After an intense, divisive US presidential season, and its controversial aftermath, Californians were ready to kick off award show season. Celebrity Connected not only got the party started, but provided some much needed pre-Christmas comfort and joy to greet the Hollywood creative community. The W Hollywood became a Garden of Eden, filled with a bumper crop of organic vegan goodies, non-dairy frozen treats, comfy weekend wear, interesting vaping inventions, yoga goods, and plants that could be planted in yards to further green up one’s neighbourhood.
The Children’s Hour
Bears for Humanity founder Vijay Prathap spread a little early Yuletide cheer, distributing US-made Santa Bears to get his point across about the company’s multi-tiered charitable efforts. The 100 per cent certified organic, global Fair Trade elements of the bear are brought together by at-risk women looking to expand their career opportunities through the welfare-to-work programme. With every bear purchased, another bear is given to a child in need in communities throughout the country.
There were also all-ages fashion and skin care (with lots of mother-and-daughter teamwork) served up by Royal & Reese, Swag-Eez and Sistah Buttah, as well as yoga hear from Karma and Soul. Pre-teen entrepreneurs Angels & Tomboys showed off their Shark Tank-winning, rock-inspired body sprays (including Purple Rain, a tribute to Prince reminding one of the grape soda we all loved as kids).
Although the overall progressive agenda now hangs in the balance with a conservative government coming to power in 2017, the fight to make cannabis legal in several states—including California—has moved in the right direction. Adults over 18 could sign up with MediCann doctors on the spot for paperwork that provided three months of access to dispensaries. In the immediate, they could sample several innovative products incorporating medical marijuana, cannabis, and hemp.
Hemp Kitchen offered a Medicine Chest package through their delivery service with a variety of foods and treatment products addressing pain relief, headaches and other ailments. Chef Mike was on hand to explain how enjoy the products and the nutritional components of the goods. The Art of Edibles Cannabis Collective and To Whom It May provided chocolate aficionados with gorgeously wrapped gourmet truffles, and generous gifts from VQase and Hawaiian Vape provided extra flavour and fun for those partaking in the popular cigarette alternative.
Souly Vegan of Oakland served substantial sustenance, while Justin’s nutty goodies added sweet relief to mid-day hunger pangs and Cocorilla had coconut water as nature intended—in its original shell. Pure indulgence was doled out by Street Churos (a food truck with a charitable element), Kokolato gelato and Yoga-urt.
Other things that rocked
Stand-out items included hand-crafted natural stone statement jewellery and minaudière handbags from Ann Ong, Rocking the Clock’s repurposed musical instrument home décor clocks and accents, and Cordcruncher, which promises to eliminate tangled earbuds once and for all. A great travel essential I look forward to trying is MAI Couture’s passport case, which can be filled with easy to use, unbreakable, and mess-proof papers with blush, bronzer, and foundation.
Finds beyond the suite
Around the same time as this suite, we found some other good products worth noting. Eufora Curl ’N is one of the best curl-defining sprays for finer hair texture going. All the definition and spring without sticky stuff weighing down hair.
EC/BC recently rolled out its TSA-friendly backpacks and briefcases. Though the designs are unisex, these carry-on items make a statement in terms of fuss-free travel that help sort out (literally) anything that may stop a law-abiding citizen in the security line. The Barceló Hotel Group (known for its Caribbean and Mexican resorts) is also expanding its reach into Cuba, Costa Rica and other hot destinations, figuratively and literally.—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor