Behold: The power of the almighty pre-awards show gift suite. The promise of pictures featuring celebrities holding your product makes entrepreneurs do crazy things, like pay money to give their goods away to people quite able to pay. Removed as we are in Minnesota from such goings-on, many a Twin Cities business owner has ventured to Hollywood to get in on this career-making opportunity. I wrote in the Pioneer Press on Sunday (Jan. 14, 2007) about Ramsey-based Simply Ella infant car seat covers and clothing line, given away last week at a pre-Golden Globes party to Angie Harmon and dozens of semi-stars. Meanwhile, Minnesota-based fashion designer Joy Teiken of Joynoelle set up her own Golden Globes suite in L.A. with smashing results. Marcia Gay Harden fell in love with the line and might want something for an upcoming premiere. Alicia Keys is also interested, as is Shaun Robinson of Access Hollywood. Won't be long before Joynoelle is all over the red carpet. But all that sucking up to celebrities and their demanding stylists does take its toll on a down-to-earth designer. "Lots of drama," Joy said of the trip. "People not showing up for appointments or being two hours late. Thank goodness I have a fabulous assistant."
Another native Minnesotan who has learned to play the celebrity game with enviable finesse is jewelry designer Sara Goldfine of SBG Designs, who grew up in Golden Valley and now lives in L.A. (She returns to the Twin Cities for trunk shows at least a couple of times a year.) Last week, Sara participated in a Golden Globes gift suite and got her necklaces and bracelets on Brooke Shields, Paris Hilton and Josh Henderson (who plays the new two-timing teen hunk on "Desperate Housewives") -- to name a few. But her favorite celeb encounter was Ethan Embry ("Can't Hardly Wait"). Says Sara, "He hung around to chat with my sister and me for what felt like a half an hour....told us all about his up and coming projects and how he is going to have to gain a lot of weight for a new film he'll be working on." Give that actor a bracelet!