zChocolat Sets The Bar High For Luxury Chocolates This Holiday Season

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Elegance and international taste is inherent in zChocolat. zChocolat is recognized as one of the most luxurious chocolates in the world and are handmade by renowned chocolatier, Pascal Caffet. The rich French chocolates are made with natural ingredients, 100% pure cocoa butter, no preservatives and no alcohol to boot. Superior cocao is procured from all over the globe in destinations such as Venezuela, Ivory Coast and Bolivia. There are 26 unique recipes of chocolates, which are assigned numbers so they can be referenced in a photo booklet containing descriptions of the ingredients and where the cocoa was harvested – making this an immersive experience of discovery and taste, like a chocolate tour. The chocolates reside in awe-inspiring handcrafted mahogany boxes which are customizable with engravings with names and messages. Founder and CEO of zChocolat, Jean-Philippe Khodara, created the brand in 1999 out of love, literally. In pursuit of a woman he fell in love with, he wanted to impress her with an experience and treasure she would never forget, zChocolat was born. They eventually got married. Jean-Philippe Khodara tells us how the labor of love pays off:

Hi Jean-Philippe, can you tell us some facts about yourself?

I was born in the city of Meaux in France, attended grad school in France, then [pursued] a B.A. in the USA where I worked in the financial industry for 8 years before returning to France in 1999 and creating zChocolat. Married with 16 year old twins. Love sailing, travelling, epicurean lifestyle.

Can you tell us how you were able to accomplish building a successful company?

VERY HARD WORK, 7 days per week with no vacations for many years.

Have you faced any difficulties and how did you conquer them?

[During the] Subprime crisis in 2008, we lost 30% of sales and reinvented the zChocolat concept with a new website, new chocolate (actual shape) and a single chocolatier, Pascal Caffet, instead of 4.

What inspired you to be an entrepreneur?

I always wanted to have my own company and more importantly to export French gourmet products. My dad was also a very successful entrepreneur.

What advice would you give an entrepreneur?

Observe the market, the competition. Don’t rush, run small A/B testing and when ready, put all your heart and time in your entreprise.

To learn more about Jean-Philippe Khodara’s story behind zChocolat watch the interview here. And visit http://www.zchocolat.com.

The Federal Long Beach’s New Year’s Eve Dinner Preview

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For those heading to Long Beach for the New Year’s Eve fireworks festivities, drop by the Federal restaurant for an elegant, satisfying dinner. Executive Chef Matthew Fitzgibbons unveiled a special New Year’s Eve menu including: Creamy Pumpkin Spiced Soup, Pan Seared Pacific Sea Bass, Braised Short Rib Osso Buco, Herbed Goat Cheese Stuffed Breast of Chicken, and Warm Almost Flourless Chocolate Cake. The Federal is the foremost venue for music and dining in Long Beach. Its nostalgic interior, large space, excellent food and speakeasy made it a hotspot since 2013.

The Federal is located at 102 Pine Ave, Long Beach, CA 90802. For reservations, please call 562-435-2000.

Beauty Giants Makeup Geek And Moda Brushes Combine Forces For Exclusive Pop-up

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Marlena Stell, founder of Makeup Geek, and executives of Moda Professional Brushes unveiled their collaboration to the public in Burbank on December 8, 2017. A swarm of beauty mavens crowded around Marlena for a meet and greet. Her full cosmetics line was available for fans to swatch and purchase in person. Moda debuted its ultra exclusive Mytical collection for the first time at the pop-up shop. The fanciful unicorn colored brushes nearly sold out at the event and will be available in major retailers soon. The 3-day pop-up will be open until December 10th. To learn more visit makeupgeek.com and beautyusa.royalbrush.com/collections/moda.

PHOTO RECAP: Refinery29’s 29Rooms In Los Angeles: Turn It Into Art Exhibit

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Refinery 29 kicked off its highly anticipated West Coast 29Rooms exhibition in the Arts District of Los Angeles on December 6th. 29Rooms is immersive exhibition highlighthing style, culture, and technology. This year’s theme is “Turn It Into Art” and completely sold-out. The event extends to two weekends of December 7 – 10 and December 14 – 17.

Tech Holiday Gift Guide: The High Performing Moto Z2 Force Smartphone

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After a month of utilizing the Moto Z2 Force, L’empereur Magazine believes this advanced smartphone earns major bragging rights. It’s an exceptionally powerful tool, especially for its camera that renders high quality photographs. Another appealing feature the phone possesses is its genius compatibility with Moto Mods. Moto Mods are phone attachments that modify your Moto Z phone giving it extra functionality. No other smartphone brand has these innovative capabilities. The Moto Mod collection consists of these transformative accessories:

  • Moto 360 camera
  • Polaroid Insta-Share Printer
  • Moto smart speaker with Amazon Alexa
  • Moto gamepad
  • JBL SoundBoost
  • Hasselblad True Zoom
  • Moto insta-share projector
  • A variety of shell designs
  • An assortment of power packs

(The Moto Mod roster can be found here.)

The Moto Z2 Force boasts other useful features including a shatterproof design, water resistance, dual 12 MP rear cameras for pro photos including selective focus, all day battery power with only minutes of charging. Testing the camera (as seen in the these photos) resulted in pin sharp images, vivid colors, high performance under low light environments and the ability to focus on a subject and blur out the background. The camera’s Pro Mode also gives you a options to adjust the shutter speed, exposure, white balance, ISO, and focal length. Furthermore, Moto Z2 Force has Google Photos which securely backs up your images and videos for free.

Moto Z2 Force is equipped with Google Assistant, a voice activated virtual personal assistant that performs virtual tasks and searches. The Moto Z2 Force is definitely a must have this holiday season. Check out what content creators and tech publications are raving about at here.

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.