If anyone knows a thing or two about managing a demanding schedule, it's Wana Limar. Video producer, MTV presenter, DJ, newly-wed, activist and as of recently, kombucha brewer. Plus, she’s an advocate for Visions for Children – a charity that builds and supports schools in crisis regions.
So how does she do it all? We visited Wana at home to discuss the art of being a multi-hyphenate, how to cultivate healthy social media habits, and knowing what’s really worth your time.
I live with my husband here in Charlottenburg, West Berlin. Also known as the area with the best Asian restaurants. Honestly, go try the food later!
I didn’t grow up in the nicest part of Hamburg, so I always knew that as an adult I’d want to live somewhere safe, clean and beautiful. When my husband moved here, it was clear we’d stay in this neighbourhood.
It was sooooo nice! Having lived abroad, my husband didn’t have a lot of stuff other than his clothes. Well... he did bring a few pieces of ‘art’. I let him have those. He’s a really good cook, so that makes up for most of his rubbish interior ideas (laughs).
Longevity. I’ve no interest in replacing my furniture every few years. So before choosing anything for the flat, I thought long and hard about what I actually needed. I picked pieces that are timeless yet interesting.
Hopefully they’d think it’s the home of someone with taste and at least a little bit of intellect (laughs). Someone who cares and makes people feel welcome – for example, I always have food in the house so I can feed my guests. I think that’s maybe an Afghan thing.
First a glass of my homemade kombucha, then I’m in the office all day discussing projects and handling day-to-day business. I’m addicted to YouTube, so at lunchtime I’ll reward myself with a beauty tutorial. Then gym or straight home. But I’m away shooting and gigging a lot, so that sort of ‘normal’ day doesn't happen very often.
How do you stay organised and on top of your workload?
Until I hired my lovely assistant, I felt really overwhelmed with work. I was only ever reactive, and it was so frustrating. Now I have time to actually be creative, and think of new videos and projects. Over the last three months, I’ve focussed on being an advocate for Visions for Children, but now I want to start putting out more video content.
What are the best and worst things about your job?
The best is that I can be myself. And that I can reach so many people and make a difference. And the worst? I mean… social media is a blessing and a curse for me.
Do you have tips for cultivating healthier social media habits?
Kanye West answered that question perfectly recently. He said that social media today is what smoking was in the 50s and 60s – you do it at work, in bed, in front of kids without really understanding the implications. What works for me is to have time away from my phone every now and then.
Have you ever been given any really useful career advice?
Yes! Last year a friend said to me, ‘Don’t do a project if you’re not feeling it 5000%. Listen to your gut.’ Of course, you gotta keep an eye on the books, but you shouldn’t spend too much time doing things you don’t like.
‘Give people the content they want to see.’ It's detrimental to only look at what’s popular now. You’re the one who’s in charge – you have to educate followers, and teach them what they want to see. You can change viewing habits. People watch my stuff because I stand for something.
Yes. I’ve been a member for more than seven years, and have been sharing our work continuously with my community. I think people follow me because we handle our projects with real transparency, so people can immediately see what’s being done with their donations. By the way – new school building projects are coming soon, so stay tuned for that!
What things do you need in your office to work efficiently?
I think to work well and focus you need two things: a tidy desk and good light – whether that’s a lamp or daylight from a window. I work best in that environment.
Last question: what would you like to have more time for?
Reading! I always start books but never finish them. I don’t have the concentration. So yeah, reading and doing nothing.
Want your home to look as good as this, but need a helping hand? Check out our interior design service to find out more.
Article written by: Lisa Wenske
Photography by: Robert Rieger | Art Direction by: Laura Cumming