By Leah Sydney and Lisa Johnson Mandell
What are the celebrities gobbling up at the gifting suites during awards season? No one knows better than Gavin Keilly, the founder of GBK Productions, known as the “Gift Bag King” and the mastermind of gifting suites in general.
Celebrities are attracted to the GBK gifting suite, not only to be introduced to the incredible brands he brings to their attention, but also to be educated about new and worthy causes. In addition, Gavin is known for creating a welcoming, party atmosphere, from the décor, to the great DJ’s and, of course, the open bar. Gavin says, “Brands continue to come to GBK because of the great celebrities who attend, and the return on investment the brands receive.”
The recent GBK and Pilot Pens Golden Globe Gift Lounge at the W Hollywood Hotel was another home run. Below we’ve highlighted some of the buzziest products on hand:
Presenting sponsor Pilot Pens gifted its classy gunmetal-grey Vanishing Point fountain pens with rhodium-plated 18K gold nibs, perfect for celebrities signing autographs, and for the rest of us writing the thank you notes. They also received swanky leather notebooks and multicolored FriXion Clicker Erasable Gel Ink Pens in multi-colors, which we loved, because it’s true–the ink is totally erasable! Since most of us use keyboards so much, our handwriting skills have sunken to new lows, so those colorful pens with erasers are godsends..
The Artisan Group is a fixture at the GBK gifting suites, and with good reason. This mega talented group is an elite community of small business artisans who present magnificent products from jewelry, to soaps and beauty products and more. The Artisan Group also smartly coordinates product placement of its member’s handcrafted products on hit television shows such as Bones, The Voice and Scandal, among others. The Artisan Group’s work is truly lovely and unique.
Solo & Luggage, a company based in New York , specializes in laptop bag and tablet cases, totes and more. From backpacks to briefcases and chic women’s leather bucket laptop totes, Solo does it all with savvy style. Smart designs to enhance the lives of ambitious individuals looking to achieve more with confidence. We like that!
The innovative SHEEX gave out portable “Sleep Saxs” and bedsheets made out of performance athletic fabrics. Developed by professional athletes and coaches Michelle Brooke-Marciniak and Susan Walvius, Sheex are are sheets made of light weight performance fabric, like a workout shirt. It’s a soft, breathable, durable, low maintenance alternative to cotton that fits perfectly, keeps you cool, dry and comfortable, and doesn’t snag. SHEEX materials, unlike regular cotton or silk sheets, are moisture-wicking and temperature-controlled, with plenty of breathability and stretch. In addition to sheet sets, they make loungewear, pillows, mattress toppers, duvet covers, comforters, and blankets,
Vibrant, lovely Brave Chick Jewelry, whose concept is inspired by the challenges women of color face, has designs crafted to encourage and inspire women’s strength, wellness and individuality. Heather Marianna gave out her indulgent Beauty Kitchen products such as lavender bath soaks and tropical smoothie skin polishers.
The coolest tech product of them all was the LG Tone Pro, an ergonomically designed, wireless Bluetooth headset that looks a little sci-fi, a little high fashion. Either way, it takes hands free communication on the go to a whole new, stylish level. We especially like the metallic red.
The perennially popular Burke Williams Day Spa offered on site massages, which many celebs happily tried, while giving guests gift certificates to try their new Advanced Eye Lift Treatment and day passes at their A-plus spas.
And if the VIPS need more pampering, they can jet off to Anguilla’s CeBlue Villas & Beach Resort, courtesy of Caribbean Living Magazine. The Puerto Vallerta Beach Club gifted three night accommodations at its private beachfront enclave on the Mexican Rivera. How does one get there, you may ask? Well, JetSmarter is a mobile app that offers instant pricing and availability for private flights worldwide.
What to wear on these trips? BeyondTheRack.com handed out $200 gift cards to their hip site. Canada Bliss also gave out fun newsboy knit caps, toques and slouchy beanies. And for the chic baby, Creepy Crawlers showcased their developmental clothing for babies.
What to munch? When restaurant owner and Real Housewife of Beverly Hills Lisa Vanderpump likes the way something tastes, you know it has to be good. Such is the case with the outrageously fudgey Barry’s Gourmet Brownies, which come in delicious flavors like raspberry, salted caramel, peanut butter and double chocolate chunk. These are even better than homemade, and they’re available at places like CostCo and online and at barrysgourmetbrownies.com. A large gift box with 24 brownies like the ones the celebrities received in the GBK gift suite only costs $34.95.
Also for the VIP’s snacking pleasure was Sabra Dipping Co.‘s delicious hummus and guacamole. My Candy Basket gifted their beautifully packaged sweets. And Cupcake Fusion LA came up with something new: savory cupcakes, in flavors like taco, barbecue chicken and more.
One of the most fascinating new products was intended for those who like to smoke big fat cigars, and the partners who hate the smell. Our favorite cigar aficionado tried a Citizen eCigar, and was very stunned, not to mention favorably impressed, by their feel and flavor. The words he used were “game changers.” Want to indulge in a smoke? See CitizenEcig.com.
We couldn’t help but be intrigues by Abeego, a reusable beeswax food wrap that takes the place of plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and can be used to cover leftovers, wrap cheese, package fresh herbs, fruits, vegetables, sandwiches and more. It’s an eco- friendly innovation that’s breathable and washable, and keeps food fresh naturally. Birdman writers Alexander Dinelaris and Nicolas Giacobone were happy to find it in the GBK Gift Suite, but you can probably find it in your local eco-friendly goods store.
The Suite benefited three worthy organizations: Lambda Legal, whose mission is to achieve full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgender people; World Vision, which gave VIPs the opportunity to make Ebola Caregiver kits to help those suffering in Africa; and finally, YES!, which provides information and resources with those affected by cancer.