Gaby Natale: Entrepreneur Extraordinaire
Story By: Diane Alter
The road Gaby Natale took on her way to becoming a successful host, TV producer and winner of two daytime Emmys was filled with many twists and turns. Yet every twist and turn was a lesson and a stepping stone. Blessed with an adventurous and curious nature, as well as the desire to see the world, Gaby embraced every experience. And she bravely broke from tradition.
“Everyone in my family is a lawyer,” Gaby told Latino Leaders Magazine. “My mom, my dad and my aunt are all lawyers. I grew up thinking there were only four career choices: lawyer, engineer, architect and doctor. But I wanted to travel. I wanted to broaden my experiences. I have always been independent.”
So an independent Gaby left her native Buenos Aires and went to study in London at the University of Westminster, where she earned a BA in international relations.
“I traveled to England after studying international relations at the University of San Andres,” Gaby said. “I loved learning all about international relations. The field encompasses so much about so many things that are so important and matter. It’s all about current events and world happenings. But it was studying international relations in London that I found my real passion. I spent every extra cent I had, which wasn’t much since I was on a tight budget — not on shoes or clothes, but on going to films. That was when I decided to study production. That was also when I found my passion—my calling.”
Still, it was an uphill climb. After finishing her studies in London, Gaby returned to Buenos Aires in 2000. It was a time when Argentina was dealing with an economic depression. Unemployment was widespread and the prospects for any kind of work were dim.
“I remember looking for a job and a prospective employer saying to me, ‘You want a job and I have to fire half my staff today.’ I went a year without a job. But I did not just sit around.”
The year Gaby went without a paying job was filled with a lot of volunteering. One volunteer job involved helping a friend out at a seminar. Speakers from all over the world were scheduled to take part. It sounded exciting, but it was also a humbling experience for Gaby.
“I knew a lot of people that I graduated with would be there,” Gaby recalled. “I thought to myself that I would be there pulling out chairs and handing out programs to some of my former colleagues. I had a pity party for one that lasted until my mother intervened. She told me to get dressed in my best outfit, put on bold red lipstick, and seize it. It was fashion advice. My mother said, ‘you never know what opportunities might come out of it.’ And she was right. It was a defining moment for me.”
Gaby was introduced to a number of valuable contacts at the seminar. Many kept in close contact and eventually sent Gaby freelance work. It was just a matter of time before Gaby moved to Washington, D.C., to work for a public relations firm. While there, she put her journalism skills to work, covering the contentious and dangerous situations simmering at the border between Arizona and Mexico. A Univision affiliate station saw Gaby’s work and her potential. Univision offered her a job, which would take Gaby to Texas.
Gaby started working as a news anchor in the Lone Star State, but she had grander ambitions. She had stories to tell. Sentimental, sincere and important stories.
“I wanted to be able to make my own choices,” Gaby explained. “I wanted to be able to have editorial and creative control.”
After earning her green card in 2007, a lengthy process that required three applications, Gaby left her Univision job. With a $20,000 business loan, Gaby and her husband — who Gaby describes as her “partner in love, life and the whole lot” — started her own company. SuperLatina, an interview and lifestyle show, was born.
The show came from Gaby’s desire to rally behind Latina women. Gaby maintains she is the biggest cheerleader for Latinas. She says many young Latinas already have the intelligence and the dreams to succeed, but what is sometimes missing is the confidence and belief in themselves. That is where Gaby comes in.
“A SuperLatina is a woman who fights and who stands up for herself,” Gaby explains. “The SuperLatina is the best part of you.”
The show began airing in Texas, and New Mexico was next to pick up the show. Subsequently, Gaby was nominated for six Emmy Awards and became a YouTube sensation. In addition to being the host of this widely popular nationally syndicated television show, Gaby and her husband own a small television studio in Fort Worth. Gaby is also president of AGANAR Media, a content development and experiential marketing company that specializes in developing TV shows and viral video campaigns, with a focus on Hispanic audiences. Clients have included industry goliaths with marquee names, such as Ford Motor Co., MetroPCS, McDonald’s and Proctor & Gamble.
Less than a year after Natale became a U.S. citizen, SuperLatina went national in 2014 on Vme-TV. The once-a-week show was suddenly available in 43 media markets and more than 70 million viewers. It boasts a loyal and growing following, currently airs at 3 p.m. Saturdays. SuperLatina also enjoys an enormous internet following.
Gaby recognizes the media industry is a space in transition and she must lead, not follow. That is a challenge, but also an opportunity.
“So many things are changing,” Gaby said. “So many opportunities are still undiscovered. We must keep evolving and thinking big creatively. We must stay one step ahead.”
As for her leadership style, Gaby said the key is to not limit herself or others. It is also important that she stays true to her roots and heritage. “This is not just about me,” Gaby continued. “I represent a community. It’s about respect.”
Gaby’s entrepreneurial spirit means she is constantly brainstorming on something. Her empire continues to grow and expand globally.
Right now, Gaby is working on a mobile events application, available in English and Spanish, that will help people plan, put on and pull off celebrations.
With just 24 hours in a day, we asked Gaby how she fits every event and every commitment into her busy schedule. She admits it is difficult to have a perfect work/life balance. But Gaby is quick to add that her profession includes so many personal experiences. And having her husband at her side, in business as well as life, makes it a bit easier.
“I do have a lot on my plate and have many obligations to fulfill,” Gaby shared. “Yet my work is a lesson in personal development. The hours just fly by. I have the best job in the world. How many professions allow you to go to the White House and the morgue.”
The way Gaby sees it, what she does is not work. It is also not about racking up awards, YouTube visits or ratings. It is all about a vision, a voice, a personal feeling so strong that she needs to build something around, something big and bold, and share it with the world.