Backstage Creations Talent Retreat Rocks the American Country Awards 2012 Las Vegas

Photo credit: Carol Rodney

By Vanessa McConnell

Las Vegas Informer

The American Country Awards were in town this week, aired live in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay and hosted by country superstars Trace Adkins and Kristin Chenoweth.  Some of country music’s top recording and award winning artists performed live including Rascal Flatts, Kip Moore, Jake Owen, Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum, Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan and Little Big Town.  But no awards show is complete without a gift giving suite that caters to celebrities and unique items known all around the world.  This year’s celebrity suite was hosted by Backstage Creations who specialize in awards show gives and backstage Celebrity Retreats.

Every year Backstage Creations networks with charity organizations that make a tremendous difference in lives of millions of people and generations. This year’s charity donor is the Northern Nevada American Red Cross.

Each year for the American Country Awards, Fender creates a one-of-a-kind custom guitar that is the actual trophy the award winners receive.  These unique guitars are not available to the public so they are rare collectable icons.  Made in America by the industry’s most recognized and popular brand of guitars, amps and music products, the Country Music and Fender are true Americana at its very best.

The whole concept of a celebrity retreat is to give celebrities the opportunity to meet with unique companies that offer many gifts that they wish to receive from select vendors.  For celebrities it’s like a personal mini shopping spree only everything is free.  Complete with delicate snacks and open bar this year’s ACA was a most memorable one.  Since 2000 Karen Wood, creator of Backstage Creations, has done a remarkable job bringing purpose, style and quality directly to celebrities at such prestigious award shows.

Bottero; Photo credit: Carol Rodney

Standing out from the crowd and a big success among musicians and country stars worldwide, Jeri Designs were offering celebrities custom made guitar straps for the terminally hip.  “We create amazing one of a kind custom guitar straps as well as incredible off the rack leather guitar straps and replica guitar straps, ready for online purchase.  The quality of our guitar straps in unparalleled and are in demand by today’s top musicians and artist like Elton John, Taylor Swift, Keith Richards, Hank Williams Jr, and lots more,” statement by Jeri Designs.  “The best thing about us is that we are made in the U.S.A.”  Rickey Medlocke, Lynard Skynyrd guitarist, raved about Jeri Designs saying, “I love the guitar strap, I am putting it on my new guitar.” And Tom Gossin of Gloriana liked the design because, “these are so me – simple and awesome!”

Among other gifts celebrities had to choose from were Teva waterproof Bormio boots which were especially liked by Dustin Lynch and a Resistol Shirt chosen by San Francisco Giants World Series Champion Barry Zito.  Also given were Bottero upscale shoes that explore Brazilian urban fashion with a feminine sensuality and elegant touch as well as Merchon glasses.  Lauren Alaina bee-lined it for Boterro’s lace up brown boot saying, “These are the cutest boots I’ve ever seen.  I thought I’ve seen all of the styles but these are so different and great.”  Kristin Chenoweth was also a fan of the soft leather and had a hard time selecting from the great assortment of boots.

Coulee Creek Designs; Photo credit: Carol Rodney

Also available were custom made handcrafted jewelry by Coulee Creek Designs by Malanie Luger with a unique line of Native American Jewelry with a bold and original look of its own. ACA Performer, Kimberly Shlapman of Little Big Town loved the turquoise and black necklace saying, “I couldn’t be happier – I can’t believe how unique these pieces are!”  Lee Brice is excited about the upcoming men’s line because he loves wearing turquoise.  Also in the gift bags were GameMill Entertainment prizes package that included Country Dance! And Dooney & Bourke Inc featured a Black Weekender accessory piece as well.

Gift bag items also included “Alex Detail’s Revolution” written by Darren Campo on the best-selling Sci-Fi list, Boot Rugs, Crabtree & Evelyn fragrance melodies, HarperCollins Publishers, JT SplatMaster, Qdoba, SoCoolKids, Southern Audio Services Inc., the dahl house, The Good Home Company, Wood Snap and Zen Belly homemade canine cookies.  Also no stranger to Las Vegas and a MAGIC Marketplace frequent, McFadin handbags and luggage made a splash at the Celebrity Retreat.  ACA Breakthrough Artist of the Year, Jake Owen, was excited to bring their bag home to his wife and new baby saying, “I’m gonna be a hero.  I can still carry the shave bag with the studded music notes you gifted me three years ago.”

Shoes provided by Corso Como and the ultimate famous Ballasox were like show stoppers and the key to every woman’s heart.  “If heaven were a shoe this would be it,” stated by a well-known blogger and a statement that has rang through the mind of Maxwell Harrel, President of Corso Como Shoes.  Singer Jane Kramer loved Ballasox, “these are so comfortable!” and ACA Best New Artist winner, Lauren Alaina concurred “these are heaven.” Ballasox come in sizes up to 14 and can be purchased online at

Jeri Designs; Photo credit: Carol Rodney

Corso Como made its big splash in Las Vegas last summer with the Ballasox, a shoe that is all purpose and provides ultimate comfort and care for your feet.  Customizing in the most stylish shoe that fits like a sock and can be worn on any surface, specifically without socks!  Coroso Como shipped out sex pair of size five shoes specifically for Kristin Chenoweth who said, “It’s hard to find comfortable high heels.  I can never find shoes in my size five!”

Overall every celebrity that passed through the retreat was excited about what was offered.  Kristin Chenoweth kept putting the BootRugs on saying, “these are totally me, they match my jacket,” and even had a ball playing Country Dance 2 after competing in our dance-off for 15 minutes, “I love this game, I can’t wait to play this game at home.”  Eli Young Band was super excited to give the fantastic Dooney & Bourke bags to their wives and Gloriana brothers, Tom and Mike Gossin had fun joking around about the JTSplatmaster’s paintball guns saying, “I am going to have so much fun with this, watch out brother, I got you!”  Love and Theft duo, Stephen Barker Liles and Eric Gunderson can’t wait to take them on tour, “we are going to have so much fun with these on the tour bus.”

Fans look forward to getting a glimpse of things that celebrities do and have access to.  Backstage Creations allow us to give our readers a taste of what that life is like.  They were created to give major corporations as well as up-coming designers the exclusive opportunity to personally introduce their products and services to celebrities.  Putting emphasis on charitable donations at each retreat, Backstage Creations have also partnered with award show hosts such as MTV Awards, Billboard Music Awards, Teen Choice Awards, BET Awards and more.  For more footage from the Backstage Creations “Talent Retreat” go to or

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