'Real Housewives of New Jersey' star Teresa Giudice promotes Fabellini, meets fans in Westfield at Gallery U Boutique
“Real Housewives of New Jersey” star Teresa Giudice was in Westfield yesterday evening, chatting and posing for photos with about 100 fans who lined up at Gallery U Boutique awaiting the appearance of the table-turning TV mom from Montville.
Giudace stepped out of a White Mercedes SUV a little more than 30 minutes after the event's scheduled 6 p.m. start. And in an ultimate feat of womanliness, Giudace stood for about an hour and a half in platform stilleto sandals that were high enough to give her a bit of trouble crossing the street to the boutique from a nearby parking area.
Wearing a breezy ruffled jumpsuit in a subtle gray and black snakeskin print, a trim Giudice sat only to sign the occasional autograph, including one in a copy of one of her four cookbooks. But Giudice was on her feet to sign bottles of her Fabellini prosecco, among the imported foods, desserts and hair products under her imprint.
The Fabellini infused peach and raspberry flavors flowed into polycarbonate champagne flutes through the night, and Giudice, who was promoting the sparkling wine, held a bottle most of the evening, managing to get it into every photo.
What wasn't as obvious to guests is that Giudice's appearance helped celebrate the one-year anniversary of a boutique that helps raise funding to provide support, therapy and jobs for people with traumatic brain injuries.
Gallery U Boutique is a fully functioning art gallery and studio space, offering the work of artists from New Jersey and around the country. Some of the pieces – assemblage sculptures, photographs, paintings and more – are the work of those receiving art therapy through the gallery's endeavors. Gallery U Boutique holds monthly group art exhibits and receptions as well as performances of music and poetry. The boutique also draws shoppers with collections by Alexis Bittar, Stephanie Johnson, Pomeroy Collection, Shiraleah, Roost and many others.
Owner Lisa Lasso, who was on hand for gallery's anniversary event, said she brought Giudice in to help draw attention to the gallery's mission.
Gallery U Boutique is an extension of Universal Institute, a Livingston-based rehabilitation facility that serves adults with a serious brain injury that may have resulted from accidents such as car crashes or falls, or medical emergencies such as strokes. Representatives from the Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey also were on hand to help raise awareness and accept donations.
The boutique, at 439 South Ave., is steps from the Westfield train station, but organizers noted another reality-TV-connected draw to the town when directing visitors from outside the area to the event. Carlo's Bakery, one in a growing chain owned by fellow New Jersey reality TV star “Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro is a short walk away on Broad Street. A spread of miniature cannolis, tiramisu, cookies and other Italian-style treats was not from Carlo's Bakery or from Giudice's dessert line, however.
As guests dropped $20 bills for the Brain Injury Alliance into a large transparent cube, the evening presented an opportunity for Giudice to do a small act of public good, even if the affair was promoted through social media as “a Fabellini event.” Giudice and her husband, Giuseppe 'Joe' Giudice, admitted in March that they fraudulently obtained millions in loans to help fund their lavish lifestyle. They are expected to be sentenced Sept. 23.
Learn more about Gallery U Boutique at gallery-u.blogspot.com.