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Gabi Liso

Authentic, extroverted, and very dreamy, Gabi Liso makes a point of saying that her childlike side will never die. A card-carrying feminist, she quickly rose in the advertising market and strives to create opportunities for other women to grow as well. Gabi believes that positive energy attracts positive energy. She has 10 years of experience in a still very male-dominated field, with stints at major communication agencies in the country. Her greatest achievement is being herself.

1. How did your career begin? As soon as I started college, I got an internship at Microsoft to sell the current product of the time, Windows 8. Little did I know that this would already be preparing me for my current position, convincing clients to buy into my idea and project. My second internship was already within an agency, managing social media, and shortly after, planning and executing internal events for the team. Everything contributed to my arrival in the planning area. I developed a passion and interest for being in an area that sees projects as a whole, from start to finish, until reaching the final product. My rise was very fast. From intern, I became a planning assistant at an agency focused on trade marketing. A year later, I was already a senior at another event agency. I kept jumping from opportunity to opportunity, and I found myself in a managerial position in less than three years after starting my career in advertising. I decided to try freelancing, which was a dream of mine, in 2021. The idea was not to return to a fixed position because I wanted to live like that forever, in a nomadic model, creating my own schedule and organizing my deliveries. But since we can't control everything, in 2022 I started freelancing for the agency Y'ALL, and shortly after, they invited me to be the director of strategic planning. I accepted and have been there ever since.

2. How is Y'ALL's business model structured? Y'ALL has a foundation focused on trade marketing and shopper experience. But being a specialist in the consumer journey goes far beyond just delivering at the point of sale, so our range of solutions has been increasing considerably. Part of my work in developing the strategy area within the agency was for this reason: how to show that we understand that trade goes far beyond trade? How to deliver ideas and solutions in the 360º shopper journey, covering digital, events, promotions, activations, and other brand experiences? This is part of our daily challenge as an agency, and we have been able to delight and deliver to clients what they are looking for in the marketing communication world.

3. What was the most challenging moment in your career? I had some challenging moments. One of them was certainly at the beginning of my career in planning. I worked at an agency that had many demands from large clients. I was still learning and was being pressured for deliveries as if I had extensive experience. Today, I understand that this gave me the opportunity to have such a rapid career rise because I had to learn the hard way, and this gave me a seniority that many people in my field do not have at the beginning. But at the time, it was extremely challenging and exhausting.

4. How do you balance your personal life with your corporate/entrepreneurial life? There is no difference between personal Gabi and professional Gabi because I am always myself. But managing all this together and mixed is sometimes difficult, I admit. The higher the position, the more involvement you end up having, which means work constantly walks with you. I strive hard to maintain certain things in my life and set limits - for myself as well - to have a balanced life. This means I have my exercise time, which works as therapy for me; after 7 or 8 PM, I only respond to extremely urgent matters, otherwise, it waits until the next day; I also do therapy, which helps a lot to contain anxiety and balance expectations and planning. These are some of the control points in my daily life that have been helping me a lot not to lean more to one side than the other. But it is a daily and constant challenge to maintain this balance.

5. What is your biggest dream? Anyone who knows me knows that I am a woman of many dreams. My mind flies far. One of them I have already achieved, which was to enter a leadership position in some agency/company. I naturally have a leadership and care instinct, and this applies 100% to my professional side. Being a director today is definitely one of my greatest life achievements and brings me a lot of happiness. Another dream I have – and will still achieve – is to live abroad. Since I was little, I feel like I was born in the wrong country and have been looking for my place in the world since then. This dream ends up connecting with another dream I have, which is to visit the whole world. Having a nomadic lifestyle is very much my style, and I still intend to live this way.

6. What is your greatest achievement? Professionally, becoming a director, being young for the position I hold. Personally, I have a few achievements I could share, but I believe one, which ends up encompassing several at the same time, is my freedom. I am a very free, extroverted, expansive, adventurous person, and this reflects in all areas of my life today. I have my money, live alone, take my trips, buy what I want, have the experiences I wish for, and live as I want. I say with ease that I am myself in all aspects of my life, and this is only true because I have sought and explored this immense freedom since I was very young. This is certainly one of my greatest achievements.

7. Book, movie, and woman you admire.

Book: I will recommend the last two I read, one quite old and one very current: “The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams. This book is the bible of nerds, and I sinned by not reading it before! It’s that kind of young adult book that was made for adults to think about life (same vibe as Pixar movies). It is extremely easy and pleasant to read. I had a lot of fun and laughed a lot while questioning my life and the weight I give to it. It's 100% worth reading. “Tudo é Rio” by Carla Madeira. This book has a brutal impact. While you want to devour it because it tells an extremely engaging story, it’s worth stopping and breathing so as not to be swallowed and carried away by the river, which carries you strongly far away. Carla Madeira really shows you how everything is a river in our lives, but she does it so delicately and subjectively... it’s beautiful to read.

Movie: it’s simply impossible for me to recommend movies because I’m addicted and can never choose just one. But here we go, I will also recommend two:

“Coco.” If I were to recommend movies and at least one of them wasn’t Disney, it wouldn’t be me. “Coco” is a beautiful story that teaches us more about the Day of the Dead and Mexican culture. The movie is a masterpiece. The colors explode, the music carries you, and the script makes you laugh and cry with the same intensity (maybe you cry more than you laugh, but every tear shed is worth it). I never get tired of watching this movie. “La La Land.” I will recommend a movie that combines my two greatest passions in cinematography: romance and musical. “La La Land” was one of the highlights of the 2017 Oscars, taking home six awards. The movie is not only visually beautiful to watch, with all its colors and photography, but also delicious to listen to. The songs shape each scene of the movie. I think it’s a clear case where a movie wouldn’t be the same movie if it didn’t have a great soundtrack behind it – have you ever tried watching a horror scene with Xuxa playing in the background? The impact isn’t the same. Whoever hasn’t cried watching the final scene of this movie, cast the first stone.

Woman I admire: Viola Davis, without a doubt, what a woman. Viola is one of the most versatile actresses in the market, alongside Meryl Streep (who is also a woman I admire a lot). She achieved the “triple crown of acting” by winning an Oscar, Emmy, and Tony Awards. On social media, and consequently in her personal life, Viola is someone who empowers women every day, fights for the space and recognition of Black people in the market, and is constantly inspiring. She is definitely one of the most admirable women for me today.



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