CaRu Entertainment has been featured on top dance shows such as, So You Think You Can Dance, and Dance Moms. Though the founders of CaRu always dreamed of running a studio, they both started out as just friends with big ambition. With the help of PaySimple, two friends became two entrepreneurs behind a nationally-ranked dance studio. From launch to growth (and even more growth), CaRu Entertainment found PaySimple to be the perfect payment solution for their customer base and expanding business needs.
Founders of CaRu Entertainment, Emily Czerniakowski and Cassie Russo are both dancers who always wanted to run their own studio. After meeting at a dance audition, the two quickly became best friends and their studio dreams began to unfold.
In 2011, the dynamic team opened the doors of CaRu Entertainment. Empowering people of all ages with dance became the mission behind their business and the studio grew fast.
“We really felt like what we are doing was empowering young people to be confident and be productive individuals in and out of the studio. We want it to be a place where women can be themselves and explore who they are as individuals to then go out in the world and do great things.”
What started as a local dance studio quickly became a nationally-ranked dance studio. As their business grew, Emily and Cassie started to feel the challenges of their success.
From the beginning, studio management was divided between these two ambitious business partners. As a professional choreographer, Cassie heads the front of the business while Emily handles backend operations, including communications, billing, client relations, and program development.
Unfortunately, CaRu began to feel the strain of their original business model.
When they started their studio, Emily managed everything manually: every invoice, Excel spreadsheet, bill, receipt, and credit card transaction. If a family requested automatic monthly billing, she would sit down one day a month and manually process their credit card payment.
With the business growing, this system quickly became unsustainable. Emily needed a better payment solution quick. Through that research she got into contact with the team at PaySimple.
“I knew what we really needed was something cloud-based that could automate the things that I was doing manually, without charging us too much. I liked the look and feel of it. It seemed fresh and new. I’d be able to do automated payments and keep everything in a cloud-based system that I could access on my phone or my computer. Our clients would find it very easy to use.”
After four years of manually handling payments, CaRu Entertainment joined the thousands of other businesses that use PaySimple to help them market their services, accept payments online, and manage their customers.
To streamline online sales, the PaySimple team set up an online storefront where CaRu sells both branded gear and their class registrations. PaySimple also enabled Emily and Cassie to accept multiple payment methods with one solution. Now their customers can pay however they prefer and in return, CaRu Entertainment continues to grow.
In addition to the online store and flexible payment acceptance, CaRu also wanted to improve the registration and ticket purchase process for upcoming showcases for their studio. PaySimple allowed them to send digital tickets through email.
Shortly after implementing PaySimple, the business had plans of holding their first charity event. Thanks to PaySimple, the event ran just as smoothly as the two had hoped. Event attendees were able to purchase tickets on their website and then show up to the event with their ticket on their phone or printed out. This was a wonderful win for attendees and CaRu.
“We got lots of compliments about it. It was really seamless. It seemed like the experience attendees expected.”
By the end of the event, CaRu was able to raise $3,600 for their local Boys and Girls Club and collect 300 gently-used dance costumes for another local nonprofit easier than they had ever imagined. Emily and Cassie had truly melded their passion for dance and philanthropic goals together.
With the support of PaySimple, Emily and Cassie realized that the success of CaRu Entertainment means planning ahead. Today the two continue to run their studio just as successfully as they had hoped. Maybe even more so.
Start My Free Trial
“My biggest piece of advice is to think about scalability. That’s something we didn’t think about in the very beginning. If you’re wanting to start a business, think about something that is scalable and don’t sell yourself short.”