BEHIND THE SCENES
SYDNEY NEW YORK MEXIC0
My life can be divided into two phases: before and after meeting Van at The NY Brand Lab. Van helped me gain clarity around my business and my brand that I hadn’t dreamed possible.
Megan Kent, Founder
Megan Kent Branding Group
New York City
Are you being recognized for who are you,
what you do, why it matters and
why any one of us should give a damn?
Meet Mary van de Wiel | Edited Version
Chief Creative Officer, speaker and founder of an award-winning branding and design agency with offices in New York and Sydney, she was dubbed brand psychologist by Time Inc. Magazines when her agency launched People Weekly in the Australian market. Her focus? Helping people recognize who they are so others can. (Agency sold 2005.)
Agency clients included start-up CEOs as well as organizations like Nestle Nespresso (Lausanne), Viacom, The Museum of Modern Art, N.Y., Macau International Airport (China), Comcast Cable Communications, Conde Nast Publications, News Corporation, Sydney Opera House, The Federal Airports Commission, Sony, American Airlines, Zurich Group and many more.
Today she consults, speaks and takes her signature NY Brand Lab workshops across the USA, Latin America and Australia. Currently working in Mexico, she's also recently launched her Black Line Crazy limited edition collection of wearable art and homewares. Her first public art installation was unveiled last September in New York City at 1285 Avenue of the Americas and West 51 Street. (It's still up.)
A guest lecturer at The University of California (UCLA) on branding, and The University of Sydney Business School’s Masters Program, she collaborated on storytelling content for The University of New South Wales' Center of Social Impact (Sydney).
A weekly contributor to Dan Schwabel's Personal Branding Blog. she's written for entrepreneur.com, been quoted and featured in Inc. Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, Reuters, The Australian Financial Review, Investor's Business Daily and American Express OPEN Forum
Van is without question the most creative, energizing and brilliant brand visionary I know. She's able to zero in on a core message and make it sing. She gets whatever point-of-pain
and knows how to speak to it. Her visual acumen
has a flair that captures eye and mind at the same time.
In addition to being highly talented, she's fun
and entirely pleasurable to work with. I love working with her – pure and simple.
Janet Wigfield, VP, Executive Director
Conferences & Events
Working Mother Media
New York City
A good example of multicultural fusion.
A Dutch sea captain’s daughter, Van lived in four continents before she was 15: Venezuela, Canada, Holland and Australia.
It’s no surprise she learned at an early age how to scope out the horizon and interpret the invisible clues – no matter what the country, culture or language. It seemed the best way to sense her place and identity in the world, and give it meaning.
No wonder Van has always been drawn to the brand intelligence arena. With a knack for intuitively knowing how to scope out the landscape for her clients, she's always on the look out for the invisible clues that might be shooting them in the foot. For her, the intersection of neuroscience, creativity and innovation is always the most fascinating.
Taking her signature NY Brand Lab on the road around the USA, Latin America and Australia, the workshops are designed for both entrepreneurs as well as for the corporate arena. Recent corporate gigs have included Viacom (New York), Comcast Cable (Philadelphia), Time Warner Cable (Los Angeles), ABC Innovation (Sydney) and AMP (Sydney)
She consults and advises professionals and start-up CEOs how to tell their brand story so it resonates deeply and hits home. It takes courage and a willingness to be transparent and bring more meaning, purpose and energy back to the table. BTW your brand is just a feeling others have about who you are and what you do.
Van speaks at national conferences, associations and innovation labs on topics around why one brand nails it (and others fail) at the Women Presidents' Organization (New York), Nestle Nespresso Global Brand Community Workshop (Lausanne, Switzerland), The Australian Institute of Management/AIM (Sydney), American University’s MBA Program (Washington, DC), The Australian Human Resources Institute Conference AHRI (Melbourne), International Business Women’s Association (Mexico City), National Association of Female Executives (NAFE), Women’s Leadership Summit (New York City) and many more.
She's been invited to be a guest lecturer at UCLA; and lectured and tutored part time at The University of Sydney Business School's Masters Program.
For four years, Van hosted her radio show NY Brand Lab Radio. Every Wednesday morning at 10am EST sharp, she interviewed thought leaders, CEOs, creative thinkers and design gurus —daring them to share their best-kept branding secrets.
5 things you couldn’t possibly know about Van.
1. Iguanas lived in the bottom of the garden in the Venezuelan tropics. They’d often get to the ripe mangoes on the ground before she did.
2. She carries two passports (US & EU). No one can ever pick her accent.
3. For four years every Saturday morning on Sydney Harbor, she wrestled with a spinnaker when racing with the NSW University’s Women’s Sailing Team.
4. When J. Walter Thompson came knocking to buy her agency, Van said no, thanks. Her father never got over it. (Fast forward to 2005. Agency sold.)
5. One day, she landed in the middle of Mexico, picked up a brush and can of black house paint and started to paint floor to ceiling for the first time in her life. Hello, Black Line Crazy! Two exhibitions later, in Australia and Mexico, her large abstract paintings are now part of the Black Line Crazy collection of accessories, wearable-art totes, messenger bags, homeware and more. Follow her on instagram.com/maryvandewiel. Check out her first BLC Limited Edition Collection here blacklinecrazy.com/