Meet Mary van de Wiel | Short Version Chief creative officer, brand storyteller, speaker and founder of an award-winning branding and design agency (1992-2005) with offices in New York and Sydney, Van has had clients that include start-up CEOs as well as organizations like Viacom, Sony, American Airlines, The Museum of Modern Art, N.Y., Comcast Cable Communications, Nestle Nespresso, Conde Nast Publications, Macau International Airport (China) and more. Dubbed brand psychologist by Time Inc., today she consults, speaks and runs her signature NY Brand Lab workshops in the USA, Latin America, Europe and Australia. Her focus? Helping people recognize who they are — so others can. A guest lecturer at The University of California (UCLA) and The University of Sydney Business School’s Masters Program, she recently collaborated on creating storytelling content for The University of New South Wales' Center of Social Impact (Sydney). 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.
Here's that question again. How does the world see you? After all, we’re having more conversations 24/7 with more people than we ever could have imagined. If you recognize your own value and tell your own story with a high level of emotional intelligence, people will feel the difference. If you can offer a transformational and valuable experience for them, it’s exactly what they’re longing for. Hearts will beat faster.
Remember, most of us were never taught how to make meaningful and emotional connections that actually matter to people. Imagine if we communicate who we are, why we do what we do and why it matters, it’s exactly the kind of narrative that will resonate – and hit home. That’s when people start to pay attention. And give a damn.
That's where Mary van de Wiel comes in.
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
Hello, I'm Mary van de Wiel
For 30 years in New York and Sydney, she's been working in the brand intelligence space with innovative leaders, start-up CEOs and Fortune 500 organizations.
At van de Wiel Inc., Van created a global startup initiative, launching People Weekly magazine in the Australian marketplace (the first time the publisher launched the title offshore), Macau International Airport in China, The National Constitution Center in Philadelphia (the first museum dedicated to the study of the U.S. Constitution) and 3-D product lines for The Museum of Modern Art, N.Y. Other clients included Nestle, Sony, American Airlines, Conde Nast Magazines, Magazine Publishers of America, Sydney International Airport, Sydney Opera House, Federal Airports Commission, Coty, J. Walter Thompson, News Corporation, City of Sydney, Zurich Australia Group, Hearst and Working
When J. Walter Thompson came knocking to buy her agency, Van said no, thanks. Her father never got over it. (Fast forward to 2005.
That’s when she launched the brand advisory Zing Your Brand & Co. in New York, where she's been trusted to consult with start-up CEOs and thought leaders, helping them articulate their purpose, tell their story and take a bold position on the 21C new brand landscape. She's recently moved all her work under this one roof. Van is now integrating her passion for creativity, business, and branding. Hello, maryvandewiel.com.
Fast forward to July 2019: Van recently launched her new creative venture in Mexico,. Black Line Crazy. It's where ART meets FASHION, HOME and other LUXURY THINGS. Check it out, sign up for updates and much more. blacklinecrazy.com
A good example of multicultural fusion: A Dutch sea captain’s daughter, Van lived in four continents – Venezuela, Canada, Holland and Australia – before she turned 15.
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 fascinated by the intersection of neuroscience, creativity and innovation.
Featured in VOGUE AUSTRALIA (left) and her New York branding agency appeared in The World of Interiors photographed by Simon Upton.
Van takes her signature NY Brand Lab workshops on the road around the USA, Mexico, 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, start-up CEOs and companies of all sizes 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. Remember, your brand is just a feeling others have about you 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), The Australian Institute of Management (Sydney) and The Australian Human Resources Institute Conference (Melbourne.) She's been invited to be a guest lecturer at UCLA and at The University of Sydney Business School's Masters Program. For four years,
For four years, Van was a weekly radio show host of NY Brand Lab Radio. Every Wednesday morning at 10am sharp, she interviewed thought leaders, CEOs, creative thinkers and design gurus —daring them to share their best-kept branding secrets. Please listen or download,
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. (She doesn't remember her sister being so interested in mangoes.)
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. Van's trademark red lipstick of choice? MAC Cherry.
5. The magic of Mexico: One day, she picked up a brush and a can of black house paint and turned her world upside down. Hello, Black Line Crazy! Van started painting floor to ceiling in the middle of Mexico. Two exhibitions later, in Australia and Mexico plus one POP UP in San Miguel de Allende, this work has become an exhilarating part of her life — and her second creative online business. From painting large abstracts to now designing a collection of art-based totes, messenger bags, lighting, home furnishings and much more, her first Limited Edition Collection of Black Line Crazy launched July 1, 2019.
Go check out blacklinecrazy.com and sign up for
all the updates!
Van is without question the most creative,
energizing and brilliant communication, marketing and brand visionary I know. She's able to zero in on a core message and make it sing.
She gets whatever point-of-pain you're
you're experiencing 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
Van is a one-off. Her creative energy is awesome. She has great style. But most importantly she really understands what makes brands tick — both on the inside and
outside in the market place.
When we worked together in Sydney, she was way ahead of the game, so it’s no surprise to me that today she is
an acknowledged leader and innovator in the global branding space.
Consultant & Agency Founder