GIFTING LOUNGE: GBK’S PRE-OSCAR’S CELEBRITY LOUNGE 2018

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GBK’S PRE-OSCAR’S CELEBRITY LOUNGE 2018

The entrance to the GBK Oscars Lounge.  Photo by Karen Salkin, as is the big one at the top of the page, which is the view looking down into the event.

The entrance to the GBK Oscars Lounge. Photo by Karen Salkin, as is the big one at the top of the page, which is the view looking down into the event.

This pre-Oscars event was held at the new-ish St. Supery tasting room on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. GBK outdid themselves with this luxurious venue…I felt like I was at the Oscars themselves as soon as we entered!!! My contributing writer on this one, Flo, (whose comments are the ones in quotes throughout,) said it was “absolutely perfect for the occasion!” She describes the atmosphere as “elegant, with grand double-curving stairways and elegant wrought-iron banisters.” I agree–it was three-levels of exquisite-ness. (And I’m sure most of the guests enjoyed the ever-flowing wines, as well!)

We really didn’t even know where to begin! Everywhere we looked we discovered something new and happening. So, here are the highlights of the GBK gifts:

Photo by Karen Salkin.

Photo by Karen Salkin.

The Artisan Group–Once again, we were bowled-over by the magnitude and fabulousness of the gifts from this group of uber-talented artisans!!! Each guest received a goodie bag containing over a dozen items, all of which Flo deemed “fit for a star–as well as for the rest of us!” We spent a lot of time looking at the many offerings from different artists, everything “carefully curated and handmade.” My favorite piece in there was a shock to even me, (because it’s not jewelry!) It’s a charming, very colorful little zippered pouch from The Art Werks. Even the designer’s business card is a “werk” of art! (www.theartwerks.com.) And Flo went ga-ga over a set of teensy-tiny handmade journals, complete with blank pages that suggest you “test your pens in Sanford’s ink, if you please” from The Nib & Quill. (www.thenibandquill.etsy.com.) Here’s some more of the wonderfulness that we found in the bags: Tahmi’s lovely “Woven Rain” pendant whose tiny glass bubbles actually “give the effect of raindrops” (www.tahmi.com); The Vintage Locket’s sparkling tennis bracelet that features “large Swarovski crystals in a range of shades” (www.thevintagelocket.com); a luxury candle (the fragrance of which Flo found to be “uplifting and soothing”) from Mahendi, who donates a portion of all proceeds to charitable women’s organizations across the globe (www.mahendiprojects.com); Nature With You’s metal “Atom” pendant, which looks like a scientific version of a Jewish star, which we both appreciated (www.naturewithyou.com); Kari Asbury Jewelry’s Victorian-style skeleton key necklace that features varicolored hand-wrapped rhinestones (www.kariasbury.com); and very attractive earrings from Dragon and Butterfly that have a lot going on, including silver ovals and little purple crystals (www.dragonandbutterfly.etsy.com.) Whew! And it’s all so beautifully packaged and presented to the celebrities. I only hope that they appreciate all of this spectacular craftsmanship as much as Flo and I do! www.theartisangroup.org

Photo by Flo Selfman.

Photo by Flo Selfman.

Woodchuck USA—This one was a great find! We both adored this company’s reps, John and Michael. (I’m Peter Pan, so now all we need is a Wendy!) Not only do they hand-craft handsome items, (such as notebooks, coasters, journals, even business cards!,) out of thin wood, but they’re kind human beings, as well. Flo noted that “their mission is to put nature back into people’s lives.” To that end, for every tree they use, another one gets planted; so far, they’re up to over a million! We talked to the guys for a long time, (because they were so charming that we couldn’t tear ourselves away,) and Flo told me that she so appreciates that Woodchuck USA “builds giving back into their business model.” www.woodchuckusa.com

Photo by Flo Selfman.

Photo by Flo Selfman.

My Sky Moment—This was something neither of us had ever seen before. Each guest received a personalized poster of a chart showing the heavens at the exact moment of the special occasion of their choice. It’s perfect for a romantic gift, or in my case, my favorite date to celebrate with Mr. X. I titled mine “The Day I Took You Hostage.” I’m sure he’ll enjoy looking up to the heavens in the picture of that date, as he wonders “whyyyy?” (Said ala Nancy Kerrigan!) www.myskymoment.com

Photo by Karen Salkin.

Photo by Karen Salkin.

John Kelly Chocolates—Viewers of my former show, Karen’s Restaurant Revue, may remember that the give-away we did of this world-class fudge was one of the most requested ever! Since Flo didn’t win one back then, and is a major fudge fan, I was thrilled for her to try these here. She pointed-out that “each piece is hand-crafted, and generously-sized,” which is such a bonus because you’ll always want more of it! She told me that she equally loved the flavors, including “milk, semi-sweet, or dark chocolate with fillings like truffle and caramel, and some topped with sea salt.” We both think that you should emulate what she’s about to do, and visit both of their two locations “when you’re in LA.” www.johnkellychocolates.com

Photo by Karen Salkin.

Photo by Karen Salkin.

Healing Salt Caves–This Canadian wellness centre (which also has a few locations in the eastern United States) was gifting certificates to any of their spas, along with shot glasses that are made out of pure salt, (which I assume means that when you drink from them, you’re doing yourself a favor, and not just getting drunk.)  I felt better just walking over to their corner of the room because it was filled with several of their healing salt lamps! www.healingsaltcaves.com

Photo by Flo Selfman.

Photo by Flo Selfman.

OG Hot Sauce—Even though “Original Gangstas” would love this hot sauce, the “OG” really stands for “onion and garlic,” which are the primary ingredients in this thick and zesty hot sauce. (There are peppers in there, too, of course!) Flo tried it right then and there (the mild one—we’re not adventurous tasters,) and said that although it was “surprising to see it paired with fruit” (for the samples,) “it works!” And she deemed it to be “very tasty!” www.oghotsauce.net

Photo by Karen Salkin.

Photo by Karen Salkin.

Woodhouse Spa—This Minnesota spa isn’t in LA yet, so they brought some of their goodies to us! Guests were given a choice of a handsome little tin of tea or shea butter hand cream. Flo tried the latter and declared it to be “the creamiest cream you’ll ever put on your hands!” Now we both hope that they come to our city soon so we can see what they can do for the rest of our bodies! www.arborlakes.woodhousespas.com

Photo by Flo Selfman.

Photo by Flo Selfman.

Shapa Scale—There’s a lot of data behind this new scale that you sync up to your smart devices, to help you set health goals and meet them. But when the rep mentioned that there’s no read-out (for others to see,) I was so happy that I heard nothing after that statement! www.shapa.me

As with all GBK events, this one benefitted a couple of charities. They are:

Gain Foundation—This organization is focused on the admirable task of finding a solution to end malnutrition around the world. www.gainhealth.org

Route 91 Strong—This organization was founded by one of the survivors of last year’s tragic shooting in Las Vegas, to help her fellow victims who were not as lucky to escape as she was. www.route91strong.org

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