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Issue Date: January 2010

Most Interesting People 2010 - Michelle Luciano & Rebecca Smith

by Jennifer Bowen, Katie Dragga, Emily Garvey, Lauren Hennen, Christina Ipavec, Brittany Moffat, Kim Schneider, Colleen Smitek, Beth Stallings, Carly Toyzan, Erick Trickey & Jim Vickers; edited by Colleen Smitek
Michelle Luciano &
Rebecca Smith

PBS hosts & handbag
designers | 42 & 43 respectively

Why they’re interesting … Their show, Lifestyles with Rebecca, which premiered this fall on PBS, spotlights people throughout the country who have reinvented themselves by following their passions. The two also design handbags for Smith’s handbag and accessories company, Rebecca Ray Designs.

The show’s genesis … The two hired longtime local producer Tom Jacobs to shoot a marketing video for Rebecca Ray Designs. After they were done, he looked at them and said, “There is this synergy between the two of you. I think you’re very real. You would be great on television.”

And they were … Less than two months later, the pilot was made. Clevelanders can watch Lifestyles with Rebecca on WVIZ/PBS Ideastream Sundays at 3 p.m.

Road trip … To tell the stories of people throughout the country, you have to drive all over the country. They were on the road in an RV for about a month.

Not glamorous … They shared a room at the back of the RV. “Being at campgrounds is great when you’re camping,” Luciano laughs. “When you have to get up and look all pretty for TV, it’s tough.”

Mr. Moms … Although their husbands “stepped up” and took over while they were traveling, Luciano was surprised to find new rules when she returned home, such as washing hair is not necessary if you were in the pool that day.

Then there are the handbags … Committed to running her business the right way, Smith has her high-end bags made in Amish country at a higher cost than if she had them made overseas.

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