DPA GIFTING SUITE 2023
I had not been to a DPA event in a few years, so I figured it was time to give it another go before this year’s Oscars. It was held once again at Brentwood’s Luxe Hotel.
To let you in on some gifting suite protocols, the VIPs at them often get an “escort” to help introduce them around, and sometimes carry their bags for them. When I was doing my TV show, I was given an escort all the time, because I was considered a “celebrity.” But now that I’m in the category of “media,” (which I actually prefer—it’s much less pressure,) and one of my contributing writers is always working with me at the suites, (in this case, it was Laura,) we’re happy to meet everyone on our own; we don’t really need anyone to introduce us to the sponsors, nor carry our bags. You know me—I feel bad to have anyone basically labor for me. But I still occasionally get a helper when they’re available. And I was honored at this event to have the organizer herself show us around! How special is that?!
DPA was somewhat of a different sort of gifting suite in that most of the sponsors were just showing their wares, rather than gifting them, so we don’t have that much to tell you about in that category. Laura explains, “This was the most intimate gifting suite that I’ve ever been to. It was more subdued than the others, which are usually a bit more grand, and have more of a party atmosphere. This one was still interesting; I enjoy seeing all the different ways gifting suites are done, and that no two are exactly alike.”
We were lucky enough there to meet, and spend some time with, Ernestine Hipper, who, two nights later, won the Oscar for Best Set Design, for the absolute best film of the year, All Quiet on the Western Front! She and her co-worker were lovely, and they were so grateful that I had lauded them to the max in my Movie Reviews column that day! (If you missed it, but want to read the same story as an Oscar winner did, here’s that link: itsnotaboutme.tv/news/movie-reviews-mini-movie-reviews-2023-part-iii.) They adored what I had to say about their precious film, which made me so happy. Ernestine tried to introduce me to the film’s producer, Lesley Paterson, whom I had mentioned in that column, but we were both always chatting with others, so, sadly, that confab will have to wait for another day.
On top of that specialness, we enjoyed some delicious dishes from local eatery Carvery Kitchen. I loved the pulled pork, while Laura enjoyed their mashed potatoes and mac ‘n cheese, and said of the latter, “It’s not easy to keep mac ‘n cheese creamy when it’s being served throughout the day, but they managed to do so. I’d love to know their secret.”
Here are the highlights of the rest of our discoveries there:
Historically Modern Designs—We had just seen these glasses at a Grammys suite, so we were happy to meet the creators themselves, an adorable young couple from Colorado, this time. They were gifting a duo of their “sipping” glasses that are perfect for drinking alcoholic spirits. My non-imbibing self just admired their beauty. (That of the glasses and the couple!) www.historicallymoderndesigns.com
Geek Eyewear—I was happy to come upon this chic eyewear company again, because I’ve met them a couple of times at other gifting suites, and I wanted to introduce Laura to them. But they really needed no intro because, as she explains, “This was the first time at a gifting suite that I’ve come across a sponsor of whom I was already a customer, and therefore, I was very familiar with their line. As someone who has worn glasses most of my life, many of them have been from Geek. My face is so narrow that I sometimes wear their kid’s frames, but they’re equally as hip and cool as their adult counterparts.” www.geekeyewear.com
TheLabelSaba—This lovely bag designer from Kenya, (whose name is the rhyming “Nthenya,” which, of course, I love,) was gifting colorful wristlets made from…fish leather! They’re the perfect size for when you don’t want to carry all of your possessions, (which is usually unnecessary to begin with.) When all you need is your credit cards, a bit of cash, perhaps your mask, and, of course, your phone, one of these beauties is the perfect choice! www.thelabelsaba.com
Fallen Stars—The very sweet husband of the woman who runs this jewelry company was on-site to help guests choose their favorite neck pendant made from Herkimer diamonds, which are mined from quartz in New York. (That location means that no one gets hurt in the process, as they often do while mining diamonds in other countries.) Each stone is unique, and they’re all shiny and beautiful, which made the decision of which one to choose a difficult one.
Piece it Together—This colorful children’s book is written by former New England Patriot and Super Bowl Champion, Kyle Arrington. As a former elementary school teacher, I appreciate how easy it is for the little ones. And, as Kyle explained to me, “It’s not meant to be a long read, but a powerful one.” I wish his kids had been my students back then! Laura, who’s a mom of two little ones, read the book and tells us, “This STEM-themed book sends the message that, individually, we can build interesting things, but together we can build incredible things.” www.arr24.com
Scent Si Bon—This eco-friendly laundry products company had one of the loveliest displays I’ve ever come across in a gifting suite! They were gifting their luxury scented multi-purpose cleaning tablets. Laura researched them a bit, and tells us, “This company is revolutionizing the cleaning industry, and I am here for it. They’re creating products that eliminate the need for bulky plastic bottles that end up in landfill, and they also eliminate the need to use fossil fuels to ship heavy containers of cleaning supplies that are mostly water. The tablets are about triple the size of a large vitamin; they dissolve in water to form into a multi-purpose cleaner. And they smell amazing!” www.scentsiboninc.com
Something Major: The New Playbook for Women at Work—Randi F. Braun, the very pleasant author of this self-help book for women at work, (duh–that’s exactly what the title states!,) was on site to tell us a little about her work, and sign the books for the guests who received them.
Richard Garnier—After researching this wellness practitioner, Laura deemed him to be “the most interesting sponsor at the suite.” She explains that his hypnomagnetism “fuses ancient energy modalities with modern neuroscientific techniques.” He was gifting certificates for a session with him. www.richardgarnier.com
Truth in Hand—Laura said that receiving a palm reading from Lisa Greenfield, who’s also an intuitive coach, was her “favorite part of the suite!” She adds, “When Lisa perused my hands, she was able to tell me things about myself that were spot-on. I actually started getting emotional. Spending only a few minutes with her was such a positive and unforgettable experience. She’s incredible.” www.truthinhand.com
Saori Yoshimura—This facialist, who came in from Japan specifically for awards season, was on-site performing a mini massage on each guest. Saori told me, (through her handsome interpreter,) her work is designed to balance both sides of your face to be more equal. I speak a tiny bit of Japanese, so Saori was giggling and so happy when I told her she that she is the “ichiban” (“number one”) facialist.