Posts Tagged ‘JCPenney’

Project Peanut Butter Fundraiser

November 15th, 2010

Last week, in between producing/styling an Instyle magazine home shoot (coming out next year), flying to Boston in between for 24 hours and trying to keep the rest of my businesses afloat, I put together a fun event at the Stella McCartney store in Hollywood to benefit Project Peanut Butter.

Actress Ali Larter (“Heroes” “Obsessed”) hosted the event and it was all underwritten by COOKS kitchenware, a line of professional quality, mostly eco-friendly cookware, tabletop items and more available at JCPenney.     I’ve known Ali for years and it’s surreal to see her now: just 1 1/2 months away from giving birth to a baby boy and—this is not a shocker–looking incredible.

In the backyard garden of the store, there’s a greenhouse with archways that makes you feel you’ve been transported to the English countryside.  Appropriate, considering Stella’s roots.   But it was also the perfect backdrop to showcase the COOKS products and to set-up a mixing bowl customization station where celebrities could come and decorate COOKS ceramic bowls.   These bowls will be auctioned off later this year with 100% of the money raised benefiting Project Peanut Butter.

What is Project Peanut Butter, you ask?   It’s a fabulous non-profit organization that has developed a super nutritious peanut butter that can be used to feed malnourished children that delivers all the vital nutriented that they need to survive.    We’re proud to donate $10,000 to the cause and hope to raise tons more money through the auction.

Here’s Amy Smart signing her bowl before it gets decorated.     Amy has been one of Ali’s best friends since they met on the film “Varsity Blues.”  I’ve known Amy since—gosh—2001 when I booked her to be in the pages of Organic Style magazine.    She’s wearing Stella McCartney of course!

Funny comedian and actress Nicole Sullivan inside the COOKS “pop up” greenhouse with one of my favorite items from the line: the Simply Green designated set of bamboo bio-resin mixing bowls.   These have the durability and feel of plastic bowls, but are made from degradablel resin, bamboo powder and starch; dishwasher safe, too!  

And I just love this shot:   I’m a huge Modern Family fan and to meet Julie Bowen (“Claire”) was amazing.  She was, of course, the most gracious, nicest person on the planet and now I think I have to start a Facebook fan page or something.   

To learn more, visit     I’ll post pics of the decorated bowls soon!

Christmas in July

July 30th, 2010


A few weeks ago, in the 100 degree weather up and down the East Coast, I decided to celebrate Christmas in July.

Allow me to explain before you think I’ve lost my mind: as a former magazine editor, I can tell you that we work on ridiculous long-lead time.   So, we’re planning Halloween in April; New Year’s ideas in August; and Christmas gift ideas in July.     So part of my job for JCPenney is to shoot all of our new holiday merchandise in early July to create “lookbooks” that we share with editors now so they can see how beautiful green products can be (and hopefully share these items in their December/January issues of their magazines).

So, here are some of my favorite pics from the Christmas in July shoot with you!


These Simply Green reusable cups and thermoses are products I’m particularly excited about.   In addition to the traditional thermoses that come in metal, we also have containers that look just like the disposable containers you get at, say, Starbucks, but are in fact reusable.   The iced coffee cups are double-walled, dishwasher safe plastic with a colorful reusable straw.    You just fill it up with your favorite iced beverage, tighten the lid on top and sip away.    No “sweating” on the sides because of the double-walled design, too.    The COOKS brand reusable coffee cups are adorable, aren’t they?  Just fill with your favorite hot beverage and tighten on the sippy lid; the integrated silicone sleeve keeps your hands protected and the whole thing is dishwasher safe.


This horse.   What can I say about this amazing white horse?  He was so friendly and so wanted to be photographed that we ended up using him for the lookbook.     The rule with photo shoots is usually “NEVER CHILDREN AND ANIMALS!” but I’ll make an exception for this guy.   Here he is posing with our new Simply Green JCpenney reusable holiday tote bags.   Naughty or Nice? 


And finally, my all-time favorite lamps from the JCPenney Studio line.    I love the fact we are one of the first retailers to launch a lighting program that features LED technology in the lamps, AND at affordable prices.    These brushed stainless steel lamps feature the high-tech, mercury-free LED lighting in both a table and floor lamp style.     They use a fraction of the energy a CFL bulb uses, is made without mercury, and illuminates beautifully in any room with a soft, yellow glow.  Love them.    AND, in stores now!

So, here’s a sneak peek at Christmas in July for me.   We shot more than 30 product images and I can’t share all of them with you (would not be fair to the magazine editors), but I hope this sneak peek is enough to get you to come into JCPenney this Christmas to see what all the eco-fuss is about.

JCPenney Holiday Shoot

July 14th, 2010


Last week, in the 100 degree weather heatwave that was hitting the East Coast, we celebrated Christmas.

Christmas. In. July.

Let me explain: to properly show the upcoming holiday eco merchandise coming from my retail partner JCPenney, we create editorial lookbooks for all of the press out there.   As a former magazine editor, I was used to picking products to feature in our magazines in the middle of summer.    Now, I get to be on the other side of the table by producing one of these lookbooks that I used to conveniently flip thru at my desk and flag items to shoot.    I miss the convenience of sitting in my air conditioned office a tad bit now….


But before we shot Christmas, we had one lovely shot to do outdoors to feature some brand new organic cotton crib bedding that’s coming out now at JCPenney.  Isn’t this shot gorgeous?

We rented the Carousel Farm Lavender in Bucks County, PA as our backdrop for this year’s shoot.   The farm is one of the largest all-organic lavender farms in the country and I can’t believe it’s only 15 minutes away from my house!   Open on Saturdays, it’s definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area.    The entrance to this garden was the perfect backdrop to use to show the colorful and eco crib bedding.


