Amal Khreich is no stranger to Kuwait. Although this fashion and marketing guru previously left K-town, she knew that, someday, she would return. Her vision as an accomplished marketeer extends beyond her position as Brand Marketing Manager at a premium retailer in Kuwait, as she views marketing as a way of life and an immersive ethos to live by.
Growing up in Kuwait, Amal now describes her return from any given visit to her hometown of Beirut as “leaving home, to return home.” Having studied and worked in Lebanon as a distinguished publisher, a career she described as “all-consuming”, her work also involved brand building, creative and marketing consulting as well as business development. She depicts Lebanon as a craving; “You crave its rich, involving and intense vibe, where everyone competes to reach the exact same niche that could easily comprise of a tiny alleyway with a specific group of people. Lebanon has always been my studying ground, and the birthplace for my professional maturity, whereas Kuwait’s wide horizon allows me the space to give back.” Embracing one’s surroundings, according to Amal, allows inspiration into one’s life. “My relationship with Kuwait is one filled with possibilities, it simply echoes with its wide-spanning horizon. This want, and need to create makes living and working in Kuwait unlike any other place in the region.”
With an approach to marketing that lies far away from cynicism, Amal sees most opportunities within limitations, “people could believe that we’re shrouded by this notion of ‘can’t’. Once you’ve understood your limitations, you are better equipped to innovate.” Still, she has her concerns that marketeers aren’t listening to their consumers. Instead of following international trends in marketing, Amal believes that consumers in Kuwait are poised to create trends, rather than wait to follow the next ‘it’ thing. She explains, “Consumers in Kuwait deserve to be treated better. With high expectations and tastes exceedingly differentiated; the Kuwaiti consumer is now the producer. If they can’t find something they like, they’ll create it instead. On a positive note, though, I am extremely happy that the IAA is bringing back their creative awards. This is a great sign towards rewarding creativity and pushing the consumer even further ––we truly need that back.” Amal can’t help but feel the energy of customers’ needs, because “when you’re a marketeer, you must constantly interact with your environment.”
Perhaps it’s her affinity for a culture she grew up with that makes her adamantly state that “Kuwait fits me like a glove,” or, it could be her fervent passion for fashion, yet another one of Kuwait’s fine attributes. Amal adds, “Kuwaiti women are incredibly ambitious and independent, they have an undeniable presence that resonates in society as well as a deep respect for their Middle Eastern beliefs.” Being deeply rooted in a society that creates, rather than follows, trends, makes Amal beam with pride. She believes that “the local fashion scene is one of utter amazement. Both Kuwaiti men and women are impeccably dressed, and we as marketeers could never lie to them about fashion. Their style, eclectic and multi-leveled at the core, resounds with my definition of fashion.” She believes that fashion gives back in a manner that is completely personal, “It’s not about what you wear—it’s all about your attitude. In Kuwait, we love the flavor of a local machboos dish, yet we appreciate an expertly prepared Mille-feuille. We love the traditional incense or oud, yet can’t help pairing this scent with a couture bag.”
We are living in a cosmopolitan society. One that, Amal believes, is only heading towards a positive direction. Working with an amazing team, she sees an upcoming generation intent on change. She concludes, “I only aspire to add to this change. My deeper understanding and passion towards what I’m doing always pushes me to think of how I could affect those around me. After all, that’s what us marketeers are meant to do.”
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Isn’t this an eternal quest? I constantly ponder if perfect happiness is an idea we learn to enjoy, if it is the perfect one, or if it could be better, or, if I could perfect it more. Lately, I’ve come to enjoy happiness as a moment or a state of mind. It is as good as it can get, and any happy moment is always a perfect one.
What is your greatest fear?
An empty, blank, white paper… I dread the moment every time I have to face it, and run as far and as fast as I can. To think of something new and have to look into the white paper and wonder what will make sense and what would make a difference…that simply sends me to hell and back.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
My sarcasm where some people, especially those who aren’t close to me, are not used to it, so it comes across as an offensive gesture, when I’m trying to ‘warm up’ the encounter. I also have a bossy tone of voice, which I work on to tone down, but it still fails me at times and instead comes out as more demanding! Forgive me, nature rules.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
A bad sense of style…it just says it all. Pretentiousness, such people cannot read or portray themselves transparently. Lifelessness, or those who aren’t in-sync with the beauty around, carelessness and inconsideration, as well as people with no respect to the design industry. It is absolutely one that I consider as the most refined.
Which living person do you most admire?
My mother. She is an amazing woman that brings life, love and a big smile to everything and everyone she touches.
What is your greatest extravagance?
I have a great tendency for extravagance and I live it. Any moment where I feel like I can full-heartedly spread my wings, I embrace the extravaganza.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
AMAZING !!!I liiiiike !!!3an Jadd (seriously!) Yaa3ni (meaning) Ma Khassak (none of your business)
When were you happiest?
Every time I win a challenge / feel the love I know I am “happiest”. For instance, being able to enjoy a yoga session and embrace the present without any disruptions. In that moment, I am the “happiest” and I’m still thrilled by it.
Which talent would you most like to have?
Painting. I think it’s an extreme and rare form of human talent. I think that’s because of the energy one possesses to engage all the senses, visions, thoughts and feelings transferred from fingers onto a canvas that will make you either completely fall in love, or hate, at a glance.
What would you consider your greatest achievement?
I do not believe in the “est” of things, I’m someone that embraces every moment. Although, surviving the tough days while keeping one’s sanity in place is an achievement in and of itself. God Bless this mad world.
Where would you most like to live?
On the beach.