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Celebrities boost Bauble business

If getting your product into the hands of celebrities is a good marketing technique, Baubles, Bags & Bows had a stellar weekend.

If getting your product into the hands of celebrities is a good marketing technique, Baubles, Bags & Bows had a stellar weekend.

The Sylvan Lake business handed out 120 of its bauble bags to musicians and their partners at the Canadian Country Music Awards in Saskatoon on the weekend.

Male Artist of Year Dean Brody and Female Artist of the Year Carolyn Dawn Johnson were among those who left clutching one of Baubles, Bags & Bows’ colourful products.

Others included country music heavyweights like Corb Lund, Johnny Reid, George Canyon, Michelle Wright and Terri Clark.

Baubles, Bags & Bows was one of approximately 15 businesses taking part in a backstage gift lounge prior to the awards.

Each had been invited by organizer Wow!Creations Media of Los Angeles to share their products with the performers.

Baubles, Bags & Bows owner Jodee Prouse said the opportunity to take part in the highly publicized event was a great chance to gain exposure.

“Media is very important, and that gets your name out there; it gets your brand out there.”

A celebrity might even tweet a thank you for a gift, she added.

Prouse and her husband Jim tended the Baubles, Bags & Bows booth, meeting Canadian Country Music Awards attendees on both Saturday and Sunday. They had to be well-prepared.

“When everyone’s coming through, you have to know who they are and what they do,” said Prouse. “Otherwise, it becomes an awkward moment.”

She was already familiar with the process, having participated in a Canadian Country Music Awards gift lounge two years earlier with products from Happy Hippo Bath Co. — her other company.

“We met a lot of people for the second time.”

Baubles, Bags & Bows only recently came into being, inspired by Prouse’s belief that women need a compact, yet stylish bag in which to carry their cosmetics and jewelry. She and Trina Bellavance, Happy Hippo Bath Co.’s production manager, experimented with prototypes and eventually settled on a design.

They arranged for the bags to be manufactured overseas, to keep costs down. The first products arrived last week and are now being shipped to some 200 retailers across Canada — including Hallmark Cards at Red Deer’s Southpointe Common.

Baubles, Bags & Bows also has larger travel bags, personalized charms with which to decorate its bags, and aprons.

Despite the fact many of the people who visited their display at the Saskatoon gift lounge were male, feedback was very positive, said Prouse.

“Almost all of them were married or had a fiancée.”

Prouse next plans to take her bauble bags to Beverly Hills, Calif., where she’ll participate in a gift lounge in the penthouse of the Luxe Rodeo Drive Hotel prior to the Sept. 23 Emmy Awards. Happy Hippo Bath Co. has sent gifts to the Emmys before, but Prouse is taking things up a notch for 2012.

“This is the first year we’re actually going to the event, so honestly we don’t know what to expect.”

But she’s confident Baubles, Bags & Bows’ glamorous bags will be a hit.

“It is Hollywood, after all.”

Meanwhile, Happy Hippo Bath Co. continues to supply bath products to retailers across Canada, plus about 50 in the United States. It also operates a half-dozen mall kiosks during the Christmas season and produces a private label product for London Drugs.

All of Happy Hippo’s products are manufactured at the company’s Sylvan Lake warehouse, which it shares with Baubles, Bags & Bows.

Additional information about Baubles, Bags & Bows’ products, which can be ordered online, can be found at www.baublesbagsandbows.com.

hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com

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