Lebanese luxury brand have found a glamorous ambassador in the person of Mariana Wehbe. In 2013, Mariana launched her own Public Relations house in Beirut supporting young and skilled designers . Born in Abu Dhabi, raised in Florida and now splitting her time between Lebanon and the US, Mariana is a real international influencer and trend-setter. JDEED wanted to know more about this energetic and beautiful business woman.
How did you decide to launch your own Press Relations house in Beirut?
Well, I’ve always been the kind that absolutely loves people. I mean if you leave me with a wall for three days, I bet I’ll get that wall talking. So, after 16 years of corporate life at DHL Express I decided it was time to leave. Such decisions don’t come lightly but my gut and intuition and everything about my being was telling me it’s time to move on. Not knowing or having a clue of what’s to come next except that I believed in the universe and what it had in store for me. Which led me to where I am today.
What do your different clients have in common? Do you have a specific sensibility towards a certain type of art and design?
I’m going to sound like a total work mom but my favorite thing that all my clients have in common is that they all became my family. I have a rule that I only take a max of 6 clients at a time because I want to make sure I’m giving my all to each and everyone of them. That personal touch is what makes us so close and gets us to where we need to be. Also, they are all very, very talented, driven and ambitious people, which is so inspiring. I can’t tell you how much I have learned from each one, it’s like a whole university degree. I have to say that I do have a sensibility for design and jewelry – I find myself attracted more and more towards those fields easily because I am a huge fan of both worlds.
What do you think is the strength of Middle-Eastern fashion on the international scene?
Whether we like it or not I believe that fashion is part of our culture as Middle Eastern women. In past generations, a woman had to always look perfect for when her husband would come home wearing a beautiful dress, wearing her jewelry etc.. I never saw my grandmother in sweat pants! Never!! I mean this is what molds our culture in fashion. In Lebanon, mainly the cross cultures between the French Colonial influence and our Middle Eastern culture surely molded us and therefore gave us that strength on an international level.
Tell us a bit about a day in the life of a PR in Beirut…
Do you really want to know? Well, it starts with non- stop phone calls. Other than that, it’s a mix of meetings, interacting with people, seeing my clients, preparing for projects and following up on what needs to be followed-up. I’m always on the look out for creative ways to collaborate and new ideas that get me crazy excited and inspired!
Where would you advise us to go in Beirut city?
Well, I grew up in Florida on the beach so my first advice would be the beach, anytime of the year. It’s a sense of clarity for me especially places like Sporting which have been around for years and so many friends grew up there and now my daughter is growing up there too. It just makes you appreciate Beirut even more. Backburner in Saifi is my second office, I work from there because it’s super cozy and the coffee and treats are amazing. I also love Tawlet for that authentic Lebanese food filled with love. My all time favorite fine dining is Burgundy. It’s where I go when I need to feel like I’m a PR in New York.
How do you expect to grow your business?
This is actually one of my “Resolutions” for this year- which is to expand more internationally on many levels. I already have one foot out the door but I want to jump in and get my clients exposed internationally in the press & other projects. It’s a small business with big dreams but also we truly know the direction we want to face. I believe with a lot of hard work and a big determined heart & mind we will make it!
Photo by Patrick Baz
Cover Photo by Lama Mattar
Discover more about Mariana and her agency here