When Alison Dean started curating events for the Australian market, she didn’t realise the power of women connecting with like-minded women, until she became a mother and noticed the reprieve quality time with her girlfriends gave her. Alison’s upcoming event, A Gorgeous Excuse, is a tapas-style brunch and wine pairing, designed to help you “pick up where you left off” with your gal pals. For Alison, this event is a fancy representation of a sentiment that rings true for many women, “as soon as you hit the table and have a glass of wine with them, it just feels like home”.
Alison Dean is a mother, wife, business owner, and the CEO of The Peppermint Group, a full-service digital marketing group based in South Sydney. She knows “the juggle” well, trying to bring 100% of herself to her family and work. Women are constantly trying to juggle every role, which adds to the challenge of taking time for self-care and checking in with our gals. “We put everything else first except for ourselves”, says Alison, “and if we do make an effort to catch up with the ones we love, that always helps us in our life when we go back”.
In order to address the juggle, Alison has departed from earlier iterations of events such as her 5000-women strong The High Tea Party, to instead underline the need for self-care. Alison’s upcoming event A Gorgeous Excuse, running at the Hyatt Hotel, is an intimate event focused on what Alison calls the “localised brand experience”, exploring the meaningful connections between small business owners and attendees. This localised brand experience acknowledges the importance of supporting local women, especially in the face of the bushfires, floods, and of course, the COVID-19 pandemic, which continue to have lasting inequality for women, their families, and their businesses.
A pivotal point for The Peppermint Group has been creating space to empower women to stay true to their brands. During her time working in “big advertising”, she noticed how much competition there was between brands—big expos were about competing to sell, rather than allowing customers to connect with vendors. As such, her event is focused on “true non-compete brand activation on the ground”, which Alison achieves by only selecting one vendor from each product category.
Alison believes that there has been a decrease in social opportunities for women to connect, and that she hopes to get Canberra women of all ages to come out and support women-owned small businesses. She aims to foster a true sense of community, encouraging women to stamp a date in the calendar that’s dedicated to catching up with gal pals and indulging in good cheese and wine, fashion, and live music.