City Pulse

By Bir Ganguly

“Cuddles has been sulking away ever since his return from his ‘that trip’ to the vet” whined my friend Esmeralda, for the seventeenth time, on the phone. Having to subject her precious pooch to the necessary but evil procedure was gnawing away at the poor girl’s heart. I had to do something. “Why don’t you throw him a party” I suggested. At my words, Esmie, who has always been a big-time party girl, showed an immediate change in mood. I could almost sense the brightening up of her eyes, even over my pathetic T-Mobile connection.

But even more than enjoying parties, Esmie loves planning and giving successful parties at her beautiful penthouse loft which has got stunning views of the East River as well as of the Chrysler Building. As she rattled away the names of the lucky pups that would make it to the doggie party of the year, she abruptly stopped. “I can’t send them away empty-handed. Suzie, from my building, had gifts for all the dogs she invited to Ditzy’s one year birthday party. But, they were mostly awful. Cuddles got these treats and he wouldn’t touch them. Don’t tell anyone.”

I knew the perfect place to send her. fill-r-up, a customized gift basket service and retail store located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Not only do they do baskets for weddings, baby showers, and holidays, they have special themed baskets for the spa and beauty lover, the gourmet cook, and even your beloved family pet (and their friends)! Style, innovation, and quality come together in every one of their creations.

The company is the brainchild of Amanda Poses who, as an event planner at a top fashion company, was often looking for gift baskets for VIP clients and events. In her quest to provide original, unique gift baskets, she found that products never seemed to measure up to the quality items her clientele was accustomed to. As a result, fill-r-up was born.

fill-r-up clients can pick up items a la carte, or let Amanda’s savvy team of experts create gift baskets for all kinds of occasions. Amanda works with the best brands, and personally tests, tries and selects every product that go into the baskets. She also likes to be ahead of the curve with most up-to-the minute gifts, and is always shopping for the latest products.

For the New York Spring 2006 Fashion Week, fill-r-up sent out “Fashion Week Survival Kits” to some of the top editors. Each was customized with the recipient’s monogram, embroidered on the case. The kit included products by Kerstin Florian International, Victoria’s Secret Beauty, Playboy Beauty, and many more to keep the editors going through the week’s hectic schedule of 14-hour days on four-inch stilettos.

Pre-assembled baskets for every occasion are available nationally on the website http://www.fill-r-up.com. Of course, it’s always best to visit the boutique at 197 East 76th Street (212.452.3026).

Originally published October 2005
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