Hazelwood Soap Company o wners Diana and John Laursen will be walking the red carpet once again next week at the 42nd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards. That's because the Laursens were invited for the third time to showcase their store’s product for celebrities.

“We’re bringing Waynesville to Hollywood,” Diana said.

A company called Off the Wall gifts invited Hazelwood Soap Co. for this Emmy event and for the previous two Emmy award shows they’ve attended. Off the Wall gifts seeks out unique gift items from emerging companies to put together as gift bags for all the honorees and guests at the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Emmy awards programs, which include the prime-time Emmys as well as categories such as daytime programming, sports and news/documentaries.

“They have a unique relationship with the actual academy,” Diana said. “They, too, are a small business, and they have grown. We have a good working relationship with them.”

In 2010, Hazelwood Soap Co. provided over 2,1000 products that were used in “swag bags” given out to the talent at the News and Documentary Emmy Awards in New York. This year, Diana will do more than provide products for the gift bags. She plans to set up a “mini Hazelwood Soap Co.” at an exclusive Gift Lounge on Saturday, April 25. Attendance to the Gift Lounge is by invitation only, but there will be anywhere from 120 to 150 celebrities there to learn about Hazelwood Soap Co. and the other companies present.

“It’s a big honor to be invited,” Diana said. At the lounge, Diana will be showcasing the company’s restoration cream, which has been a big hit at the store.

In the past, Diana and John have met several celebrities including, Alex Trebek, Gladys Knight, Pat Sajak and Vanna White. But for Diana, meeting celebrities isn’t the best part of attending the Emmys.

“While the celebrities are fun to meet, I personally enjoy the 'behind the scenes' kind of action.  I love watching how it is all put together from the Gift Lounge list to the rolling out of the red carpet to the live show with commercial cuts. Its all very exciting!”

Last week it was full speed ahead as they prepared for the Emmys. Diana will fly out on Thursday, April 23 to Burbank, California, but they had to ship 150 jars of restoration cream a week before. With all the hectic preparations, Diana and John enlisted their kids’ help this year.

“We are very blessed to have wonderful friends that have offered to help, but honestly the kids have watched us for almost nine years now in the shop so they are our best resource.  They know the little details we are particular about, plus they work for pizza!”

Each of their kids had a job. Kyla watched the front of the shop, Ella and Riley inspected and prepared the jars and Teagan placed the caps and shrink wrap bands around each jar. Once the product was ready, the whole family helped to pack up the goods for UPS.

In addition to the extra effort the family puts into preparing for the Emmys, there are also extra costs that go into the event.

“It’s a lot on our end,” Diana said. “We have to provide our own products and transportation. It’s not something we do every year because of the cost. But we have had some really good feedback when we do it, and it gets people here excited when we do it.”

While it is a big cost to take on, Diana feels the National exposure is worth it.

“For the past 10 years, we have only gone by word of mouth, so essentially I will be taking my big mouth over to the Emmy Awards again to promote our products. We chalk it up to our advertising budget, however we noticed the last time that celebrities were drawn to small town businesses like ours. They were intrigued.”

In the future, Haywood Soap Co. hopes to expand their retail and work space in Hazelzood to keep up with their local and web demands, and Diana hopes the national exposure will be beneficial for this goal.

“We are proud to have this family owned business and even prouder to represent Waynesville, North Carolina,” Diana said. “It’s our hope that the folks we meet in California will be drawn to our website to purchase a lot of products. In turn, they will inquire where we are located, and this will possibly open the doors to additional folks from around the country to visit our beautiful mountains, hence bringing some additional spotlight and revenue to our local folks. We live in an amazing area and we take great pride in representing the hard working folks of Western North Carolina.”

The Mountaineer will be following Diana at the Emmys as she provides exclusive “behind the scenes” coverage. Follow @HazelwoodSoapCo and @mountaineerinfo on Twitter, and look for #HSCEmmys.

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