Looking back to go forward
2021 has been an ongoing mix of challenges and finding new opportunities for us all.
We wanted to look back as we go forward as Curated by Dapper & Suave.
TEN @ 10
Inspired by Vogue 73 Questions, we wanted to give the small businesses a chance to let us into their working lives and to find out more about them.
Using 10 questions we kicked off on February 5th with Dapper & Suave and have since filmed 70 TEN @ 10s including specials with other businesses and charities that we work with.
You can watch them again on our YouTube channel, or even listen again as several of you did when we were live on Instagram. Check out the funny real-life situations including dropped cameras, late arrivals, and child invasions!
This year we continued to host our Creative Makers Market at Dorking Halls and made the most of the change in social distancing to use the stage area and increase the number of stallholders.
Customers have given great feedback on the quality and choice we have still been able to offer, as we grew to 54 businesses at our Big Christmas Market in November, including a dedicated food and drink area on the stage.
We also took our market format on the road, working with The Barn At Sollo in Reigate to create an intimate and festive pop up, before finishing with our last market back in the Martineau Hall where our journey with Dorking Halls began in 2019.
We are really looking forward to hosting 5 events in the Grand Hall during 2022 – do sign up to our event mailing list to stay up to date.
Many of you will know that Rob & I have a lot of experience of retail and events, something we wanted to share with our Curated businesses. Listening to them, we wrote three courses around social media, customer service and making the best of your selling space at an event.
Starting off as Zoom meetings, it was great to be able to host them at the Eco Be shop in Dorking in person later in 2021, encouraging interaction and questions in a welcoming environment.
We are planning to host more in person training next year, as well as networking sessions for businesses who work on similar products. I have also trained as a mental health first aider, and it will be great to build on providing non-judgemental support for our family of makers, to continue to give them a platform to shine, and build confidence to sell their products with passion to customers.
Collaboration and promotion
Collaboration is something we believe is vital as a businesess and a brand to develop and grow.
2021 was the year for this and we are so excited to have built some great relationships and will continue to work on for next year, via social media, press releases, magazines, and radio.
We have worked hard this year to establish the right brand image for our markets, with a fantastic group of supporters, including customers as well as other makers. We continue to believe strongly in being Friendly, Creative and Unique as well as #communitynotcompetition
As we have grown the size of our markets, it has always been important for us to find the right new businesses to join us to create our pop-up creative department store.
Over 50 brand new businesses have exhibited with us this year, helping to deliver our 21st century vision for our Creative Makers market.
We have spoken to and met all of them to ensure they meet the expectations we and our customers have for passionate and knowledgeable service, great quality products and a warm welcome.
Most of us will have had a less than perfect experience in a shop at some time, and we want to make sure we offer something better every time.
We give guidance to businesses ahead of each event on etiquette and expectations
and create that warm welcome together, even down to Spotify playlist!
With dates already booked for the Grand Hall on Dorking Halls, we will be focusing on curating the right businesses for each of the 5 events. We will be using feedback from customers and businesses to make sure each one offers something different and continue to evolve based on everything we have learnt so far.
We will also continue with the Creative Makers Art Gallery in Dorking Halls Café where we showcase artists who exhibit with us with their artwork and a QR code displayed throughout the year. This will continue to change each month, giving café visitors a new view of each time they visit.
We are also in talks with other venues, and we will continue to share this via our website and social media once we have more details to share with you all.
We are very excited see where 2022 takes us and where we can continue to add benefit to those amazing businesses who make up our community, family, tribe, and friends.
We wish you all a happy New Year and see you in 2022!
Jason & Rob
Curated by Dapper & Suave