At the farm, this white horse was wondering what all the fuss was about.   He was the perfect model for us and you’ll soon see he is lots and lots of shots in our lookbook.    He loved having his photo taken!


When we do these lookbook shoots, something that always strikes me as funny is that the area we’re shooting looks absolutely perfect in every single way.  Here’s a cozy living room set-up we created in the guest house to showcase all of our winter products.    It looks perfect, right?


But behind the camera, chaos.    By the way, say hello to our new helper Heather who is taking a well-deserved  break here.    I’m not sure she knew what she was getting into when she agreed to help on this shoot!   Heather has done some pretty random things for me lately: collected dryer lint for a Today Show segment and now helped create Christmas in July.


And one more sneak peek: all of the faux fur products coming out this Fall from JCPenney.   See the wreath?  I made that…. it’s our JCPenney men’s neckties I simply wrapped arounda  wire wreath frame.    Looks easy…..but I swear, I thought I was going to grab one of those ties at one point and just tie it around my neck to put me out of my misery!

Pictures from the Lavender Farm

June 18th, 2010


In a few weeks, I have to start thinking Christmas.

Yes, it’s 90 degrees today and I’m thinking about ornaments, garlands, snow and flannel sheets.

The work that I do with JCPenney has me always thinking 6-8 months ahead of time, always.   So, to prepare for the holiday/winter promotional season for my work with JCPenney’s Simply Green line of eco products, I have to start planning our editorial lookbook shoot….now.

This year, I have decided to use the Carousel Farm Lavender in Bucks County, Pennsylvania as our backdrop.    I’ve produced a lovely store about this farm and the buildings on it for Country Home magazine a few years ago.   I can’t think of a more lovely place to think Christmas!


Inside the stables, this worn table is set in front of a gorgeous stone wall.   Here’s where I think a lovely photo of our LED lit holiday trees, wreaths and topiaries would look beautiful.  Of course, in a stable with horses, there is an abundance of hay available….which has me thinking how to upcycle some hay into ornaments……..


Inside the guest house, this old, antique brass bed sits on top of the second floor.  Here’s where I’m planning to shoot all of the products we have coming out that help create a warmer, cozier, more comfortable bedroom for the cold, dreary winter months.     Like I said: It’s 90 degrees and I’m focued on heating pads, blankets, flannel sheets and comforters.   Gorgeous bed, right?


Here’s an outside look of the guest house.    A beautiful vegetable/flower garden sits in front and from the looks of things, it doesn’t look like we’re going to be shooting any of our staged “winter” shots outside now.  


Inside the guest house, this dining area will be the perfect spot to stage our Christmas morning breakfast set-up with the bench full of beautifully wrapped gifts.   The funny thing about wrapping presents for these photos shoots is this: all of the boxes are empty.    I’ll be using an eco-friendly technique for the paper and bows (not sure yet what it will be, but I’ll come up with something…soon!).


And this beautiful, white horse.    I’m  hoping he’ll let me tie a very wide ribbon around his neck (in red, of course) to shoot as a holiday photo.    The rule of thumb when it comes to these photo shoots is this: no animals or children.   Yet, here I am hoping he’ll let us tie a ribbon around him, stick his head out the window and stand very still.    Note to self: bring a bag of apples to bribe the horse.

Win! $25 JCPenney Gift Card

May 19th, 2010


I recently hosted an event in New York City to introduce the new JCPenney flagship store in Manhattan to a wonderful group of hotel concierges who work in the Big Apple.   As I took them through the new store pointing our exclusive line and many of our eco-friendly offerings, I was happy to surprise them all with a $25 gift card to go shopping in the store and take a wonderful JCP item (or two!) home with them.

Well, lucky you: I have an extra $25 gift card in my pocket and I thought I’d give it away.

If I had $25 to spend, here’s what I’d pick from JCPenney:

  • Linden Street Quick Dri Towels.  I love these bright white towels with simple embroidery striping.    Featuring a special weave, these 100% cotton towels dry 1/3 faster than traditional towels, saving you energy in the dryer and making them less mildewy if you air dry.  At just $5.99, I can get 4 of them with one gift card!
  • COOKS set of three bamboo cutting boards.    One of the best deals I think JCPenney offers in our Simply Green designated line of eco-friendly products.  Good looking, great value and a 3-piece set of every kind of cutting board you’ll ever need.   The great thing about bamboo is that it doesn’t dull the knives when you’re chopping away.  Green is kinder to both the planet and your knives!  $17.99 for a set of three.  Can’t. Beat. That.
  • COOKS 12-piece storage bowl set.   These colorful bowls with matching lids look like plastic storage bowls, but in reality they are made from an innovative bamboo poweder, degradable resin and starch.   Fully biodegradable, they work and look like melamine, are completely dishwasher safe, and are totally stackable.   $29.99 for 12 pieces, so you’ll have to add five bucks to your gift card to get ‘em!
  • Simmons Natural Care by Danny Seo Forevergreen mattress.     Okay, you can’t get a bed for $25, but I wanted to share news that our complete line of new and improved Natural Care mattresses are now avaialable for sale on    A queen mattress is now just $1,311 (a $300 savings) from our previous model and I think this new model has better value for the investment.    Try it out at a JCPenney store near you and let me know what you think!   The customers who have picked it up are loving it….

To win the $25 gift card, leave a comment saying what you’d buy!   I’ll pick a winner at random to win.  GOOD LUCK!


CONGRATS TO KELLY FOR WINNING.  WE USED A RANDOM NUMBER GENERATOR TO PICK THE WINNER.  KELLY WROTE:  “I really like the melonite (sp?) bowls or I’d go crazy in the clearance jewelry! thanks!”