How Lash Fary Creates Award Show Gift Lounges

The biggest secret about most award shows is that nobody goes home emptied handed.

Presenters, performers and nominees at the 58th annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 15 will take home lux items from Distinctive Assets’ gift lounge that include jewelry, chocolate, facials, a seven-day getaway and more. In total, the pricey Grammy goody bag is valued at $22,000.

And for the past 16 years, LA-based entertainment marketing company Distinctive Assets-which has been credited with launching the celebrity gifting suite craze–has been the gatekeeper between smiling celebrity faces and the swag they pose alongside.

Singer Andra Day poses by the belldini booth at the official Grammy gift lounge.
Singer Andra Day poses by the belldini booth at the official Grammy Gift Lounge.

“We came up with the concept for brands to promote their products and celebrities get things for free and get introduced to things in a very low-key environment,” founder Lash Fary tells Made in Hollywood at the 2016 Grammy Gift Lounge in Los Angeles on Friday.

He says the concept began in 1999 as a way to keep talent busy while idly “waiting for rehearsals.” Since then, the company has provided gift suites for the Tony Awards, MTV Movie Awards, MTV Video Music Awards and Academy of Country Music Awards, among others.

Singer/TV personality Joey Fatone (center) poses with chocolatier Phillip Anthony (L) at the Grammy Gift Lounge.
Singer/TV personality Joey Fatone (center) poses with chocolatier Phillip Anthony (L) at the Grammy Gift Lounge.

Chocolatier Philip Ashley, who’s treating guests to a 23k-gold salted caramel pecan praline box and other sweets valued at $199, says that giving away products to VIPs at gifting lounges are “very important for entrepreneurs and small business owners for exposure.”

Hair guru Gina Rivera, who provided infrared-technology hairstyling products from her Tools by Gina collection valued at $250, agrees. “There’s probably not an artist that doesn’t blow dry or flat iron their hair during the week,” she explains, “so it’s wonderful to be able to present them with a product that they can use.”

Other products include a 24k-gold facial and products from The Age Interventionist ($460), truth x Vans by Kevin Lyons sneakers ($69.99), a voucher for a seven-day stay at The Golden Door Resort & Spa in San Marcos, Calif. ($1,000) and Aerosmith drummer Joey Kramer’s Rockin’ & Roastin’ organic coffee ($10), among many other items.

Actress Pauley Perrette chats with Tools by Gina founder Gina Rivera at the Grammy Gift Lounge.
Actress Pauley Perrette chats with Tools by Gina founder Gina Rivera at the Grammy Gift Lounge.
Musician Stevie Wonder (L) poses by the Planes of Fame Museum booth and The Natural Mixologist table at the Grammy Gifting Lounge.
Musician Stevie Wonder (L) poses by the Planes of Fame Museum booth and The Natural Mixologist table at the Grammy Gift Lounge.

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