Yesterday was an exhausting but fantastic day. A good friend of mine (a jewelry designer like me) had some special family connections, and asked me to help her as a volunteer for one of the celebrity gift boutiques and the Carmen Electra/Rosalyn Sanchez “Leather and Laces” party for the Superbowl. The Phoenix area is a zoo right now thanks to the Superbowl AND the FBR golf tournament. Of course I agreed–a chance to wear my own jewelry AND hobnob with celebrities???

The gift boutique was actually the funnest part of the day. The highlight for me?

Having my picture taken with Patti LaBelle.

That’s right. She was the one celebrity that had me star-struck. I couldn’t believe I had this incredible legend putting her arm around mine, and asking if she looked “Okay.” I looked at her, and told her she looked wonderful. And she did.

I didn’t ask to have my picture taken with anyone until she walked in. It was too much of an opportunity to pass up. And I have to say, she is an incredibly nice person, and very down to earth. I did see her irritated with a phone call she received, and once she hung up, she passed her phone to one of her entourage with annoyance and motioned that she wanted to be left alone to do her thing.

After that I had my picture taken with some other celebrities: Kevin Sorbo, Brian Griese, Teo Johnson of the Buffalo Bills, Mike Wright of the 49ers, and one of the Deal or No Deal girls. Eventually I will get the pictures from the photographer and I’ll post them here.

The “Leather and Laces” party wasn’t so much fun. It was actually downer, partially because not many celebrities came to this party–I guess the P-Diddy party was more of an attraction for the stars–and the part that was really a downer was how the local attendees acted. I saw a lot of rudeness, and the locals were were very materialistic. I was handing out gift bags, and I had people actually inspect the bag and hand it bag to me, sometimes with just downright ugly behavior. Most of the ones that did this were young, 20-something people. I was a little annoyed, because I don’t believe I saw any celebrities act that way in the gift lounge.

You might ask why celebs are given so much, and initially I was really annoyed by the idea that those who make incredible salaries are given free items, but after seeing the marketing and branding in action, I get it. At each table these celebrities willingly took pictures holding up whatever item they were being given. These photos will be used by the businesses to show celebrity endorsement on a low level. AND, if the celebrity really does like the product after they take it home and use it or sample it, that’s additional advertisment and endorsement that is priceless. Compared to seeing how locals snub their nose, I can’t complain about giving celebrities free items.

It would be nice to be able to afford to be at a venue like this…the cost of paying to be in the venue plus the cost of items I’d have to make to give away would be high. I did appreciate the lesson behind doing this event, and I have to say it was a blast. One business that I was very envious of (in a positive way) was a jewelry company called “Rock Band.” The owner Lee came up with a terrific idea: he makes these great looking bracelets out of leather, with gorgeous stones that are snapped in by the band of leather, and it is definitely a trendy look. I really wanted one of those bracelets…*sigh*…and I have to say his bracelet was one of the hot items. Every celeb, except Patti LaBelle, walked out wearing their Rock Band. Priceless advertisement indeed. (and I still want one of those!!!)

I do advise any business that can afford to be in a venue of this nature, they should do so. The celebrities really do take the time to listen to the business owner, they are interested, and they are willing to share time out of their jam-packed schedule for a moment of endorsement.

That’s it for now…enjoy your Superbowl, and I’ll talk to you soon!


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