In honor of Women’s History Month, we are running a Houzzer Profile series to celebrate female leaders at Houzz. As the vice president of Branding and Communications at Houzz, Gabriela (Gabby) Hebert protects and promotes the Houzz brand. When not at work, you’ll find Gabby exploring new places with her kids, Felix and Gigi.
What brought you to Houzz? After working at public relations agencies for many years, I was looking for a new opportunity and saw a job posting for a director of communications at a startup in the home renovation and design space. My mother is an interior designer and I have always loved home design so it seemed like the perfect place to build a communications function from the ground up in a space that I’m passionate about. Both the role and the team has expanded over time to encompass other areas such as video production and editorial, which has been really exciting.
What do you enjoy most about your role? The fact that I am exposed to pretty much every area of the company and support or work with every team.
What’s something that has surprised you about working at Houzz? The lack of internal politics. It truly feels like everyone is part of the same team, working together to achieve common goals.
Have you always been interested in communications? I have always loved writing and storytelling so in that sense, I would say yes! I double-majored in English and Psychology and there is quite a bit of both in comms.
Who or what inspires you professionally? The people I work with every day, and I’m not just saying that! I work with people who are great at what they do and from whom I continuously learn new things.
What characteristics make for a great leader? Someone who is good at what they do and seeks to bring the best out of those on their team. I think empowering people is very important.
Do you have any advice for the next generation of female leaders? Seek out stretch assignments that will help you grow and gain confidence. Often these stretch assignments enhance your profile and connect you with more people in a company.
How do you manage work/life balance? Even though you’re connected 24/7 in this role, I set up boundaries. For example, I typically leave the office by 5:30 p.m. so that I can spend as much time as possible with my kids before they go to bed. I do find that managing work and life gets easier with time, so my advice is to hang in there. I personally don’t feel like I could do anything well 100% of the time, so for me, I believe that having to balance makes me a better mom and a better professional. When I’m with my kids, I’m completely focused on them and enjoying our time together and vice versa.
What’s an interesting fact about yourself? I was born in Costa Rica to an El Salvadorian mother and Cuban father. My maternal grandmother is from Puerto Rico. Spanish was my first language.
When are you most productive during the day? Mornings! I wake up well before my kids so that I can have a quiet cup of coffee and get through the day’s news stories and emails. I like to get a head start before coming into the office.
Have you used Houzz at home? Absolutely! We bought our first home a few years ago and hired both an interior designer and a landscape designer that I found on Houzz. I used ideabooks extensively during our renovation and bought quite a few (probably too many!) things from the Houzz Shop. Even though we’re done with major projects, I love to read our stories for ideas and shop for things that will freshen up our home.