Despite Hurricane Sandy The Artisan Group Shines at 46th Annual CMA Awards Gift Lounge

Despite Hurricane Sandy, The Artisan Group found a way to shine at the official gift lounge for The 46th Annual CMA Awards, presenting country music stars and executives, media and the press with an array of handcrafted swag and a close up look at why artisan equals special.

Online PR News – 27-November-2012 – Sunnyvale, California – Hurricane Sandy snarled the travel schedules of many involved with The 46th Annual CMA Awards this year, and prevented some from attending the popular Talent Gift Lounge, but The Artisan Group ( still found a way—in the words of Tim Gunn—to make it work.

The CMA Awards gift lounge took place October 29 – November 1 backstage at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. Over the course of the four day event, The Artisan Group founder Valerie Guerrero and member Ashley Berthelot acted as ambassadors for handcrafted, speaking with country music stars and executives, media and the press in-depth about the products showcased on display and in gift bags, and what went into creating them.

"Membership in The Artisan Group is juried and by invitation only," stated Guerrero. "We look for the best of the best. As a result the celebrity gifting collections we put together really stand out, even in a sea of luxury products. There is an authenticity and individuality in each item that is remarkable."

Even with gift lounge attendance down, products from The Artisan Group's members landed in the hands of Jason Aldean, Kelly Clarkson, Reba McIntyre, Brad Paisley, Lisa Marie Presley, Blake Shelton, Sugarland, Taylor Swift, The Band Perry, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban and the Zac Brown Band, among others. Guerrero recalls Kelly Clarkson, particularly taken with “Feather,” a miniature watercolor by artist Jody Edwards, happily remarking, “Ohhh, I love this! It’s so tribal!”

We look for the best of the best. As a result the celebrity gifting collections we put together really stand out even in a sea of luxury products. There is an authenticity and individuality in each item that is remarkable.

Guerrero made sure that celebrities who had RSVP’d for the Lounge but were not able to attend enjoyed The Artisan Group swag too; many found its distinctive branded, black zippered gift bag waiting in their dressing rooms.

"We definitely felt the effects of Hurricane Sandy," said Guerrero. "However, given the distress those living on the eastern seaboard have experienced, it’s hard to be anything but grateful. We had a great time talking with those who could be there. It was heartwarming to see their interest in our members' products."

The Artisan Group is recognized for assembling the very best of handcrafted goods from artisans working in the United States and internationally to present and gift to celebrities, media and the press at elite award gift show lounges. The GBK Gift Lounge in Honor of the Golden Globes Nominees and Presenters, January 11-12, 2013 in Los Angeles, California is up next.

Photos of the display pieces and contact information for all participants are available in The Artisan Group’s Official 46th Annual CMA Awards Event Guide (

Participating members gifting the celebrities at The 46th Annual CMA Awards Talent Lounge included Valerie Guerrero, BeezKneez Designs; Ashley Berthelot, Fancy Designs; Marie “Wee” Caloggero, Wee Bindery; Abbie Chesney, Eye on the Sparrow Designs; Deanna Crowe, Barefoot Bath & Body; Sandy D’Andrea & Stevie D’Andrea, Jewels For Hope; Andie Dietz, Java Jane Designs; Kathryn Doll, Kathryn Designs; Jody Edwards, Jody Edwards Fine Art and Illustration; Vickie Barber-Ellis, Sunshine Jewels; Wendy Emerson, Willow Creek Jewelry; Beth Engel, Paper Angels Photography; Brittany Estes, Peas & Carrots; Amanda Feeley, Esscentual Alchemy; Janet Galla, Trinkets N Whatnots; Jessica Gattone, SparetireDesign; Sandra Schell-Geiss, SilverSchells Jewelry Designs; Kimberly Girouard, Kiki Bird Jewelry; Charity Helvie, MadiBella; Lauren Hoehn, Lapis Beach Jewelry; Katie Hughes, Vintage Rose Wraps; Melissa Hull, Brag About It Hand Stamped Jewelry; Anne Jansen, Key of A, LLC - SureShot™Jewelry; Lisa Kennally, Lisa Ann Skincare; Heidi Kingman, My Bead Therapy; Danielle Kritz, River Valley Designs; Christine Lorenzo, SariBlue; Carolyn Moran, Care More Creations; Elizabeth Pings, Nature’s Splendour®; Biff Rendar, Biff Rendar Photography; Lisa Smith, LKS Originals; Kharisma Sommers, Popnicute Artisan Jewelry; Katherine Song, Katherine Song Originals; Sarah Struett, Four Black Paws; Jessica Taylor, Shaka Soap; Kelly Taylor, Cassia Aromatics; Heather Duby-Tharpe, Beadz and Bloomz; Cami Tout, Camilee Designs; Rachel Turner, Music City Suds; Andrea Wagner, Andrea Designs; Megan White, Anna Grace Designs; Shawna Ziemer, Wags and Wiggles.

To learn more about The Artisan Group and its upcoming celebrity gifting events visit Follow The Artisan Group on Facebook at and on Twitter at Subscribe to The Artisan Group blog at Select products are available to view on The Artisan Group’s Pinterest boards at Direct press inquiries to

The first "CMA Awards Banquet and Show" was held in 1967. The following year, the CMA Awards was broadcast on NBC Television for the first time – making it the longest running, annual music awards program on network television. The Awards aired on NBC through 1971, on the CBS Television Network from 1972 through 2005, and has aired on ABC since 2006. ABC will be the network home of the CMA Awards through 2021.

The Artisan Group ( is an elite art promotions group representing talented small-business artisans at the best celebrity gift lounges. The organization provides a collective sampling of handcrafted products to celebrities and members of the press at top luxury gift lounges such as those leading up to The Academy Awards, The Golden Globes, The MTV Movie Awards and The Primetime Emmys. Membership in The Artisan Group is juried and by invitation-only. The Artisan Group also offers its members guidance in the areas of sales, marketing, social media and public relations.

The Artisan Group is in no way associated with MTV, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, The Hollywood Foreign Press Association or The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

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