The AdverBarbie World Tour: Part 1 Meet the Girls

Photo: Alicia Benz & Michelle Pokorny
The tale of how 2 young advertising talents made the journey to being green through traveling the world

We wanted to introduce you, our readers, to a pair that we have enjoyed reading about. Alicia Benz and Michelle Pokorny are each one half of a duo called AdverBarbie. They told us their story of turning green. It involved a lot of travel, lots of learnings and lots of fun.

Learning to be "green" in another culture can be a challenge, especially for two gorgeous vegetarian blonds who stand out in places like Brazil.

Starting Monday, each morning we will share the next step of their journey. We hope you enjoy their story as we much as we did.

So, "meet the girls", below is an introduction to who Alicia and Michelle are and how they came to be AdverBarbie!

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It was a balmy October morning in 2008 when Alicia Benz and Michelle Pokorny, met on the corner of 8th and Alton in the heart of Miami Beach, Florida. The first day of orientation at Miami Ad School (a funky, high energy, post-grad school for creative advertising), was finally here after months of anticipation. 

We bonded that fateful sunny day, becoming inseparable, pairing as an art director and copywriter team, becoming collectively know as AdverBarbie. We spent the first year learning the ins and outs of pop culture engineering, building digital know-how, and honing our advertising genius.  We also experienced everything the South Beach lifestyle could throw at us. From private yacht parties, to bashes at model’s mansions, we were two glitz-crazed girls living the glamorous life, all in the fabulous comfort of the USA.

After a year mastering the art of skipping straight to the front of the V.I.P. line, we had finally hit SoBe socialite status. At the same time, we received the ultimate honor for any Miami Ad School student, by winning the prestigious Global Top Dog award. We had successfully managed to balance it all, and were ready to take the advertising industry by storm, assigning two new faces to the term ‘Blonde ambition.’ Enter the AdverBarbie World Tour.

Miami Ad School is unique in that it allows students to study abroad in up to 4 different locations around the world.  Once our year in South Beach was up, it was time to pick up shop and move across the ocean to Amsterdam.  Little did we know moving to Holland would be just the tip of the iceberg, in a massive, life-transforming journey.

Amsterdam may be a place of century old buildings sloping gracefully into mysterious canals, but it was actually a place of new awakenings for AdverBarbie.  We learned what it’s like to be completely loathed by another culture.  In other words, the Dutch do not take kindly to Americans.  It took many bouts of culture shock, tears, and sometimes all out screaming matches with the locals, to hold our own as two girls on a mission to fend for ourselves, in the heart of a not so happy-go-lucky European culture.

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Read more: The AdverBarbie World Tour Part 2: buying Less, Buying Local & Buying Re-usable Bags