DPA’s Pre-Golden Globes Gifting Suite at the L’Hermitage Hotel Forced This Publisher/Editor Out of “Swag” Hibernation and Offered Its Celebrities Fine Gifts and an Even Finer Experience!

There’s a lot to be said for free “stuff!”  From my observations, people are really inclined to make an appearance if they’re promised a loaded swag bag.  I used to suffer from that affliction until my office storage room began to overflow—that being one of the main reasons I personally stopped attending gifting suites.  Well, last January during all the Golden Globes hoopla I made an exception.  I decided to make an appearance at the 2011 DPA Pre-Golden Globes Gifting Suite held at the L’Hermitage Hotel in Beverly Hills on January 13.  My main intention was to see what vendors were gifting celebrities and, well, to see if there were any good products worth mentioning in Agenda.  I know celebrities will be there, but it’s never my intention when attending these suites to interview, gawk at, or even get my picture taken with one.  However, I feel the strong need to mention which celebrities and VIPs actually showed up.  They were actors Jennifer Love Hewitt, Melissa McMeekin, Jessica Lowndes, Kate Flannery, Armie Hammer and Elizabeth Chambers, Terrence Howard, Greg Finley, Mayim Bialik, Lindsay Pulsipher, Jenna Lamia, Dendrie Taylor, Colin O’Donoghue, Chelsea Traille, Lorraine Bracco, Ian McShane, Keith Carradine, Lisa Vidal, Amber Stevens, Dennis Quaid, Izabella Miko, Elyse Levesque, and Madeline Martin, producer David W. Zucker, director/writer Frank Darabont, director David Nutter, Sony Pictures Classics co-president Tom Bernard, director Michael Sucsy, writer Mark Heyman, and musician Adam Lambert.

Now that I got that out of the way, I’d like to gush about the amazing products and the people behind those products that I saw at the L’Hermitage Hotel that day.

My taste buds were booming when I ran into Stephanie Ellis of Millie’s Cheesecakes (www.milliescheesecake.com).  I remembered her delectable butter-filled treats over three years ago at another DPA gifting suite.  I never forgot how her desserts impacted me, and this was back before I grew some willpower!  I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I gorged myself on her tiny cheesecakes and liked them so much that I featured her in one of the only three published issues of Agenda Bride.  Recently, because of our renewed acquaintance, she was our dessert sponsor for the Kevan Hall Spring 2011 Fashion Showcase at Agenda Loft on January 19, 2011.  And yes, her cheesecakes stole the show!

Chokolinis is an Austrian company who makes chocolate treats in a healthy, organic way.  They have a variety of flavors.  My favorite was the Dark Chocolate Covered Apple Dices, which are 100% organic.  They also had a number of other flavors displayed, including Apple Cubes with Yoghurt White Chocolate and Apple Cubes with Milk Chocolate too.  Visit their website (www.chokolinis.com) to learn more about their flavors.  Theirs was a guilty pleasure without the guilt.

Kusmi Tea “Paris” is located in New York and Los Angeles.  I’m not really a big tea drinker per se, but when I do indulge I tend to go for the sweeter flavors like Chai and Good Earth Spice Tea, otherwise I smother my teas with sugar and milk.  I have been told I ruin the best teas that way.  So I mainly stick to coffee drinks.  Not this time.  I loved the taste of Kusmi Tea.  There are a variety of flavors, but I just adored the BOOST, which was a surprising blend of green tea and spices that naturally stimulates the body and mind . . . delicious!  Visit www.us.kusmitea.com.

Other companies like ChristieCommunications had a vast choice of natural products manufactured out of love and philanthropy with the sole intention of giving back to the world in some way.  Their motto is “Build a better world through supporting ethical entrepreneurs and companies.”  Some of their products include
1. Pure Fit Nutrition Bars without artificial ingredients
2. Spoonk Rider (eco foam) an acupuncture mat for health and wellness
3. BioEnenrgy Ribose accelerates energy recovery
4. and Colman’s Mustard Powder

To learn more about their products, visit www.christiecomm.com.

There were several designers, many of whom were from Canada and various parts of Europe.  I chatted for a long time with one in particular, Susan Hood of Susan Hood Designs.   She brought out her pieces entitled the Glass Harp Gallery with an illuminating display of finely crafted necklaces made from glass.  They were exquisite.  Her jewelry has been featured in several Canadian publications, juried shows, craft fairs, and art galleries. Visit www.glassharpgallery.com.

Turbine is a women’s ready-to-wear collection, complemented by handbags and jewelry, including a unique limited edition made from unused high quality vintage fabrics.  Visit www.turbine.ca.

Michique are handbags from twin designers Michelle Newcombe and Monique Delisle.  These high fashion works of art are not only beautiful but are functional handbags that can carry you through your day at the office and into a high end  restaurant for an evening on the town.  Their bags are available in 25 stores in Canada and online.  Visit www.michiqueonline.com.

Henderson Design Jewelry Collection is a line that offers specialty jewelry and uses precious and semi-precious gemstones.  They are located in Houston, TX.  Visit www.hendersondesigncollection.com.

Domakaya is a London based company specializing in limited edition knitted and crocheted accessories.  Their products are unique—no two pieces are the same—with elaborate trimmings and decorations, such as beading, embroidery, brooches, buttons, leather, lace, feathers, and velvet trims. Their products include handbags, hats, hand warmers, scarves, shawls, and ponchos for winter, and headbands and shawls for summer. Visit www.domakaya.com.

Star Candy is a collection of fun and flirt-worthy panties, created by designer Marisa Stewart, who complained about ill-fitting undergarments and awful panty lines.  She designed the Star Candy, a panty for the modern woman.  Visit www.starcandyboutique.com.

Chris & Alix is a Montreal based jewelry company with signature designs combining quality gemstones and precious metals, creating timeless, luxury pieces that are as individual as the wearer.  Visit www.chris-alix.com.

Dianna DiNoble Starkers! Corsetry are handmade one-of-a-kind corsets based on historical designs.   Starkers! Corsetry has appeared in Flare, Hungarian Cosmopolitan, National Post, Toronto Star, and Clin D’Oeil.  Her corsets are worn by Katy Perry, actor Melanie Laurent, and Jennifer Carpenter.  Visit www.starkers.com.

Other products there were Imperfect Indulgence (www.imperfectindulgence.com); RGK D’ Zines (www.RGKdzines.com); Barbara Bela (www.barbarabela.com.br), KW Pilates (www.kwpilates.com); and Eclectic Collections, Fragrances for Men & Women (www.eclectic-collections.com); Cloud B – Helping Children Sleep Easier and Safer (www.cloudb.com); and special vacation packages were offered to celebrities from St Regis Bora Bora (www.stregis.com) and pampered spa packages.

The DPA Pre-Golden Globes Gifting Suite at the L’Hermitage Hotel was a great event for celebrities, press, and the participating vendors.  All the products were of the highest quality and came from around the world (Europe, Canada, America).  I thoroughly enjoyed my “pre-Golden Globes” visit. Thank you Nathalie DuBois for pulling this publisher/editor out “swag hibernation!”

Read the interview with Nathalie Dubois of DPA Productions.

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