Enchanté, Anniversary Edition
Two years in, and we are so proud to introduce to you: EASTWAVE Concept!
You may be wondering what is it that we really do? What makes EASTWAVE, EASTWAVE? Well, in honor of our second anniversary, we're sharing all the tea.
How It All Began
It all started in January 2020 when a work friend of mine in Dubai asked me if I knew anyone in Los Angeles to help her with event planning. I immediately thought of my current partner and cofounder of EASTWAVE, Dana Mortada.
Dana and I met for the first time virtually back in 2014.
I was Assistant Marketing Manager at "Bloomingdales & Harvey Nichols Dubai," and Dana was a Fashion Editor and Stylist at Dubai's luxury "a&e magazine." At the time, we had a conversation via email about upcoming shoots. But believe it or not, I didn't recall this interchange when I blindly approached her via email some 5 1/2 years later!
So flash forward to December 2019: I decided to email Dana out of the blue when I came across her Instagram profile. I had completely forgotten we had worked together in Dubai in the past, but I saw we had mutual connections, her name sounded familiar, and she now lived in Los Angeles. So, upon my discovery, I somehow felt that she could be an advantageous partner for my consulting business.
Anyways, I initially decided to email her to work together as referral partners for our client designers at the time. Any MENA-based designers that needed branding or styling assistance in CA, I would send her way, and any middle eastern designers she had that wanted consulting on brand development and marketing, she would send my way. Little did we know that this random email exchange would be the start of something near and dear to our hearts: EASTWAVE Concept.
Dana is a creative soul, passionate about styling and branding; she was born in New Jersey and moved to Lebanon, where she lived throughout her teens and college years. Little did she know, she would meet the current love of her life one day in Dubai and soon move to California with him to start a new life together. She now happily calls Los Angeles her new home.
As for me, my story starts a little differently.
I was born and raised in Los Angeles until my teen years, when we moved to Dubai for my father's work. Before that, though, I would visit Syria every summer to visit extended family.
Going to Syria every year was my favorite pastime, as it was my sanctuary to basque in the simplicity and satisfaction of being around good company. Back in the day, everyone identified together and in harmony. We knew where we came from and were proud of our heritage.
Dana and I are Americans who are incredibly proud of our Arab roots.
Starting EASTWAVE Concept
We knew our mission: to combine our skill sets to support Middle Eastern designers expand their reach to the West. But we didn't know yet exactly how we would do it!
We first talked about what our team would look like. Dana had experience working as a creative and stylist, and I had a business-marketing background with consulting experience, but we needed one more expert, a PR guru. We reached out to Bureau Des Createurs owner in Beirut at the time, Christian Daccache, who helped us launch EASTWAVE off the ground.
But what was the name of our concept? After numerous brainstorms on what felt like hundreds of google docs, we finally found it: EASTWAVE.
We bring a wave of designers from the East to the West. Simple as that.
Upon launching in the summer of 2020, we were initially supposed to be a Pop-Up concept selling ready-to-wear and accessories brands in Los Angeles (which explains our original name, 'EASTWAVE Pop-Up Concept').
However, just as we started planning, we endured the woes and obstacles that COVID-19 brought upon our operation. We needed to act fast and smart to cater to quarantined customers stuck at home. So we soon launched our online concept instead – the very platform you're scrolling through reading this post (thanks for being here:)!)
But once we launched, we didn't stop at offering an online selling space for brands; we wanted to add more to our brands' experience by partnering with us. We provided them packages of added-on benefits like consulting advice for design and pricing since we had insight into what American customers wanted. We also offer them PR services such as celebrity/placement opportunities at our partner TATA PR's showroom in LA and inclusion in our influencer affiliate program. We like to think of ourselves as our brands' long-term partners.