Meet Chigwell DJ, dancer, model and restaurateur, Rochelle Wood
- Credit: Archant
DJ, dancer, model and restaurateur – is there no end to Rochelle Wood’s talents? The Chigwell businesswomen talks dancing, DJ sets and easing out of lockdown
The Chigwell businesswomen, Rochelle Wood, has grown quite an impressive empire to her name – she’s a dancer, DJ, choreographer, an event manager and restaurant owner to name just a few.
With music as a pivotal aspect to her upbringing, Rochelle knew that she wanted to work in the music industry when she was just a toddler.
“Music has always been in my heart growing up. When I was younger, I remember listening to my nan playing Etta James and Marvin Gaye,” Rochelle recalls. “Growing up, my mum listened to Erykah Badu, Lenny Kravitz, house music and drum and bass. Throughout my teenage years, I was always listening to SWV, Finley Quaye and Destiny’s Child.
“I began dancing at the age of three, before being professionally trained in contemporary dance and ballet at The Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds,” she continues.
“Dancing introduced me to contemporary music – moving my body to the beat and waves of sound that I could hear and feel through my body.
“Whilst living in Leeds between 2004 and 2007, clubbing was a big thing for me and venues mostly played house and techno – I absolutely loved it and you could not make me leave the dancefloor!”
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The clubbing scene sparked Rochelle’s passion for DJing. After learning to DJ in 2015, she played to a live audience just a year later and she still regularly hosts ‘Roc Wednesday’ nights at her Chigwell restaurant, the celebrity magnet Sheesh, which she co-owns with partner Dylan Hunt.
“Now the lockdown has lifted slightly, Sheesh is back open for outdoor dining as well as takeaways and deliveries,” says Rochelle. “Unfortunately, no dancing and DJing for me at the moment, however I have been putting together new ideas for making Sheesh corona friendly, managing and hosting guests upon arrival. We have several options and ideas planned, however we want to keep this as a surprise, so stay tuned.”
Since lockdown was imposed at the beginning of April, Rochelle has swapped out her DJ decks for the driving seat by delivering food to those working on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic. “During lockdown, I have been travelling across London and Essex delivering hot meals for the NHS from our restaurant – it has been truly amazing to give back to the community.
“I’ve also been enjoying long walks and jogging with my American Akita dog Kane, and meditation and yoga have been a regular hobby throughout lockdown. During this time, I have also been able to focus on music with live DJ sets on Instagram and uploading several new recordings on SoundCloud.
“One thing I have realised whilst being in lockdown is how much I miss my passions; DJing, dancing and modelling. I can’t wait to get back to doing what I do best and I am excited to see what new opportunities arise in the future. After having to cancel four trips this year, the first thing I will do is go on a nice vacation. Another is I want to DJ to thousands of people, so again watch this space!”
Rubbing shoulders with the likes of Katie Price and Aisleyne Horgan-Wallace, Rochelle showcases her glamourous social life, fashionable outfits and business successes to her near 50k followers on Instagram.
So what would Rochelle’s main advice be to other women who are wanting to start their own businesses? “Firstly, ask yourself what are your strengths, what are you passionate about and what do you want out of life,” she says. “Think about what makes your project or idea stand out above the rest and who your target market is. Once you put these answers together, you’re on your way to building a successful business.
“Make sure you build a good rapport with your audience, make them feel welcome and build trust. Never take your client for granted – your business is successful because of them. Have the ability to adapt – which is now more relevant than ever. Stay ahead of the game and never stop looking for new ideas. Even if you reach a level of success, you should never stop looking for fresh new ideas to take your business to the next level.
“Finally, you need good old-fashioned hard work and dedication. I’ve spent hours and hours working, with late nights, no sleep, getting my hands dirty. The best worker is yourself; if you are lazy, your business will also become lazy. Do not give up, think big and stay positive!”
Follow Rochelle on Instagram @ladyroc_
Follow Sheesh restaurant on Instagram @sheeshchigwell
Follow West Essex Life on Instagram @westessexlifemagazine