I knew, of course, that I was looking at mums with young children but I’d only thought about that in a very general way. Focusing on the reality made a big difference.

It’s been a real learning journey that has touched so many areas of my life, like how I manage my time, how I manage the relationship with my little ones and how I deal with the challenges of doing something by myself. One of the most important things I’ve learnt is that to keep going you need to find a steady rhythm rather than huge bursts of energy that can be very strong but don’t last very long.

I’m really proud of the feedback I’ve had from the sessions so far and how much the children and their families are enjoying them. People are intrigued as it’s such a different idea. In addition to our sessions in Nunhead, I’m writing a children’s play and am looking for a producer or project manager to work by my side. It’s a very exciting time!”

If you have a bright idea for your own business, Successful Mums can help you take it all the way from rehearsals to opening night! Book your free place* on our Business Start-up course today.

*Subject to eligibility