“Do not make your events too diverse”?
In this guest article, Jason Brett, Co-Owner of Curated by Dapper & Suave, discusses being told not to make their events too diverse and how this ignited his passion for inclusivity.
Yes, this was said to me at a local breakfast networking event group, and I am so glad that it was said as it put the fire in my belly to show diversity and inclusivity which is something I strive for at our events.
Having grown up on the Isle of Wight, we didn’t have many people of colour and of different religions as part of the community. I only recall at my school there being two people of colour and with this the remarks made and what I heard were unacceptable although when I was younger, we did live in a different time when representation in the media of certain people was very stereotyped.
As soon as I was old enough I moved to London to surround myself with people from different walks of life and to see how different cultures came together through music, art, theatre, fashion, dance, food and drink, and by seeing and being part of that I knew that there was more to life and I’ve always enjoyed getting to know how other people come together in different ways for the community.
Having a varied work experience in different sectors I have seen racism and inappropriate language spoken about others and always took people for who they are and not what they are. I have seen and experienced homophobia which, unbelievably, is still out there today with people’s lack of understanding and acceptance of others who may be different from them.
With the pandemic things changed, and they certainly did for myself. I lost my job as an Assistant Manager in a French Connection but was lucky as I had two side-line hobby businesses which now being self-employed, I run and am very enthusiastic about.
Our first business was Dapper and Suave, makers of bow ties, ties, pocket squares, cravats, and hair accessories, and through wanting to sell our products with other like-minded people came Curated by Dapper and Suave which are Pop Up Shopping events that have an important ethos to offer to customers a “unique, friendly, and creative” environment so that the small businesses have a platform to sell, focusing on great customer service and to bring the events into the 21st century where we all have equal opportunities to succeed, regardless of our gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability.