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  • Writer's pictureDapper & Suave

The Best of 2023: Celebrating Our Achievements and Thanking Those Who Made It Possible

Updated: Jan 2

Firstly, we hope you had a great Christmas and were able to spend it with friends, family and chosen families.

We wanted to say a BIG thank you again for being a customer, supporter or a trader, small business owner who takes part in our events.

It’s become a tradition for us to reflect on the year gone by and share with you some of our favourite moments – we hope you enjoy.

This year we are focusing on Curated by Dapper & Suave, but Dapper & Suave remains at the heart of our events with a growing customer base through our events and online and some really fun commissions throughout 2023.

January – February – March

We visited the Start up Show in January organised by Enterprise Nation and we both learnt so much from all the talks and found it very inspirational.

We kicked off the year attending two Wedding Open days on the same day, with Rob at Gildings Barns and Jason at Wotton House.

It was good to be face to face with future couples and this helps us to find out what they are looking for and the current trends.

In February on Jason's birthday, we received an email from Denbies Wine Estate who wanted to discuss about doing events at their venue.

Having met them in September 2022 to chat to them about being a recommended supplier for Dapper & Suave for our styling and accessories we had discussed that we did events but never expected that we would be using this fantastic venue as a backdrop for our Pop Up Shopping events.

Of course we said yes, as living in Dorking for what will be our 12th year in 2024, Denbies Wine Estate set in 265 acres is one of England's largest single estate vineyards is a place that is great to visit with so much to do and the breath taking walks which we have both enjoyed and still do.

We then booked dates for April, June, July , December and later added August and November and got busy curating the small businesses to take part.

In March we attended The Stitch Festival as Dapper and Suave to get ideas and more inspiration as male makers.

It was great to finally meet Nicki from Pedddle in person having only met on Zoom , chatted on the phone and Instagram voice notes and messages.

Over a coffee we had a good chat. Jason is very proud to be an ambassador as a Market Hosts and stall holders the support and guidance given has been great as they champion independent business which is key to us as well. You'll spot Rob on our social media at each event proudly being part of the Pedddle community.

March, April and May we launched 3 x brand new pop Pop up Art Exhibitions on the Mezzanine floor at Dorking Halls to showcase 6 artists to showcase and sell their art with a free arrival drink provided by Dorking Gin that took place early evening.

April – May – June

Our first Pop Up Shopping event at Denbies Wine Estate in April, with 42 businesses using the Garden Room and Ranmore Suite, was a great success and as the Village Green had their Food Fair on the same day it was great to collaborate plus we had a footfall of over 900 people #communitynotcompetion.

We were then back again in June for another successful event.

In May we continued with the second installation of our Art Gallery to showcase 15 local artists displayed in the bar area of @dorkinghalls and then again in August and November. This was a great chance to show local artists and a bio next to each with a QR code to then contact the artist directly to buy from them or a commission which has proved valuable to those who have displayed since 2021.

July – August - September

We hosted two more Pop Up Shopping Events at Denbies Wine Estate and with warmer weather, we used the outside Courtyard area in July along with Garden Room. In August we hosted our Family Fun Day working with local charity The Halow Project

We were back at Dorking Halls in September for our Creative Makers Market.

October – November - December

This is always a busy time for everyone and in these three months we had 6 events which kicked off in October with our Autumn Creative Makers Market at Dorking Halls.

We started November with our first Christmas Market at Denbies Wine Estate with charity The Halow Project and a flash mob from Show Choir.

We followed this with our BIG Christmas Market at Dorking Halls. With the switching on of the Christmas lights and 56 small businesses taking part, this was by far our best event and something for for the community of Dorking and helped local charity PSDS raised over £1400. The whole atmosphere felt festive, with balloons supplied by Amy at Peanut Balloons which were then taken to Dorking Nursery and music provided by The Rock Choir who sang from the balcony.

In December we hosted our first evening shopping event at Denbies Wine Estate with 50 businesses taking part and our chosen Charity The Brigitte Trust and music once again from The Rock Choir - thank you!

We finished our markets this year back at Gildings Barns for a Creative Christmas Market, raising awareness and funds for Grace.

A big thank you to Gary and Jennai who are there to guide the small businesses in set up and to meet and greet the customers, as well as Sammy who joined us in June to work on our social media and marketing - your support has been incredible.

Into 2024

We already have plans well under way for nine new Curated by Dapper & Suave events at Denbies Wine Estate starting in April.

Each will have a different theme and lots of activities planned to make a day of it whilst you visit and meaning we can work with even more businesses who understand our ethos and to be unique, creative and friendly and have a great product or service and offer great customer service.

We’re excited to step in to 2024 with what we have learnt as business owners to help others and we look forward to sharing more with you via our newsletters, Instagram , Facebook and Linkedin.

We are excited to share with you that this year you will find Jason at the Enterprise Nation Start Up Show 10th anniversary Kings College London on Saturday 27 January on the panel at 2pm "How to start a creative craft business".

In addition we were asked to take part in the Small Business Market SU24 which means on the day @curatedbydapperandsuave will be represented by Rob @dappersuave , James & Dan @coffeeflamingo2020 & Astrid @marypjewellery

2023 was an exciting year for us both, helping to lay some foundations for the year ahead, and new ideas to share with you as we move into 2024.

We wish you a very Happy New Year and thank you as always for reading!

Jason & Rob



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