*One of the most enjoyable experiences during Grammy Week is the celebrity gift suites. GBK Productions, one of the leading lifestyle and special event companies, presented its annual pre-Grammy gifting lounge at Philippe Chow in New York City on January 27. Hosted on both levels of the elegant Upper East Side restaurant, Philippe Chow is best known for its Beijing styled cuisine and its signature Peking Duck. While talent and tastemakers mingled and previewed the latest in technology, lifestyle, fashion, and travel, world-renowned Chef Philippe Chow and his culinary team served up an array of tasty delights including chicken and beef satay, chicken and steamed vegetable dumplings, and many other chef favorites.
Founded by Gavin Keilly in 2000, GBK Productions is widely known for its marketing integration of products, brands, and services and offers its clients a platform to promote to a wide range of high-profile personalities and influencers. On the eve of music’s biggest night, guests were gifted with numerous items including many that have become my favorites.
I had the most delightful tasting experience with Bouvery CV, a dark chocolate vodka made with gluten-free vodka and organic fair trade cocoa. The creators of Bouvery CV spent six years developing the formula and the manufacturing process. The product is also used to create other cocktails, or it can be served on the rocks. Each guest received a 375 ml bottle in a red velvet pouch, valued at $40.
The Tree Trunk Company presented its innovative line of cannabis furnishing. Handmade in Canada, The Tree Trunk Company gifted guests with a hardwood tree tray or the mini tree tray, valued at $400.
As I moved through the suite, I was greeted by mixologists from The Cup Bearer, who handcrafted cocktails with branded ice cubes with gold flakes accents created for the Grammy 60th Anniversary. The Cup Bearer is a luxury mobile bar service located in Fairfield, Connecticut. The premiere cocktail catering company handles special events in the New York Metropolitan area. The Cup Bearer gifted talent with a voucher for an evening of services ranging from $2,000 to $10,000.
Jazz artist JC Stylles was on hand to present his trademarked JC Stylles Opulears headphones that are made for the quintessential music connoisseur. The guitarist says his brand is designed for supreme comfort for discerning listeners. The luxury headphones are designed in Cherrywood and Walnut, with a value ranging from $349 to $399.
I also had the opportunity to spend some time with Amara Skye, the granddaughter of Whoopi Goldberg, who not only creates original paintings and painted jackets for her famous grandmother, but also designed and presented her line of silkscreened shirts and jackets from the hand-painted original to guests, with each garment valued at $500. A new entrepreneur, Skye started her company four months ago (November 2017). She describes her designs as an urban trend with an edge.
I was given a demonstration by Vinci, the first Smart Headphones with AI (Artificial Intelligence). With the voice companion, you can ask for music, heart rate, directions, and weather, and other things. The colorful, flashy headphones also come with a standalone high fidelity music player and includes up to 32G storage, fitness tracker and heart rate monitor, wireless charging, 3D sound recording and active noise cancellation, among other features. Founded by MIT alumni Dave and Max in 2014, the company presented guests with Vinci 1.5 Smart Headphones, valued at $219.
For those who are always in need of rest and relaxation, Caribbean Living, a luxury travel magazine, covers five-star destinations at Palace Resorts throughout Mexico and the Caribbean. Palace Resorts and Caribbean Living gifted guests with a three-night all-inclusive stay in Cancun at The Grand at Moon Palace, valued at $1,500.
One of the most exciting discoveries in the suite was the new custom illustrated sneaker brand, Sophdawg. I met Sophia Altholz, a former art director for Gary Vaynerchuk. For a fixed cost of $500, the Brooklyn-based company provides the sneaker and the one-of-a-kind design based on the client’s personality or brand needs. The custom sneakers are great for corporate gifts, valued at $500.00.
I was thrilled to discover a new line of jewelry that I love. Fortune and Frame is a New York City-based company that is best known for its signature sterling silver, and brass and gold dipped fortune cookie and locket pieces that hold inspirational messages, ranging from $145-$165.
I met best friends Allie and Sharon, who are owners and designers of Two Gypsea Souls, an upcycled, vintage rock and roll inspired clothing line. The Two Gypsea Souls creates one-of-a-kind designs featuring iconic music legends such as Jimi Hendrix, Nina Simone, Ed Sheeran, Fleetwood Mac, The Rolling Stones, and Prince, just to name a few. Talent and tastemakers were able to order their custom shirt with their favorite rock star; I received my one-of-a-kind Jimi Hendrix shirt, beautiful and edgy, and valued at $130.
One of the most beautiful packaged gifts in the suite was the Blue Nun 24K Gold Edition, sparkling wine with 24k gold flakes. Slightly sweet, it is a great aperitif or accompaniment to light meals and hors-d’oeuvres and ideally suited for special occasions and celebrations. Headed by Patrick Langguth, a seventh generation family member, the Germany winery presented the celebrities with the 24K Edition, valued at $500.
I’m looking forward to visiting Hotel El Ganzo, a luxury boutique hotel located in San Jose, del Cabo, Mexico. Founded and created by Pablo Sanchez-Navarro, the hotel was designed for music artists, songwriters, and members of the global creative community to come and work and record their projects in an inspired environment surrounded by ocean views and beaches. The hotel has a state-of-the-art recording studio where resident artists and recording artists perform regularly. Celebrities received a two-night stay at the art deco hotel, valued at $1,500.
Another favorite was Remember Me Green. The company upcycles New York City billboards from landmark locations including Times Squares and other historic sites around the city and create unique, one-of-a-kind eco-friendly designed tote bags, valued from $75-$120.
Other unique gifting experiences were presented by Wear Your Music, which handcrafts bracelets from used guitar strings donated by acclaimed musicians, valued at $50. Proceeds from online purchases are donated to the artist charity of choice. Another lounge hit was Pinnertest, a food intolerance testing company. The at-home test assist in identifying food intolerances that may lead to weight gain, acne, bloating, eczema, and psoriasis, valued at $600. Pinn, LLC presented their latest and exciting technology. No need to retrieve your phone from your purse, Bluetooth-enabled Pinn clips anywhere and its easy-to-read LED display and combined with a microphone/earbud keep you connected to your mobile phone’s key features, valued at $379. Lumisque gifted their signature CO2Lift, which is a state-of-the-art carboxy therapy treatment mask for the face, eyes, neck, and hands that is clinically proven to lift, hydrate, and rejuvenate your skin with immediate results and no downtime.
Guests had the opportunity to learn more about Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation and Lé Metier de Beauté, a leader in technology-driven skin care and cosmetics with an emphasis on quality, craftsmanship, and performance, offering a highly curated range of products that use pharmaceutical-level delivery systems to offer the best results imaginable. Lé Metier de Beauté has created a limited-edition version of their best-selling Precision Liquid Eyeliner in Noir to benefit Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research. The innovative design of the soft quill-tipped applicator tip makes the eyeliner long wearing and easy to use, and the purple packaging with angel wings highlights Le Metier’s commitment to donating a portion of proceeds to the non-profit organization. FOCUS Youth Center, a holistically designed Arts and Education program for at-risk youth, including Parenting Intervention workshops and a Spiritual Center for the community to connect and find common ground, was also on site connecting celebrities to their local community efforts.
GBK Productions presented a memorable, quality luxury experience!
Gwendolyn Quinn is an award-winning media strategist and consultant with a career spanning more than 25 years. She is a contributor to NBCNews.com/NBCBLK.com, BlackEnterprise.com, HuffPost, and Medium.com, among others. Quinn is also a contributor to Souls Revealed and Handle Your Entertainment Business.