Exclusive Sneak Peek Of The 2017 GBK AMA’s Celebrity Lounge + Entrepreneur Interview: Gavin Keilly Of The GBK Empire

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GBK hosted a luxury gifting lounge in WeHo celebrating the 2017 American Music Awards on November 20, 2017. Randy Jackson, Bridgette Neilsen, Emma Kenney, Alan Floyd, Joey Lawrence and Marcus Scribner were among the numerous celebrities that attended the fête. GBK focused on many charitable endeavors at the event such as SBPusa.org’s hurricane disaster relief, Hope For Children In Need Foundation’s mission to build schools for underprivileged children around the world (including hurricane victims of Puerto Rico), The Kimberly Moore Foundation’s dedication to answer the letters of thousands of children writing to Santa as a cry for help and Route91Strong.org’s quest to provide financial resources to victims of the Las Vegas shooting. Notable brands participating in the GBK AMAs event include:

  • LMK Art original artwork
  • Wear Your Music upcycled guitar string bracelet
  • Body Systems Wellness services
  • Custom Comfort luxury bedding
  • FHI Dual Styling Tool for hair
  • B.U.M. Equipment apparel
  • Audio Technica headphones
  • NICA Travel Nicaraguan destinations
  • Moon Palace Jamaica travel accommodations

We had an exclusive opportunity to interview entrepreneur Gavin Keilly, the brains behind GBK. GBK has made a name for itself by attracting Hollywood’s biggest and brightest stars to their VIP events. GBK has over 17 years of experience in special events (celebrity gifting suites & weddings), charitable efforts and marketing & public relations.

Hi, Gavin tell us about yourself. 
I was born and raised in Los Angeles, however had an incredible chance to spend two of my high school years in Switzerland, and travel extensively playing on the basketball team. This experience was life changing in so many ways and has shaped the man I am today. It opened my eyes to the concept of joie du vivre, and a true zest for life. I am the proud father of an amazing 7 year old little girl, who no matter what life throws my way, always puts a smile on face.

How did you create your production company?

I was a financial advisor and had to ask the million dollar question: “What do I want to do with my life?”. I decided I wanted to help others, but I definitely did not want to be a martyr in the process. I started by helping other charitable causes take their organization to the next level. I was fortunate enough to work with Sharon Osborne and Elton John as my first charity event clients. I realized the power of celebrity and product placement before the bubble of social media back in 2004 when I gave Ozzy a watch and he put it in his mouth. We got a photo of this for Baume & Mercier, and they are still using it today. I launched the second part of my business by leveraging my connections and talent and filling a gap in the market that was not being met, the notion of gift lounges for the stars at key events during the year; connecting brands to celebrities and leveraging the star power for optimal marketing success for their brand. Most importantly, I figured out a way to generate over 100 Million Media impressions for the brands too.

What are your proudest accomplishments with GBK?

That GBK has help raise over $50 Million for over 30 different causes. GBK has also donated over $10 Million in products, services, and charitable donations to over 40 causes. I believe living is about giving; and I am proud to run a company that keeps the notion of giving at the forefront of its mission and messaging. We are able to give 20% of our profits back to a myriad of causes. I am also very proud that we have helped these charities generate over 200 celebrities to join their honorary committees, which in turn brings notoriety to populations of influence and potential dollars to those in need. 

Who are your mentors? How did they guide you with your entrepreneurship?  
Gregory Scott Reid is on of my personal mentors. He has a very successful company of his and always thought outside the box. He guides me and advises me to in many ways enhance my business and utilize all the assets I have. Sometimes it takes someone from the outside to truly see what you have to leverage. One can just get stuck in the day to day activities as an entrepreneur.

What advice would you give a novice entrepreneur?  
First of all, only start a business that you BELIEVE in with all of your being. It takes courage to start a business, as many businesses do in fact fail. You have to be prepared to face many ups and many downs. At the end of the day, an entrepreneur is the leader of the company and it is his/ her strength & leadership skills that will determine if the company fails or succeeds. I would suggest finding a mentor, and building daily rituals into your day that will help launch the business. You have to be courageous and fierce in order to succeed as an entrepreneur. Don’t be naive to the risks involved. Be prepared to be resilient and be always be open to looking outside the box for new opportunities.

What’s next for GBK? 
In 2018: in the first 2 months, we will produce celebrity Gift Lounges prior to the Golden Globes in a Beverly Hills, The Grammys, in New York, a Super Bowl Party with Jaime a Foxx and Friends, and of course, our annual Pre-Oscars Luxury Lounge. Then our charity events begin. We also add to our repertoire in 2018 the Venice Film Festival and Art Basel in Miami.