CONSUMERWATCH: Celebrity endorsements
Published Monday, March 12, 2012 3:13PM CST
At least one Winnipeg entrepreneur says she's found the secret ingredient to translating small-town success into making it big.
Dayle Goertzen owns Vintage Bling, a Winnipeg-based jewelry business that's making a big international impression. And Goertzen owes that, she says, to some Hollywood heavyweights.
The business wasn't seeing much attention until Goertzen's creations caught the eye of not just one but several A-list celebrities.
In 2010, Goertzen was invited to showcase her company's wares in a gifting suite at the Golden Globes. If she scratched some celebrity backs with free merchandise, she would get photos of celebrities wearing or posing alongside her jewelry.
"Vintage Bling was a huge hit. They loved it," Goertzen said.
Goertzen has photos of Chantal Kreviazuk, Quentin Tarantino and soap star Diedre Hall all wearing or posing next to her handmade jewelry.
"Diedre Hall, I gave her an amazing, amazing necklace," Goertzen said.
Goertzen is now selling her jewelry all over Canada and the United States. She was even asked to design a piece for this year's Country Music Awards.
But exposure like that doesn't come cheap.
"It was almost $10,000 to do an event like that," Goertzen said.
And the hefty price tag means some local businesses are passing on the celebrity endorsements.
Constance Menzies from Chocolatier Constance Popp has also been to the Golden Globes and the Oscars. She even scored a photo with celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck.
But Menzies said she wouldn't do it again.
"It's not as significant as people think," Menzies said.
Menzies was invited to the Emmy Awards but turned the invite down. "There's just too much happening here. I can't afford the time and money to invest in that."
Instead, Menzies said, she would rather build contacts closer to her home base in Winnipeg.
Brent Smith of 6P Marketing said Menzies' sentiments make sense. Going to these events and hoping for international fame, he said, is like "putting all your money in a five horse race on one horse and hoping that it all comes up."
But that won't dissuade Goertzen from participating. A lot of cash for a familiar face resulted in a huge payoff for her business.
"Since the Hollywood event, Vintage Bling has increased in business exponentially," Goertzen said. "It has a large part in what I'm doing."
Goertzen added she thinks the success would have come anyway, but perhaps it came a little sooner thanks to the power of celebrity.