Brand Marketer & Event Producer | Around The Way Cool Girl
Describe a day in the life of Isis Arias:
A day in my life is a constant variation of many things depending on what I’m working on. The average day consists of me waking up and staring at my iPhone, checking email, responding to texts, checking social media. It’s not the best wake method, I should really work on meditating more but it’s a force of habit. If I’m up early enough I tend to go for a jog or yoga, and then I’m in front of my computer for a few hours working on anything from emails to project plans, checking in on the marketing programs I manage, event research and logistic planning. The rest of the day tends to be scattered with conference calls, outreach and meetings, although I tend to try and schedule meeting days so I have more than one reason to head into the city especially since I work from home and mobile, so I’m often doing some of these things from the road!
How did you get started with brand marketing and events – and how does strategic and event planning reflect your personal aesthetic?
I started planning large events in college and became really interested in making great things happen and seeing them run well. My career path after college ranged from work in PR for the entertainment industry to celeb personality management and a lot of that dealt with handling people. I found that I was interested in the branding side but definitely wanted to work with a variety of brands and learn both the marketing side as well as the experiential. One lucky Spring Break, I had met a really eclectic group of guys running some marketing activations at Winter Music Conference (shout to Kenny Mac n the crew) and saw that they were doing some really awesome things with brands but were getting paid to show off products in a fun way, and giving away gear (product seeding as i would later learn). I had gotten into some guerrilla/street marketing after college so I was well aware of activations where you were giving out free stuff, but I knew there was more behind it. A gig with Sprite Green showed me how a small team could canvas an entire city and learned a lot about sponsorships and executing on a brand side. It was empowering to see your work in the eyes of your peers (“Yo, I see you guys EVERYWHERE!”) and it was the start of my brand marketing work. That led to projects with Nike, Google and Hennessy, both on the marketing or events side. Personally, I love seeing a good brand via communication, imagery and experiences and I think I try to build that into some of my personal aesthetic, paying attention to signature things like mantra statements or even daily jewelry.
It’s empowering to see women making moves in the scene like you — how have the women in your life been instrumental in developing your hustle?
I have been blessed to have some amazing women from sister-friends to colleagues to mentors that have always been very supportive of my hustle. They have always were open with giving their time, sharing their honest opinions and advice and have always asked me the right questions to make sure that not only are my professional focuses in line with what I want for figure but also that holistically in life I consider the other things that are important: life, love, family. I in turn have always given the same to the young women in my life that are always looking for a quick chat or advice on their future. It’s definitely important to me to see the next generation grow. Women have the power these days to do anything and there’s no reason why we would have to choose career over family or vice versa. It’s nice to know other women that have come before you and have done it successfully are there in support of all of your efforts.
How has social media shaped your business in brand marketing or events? What’s your favorite platform? Why?
Social media is a great way to promote brands or events. On the brand side, it’s important for communication with consumers and its a great way to get immediate feedback (“I LOVE my new ‘enter product here.” Or “Hey ‘enter company here’ your customer service ‘is the best/sucks’) and while its not an exact study in brand insights it’s a very easy thing to track. I read about a brand that was selling to a department store that wasn’t interested in one of their specific products and they pulled up their Instagram account and showed the thousands of likes the piece received. The store couldn’t deny it. On the event side, it’s a great way to promote an event as well as have people interact with a brand experience on another level utilizing hashtags and then being able to check those hashtags to not just see who attended but what they thought about different elements from the actual event to talent to logistic things to think about – like how long it takes to get IN to a spot.
Cultural trends constantly change. What do you do to stay relevant, connected, and ahead of the curve?
I have good friends. Seriously though, sometimes when I feel like I’m behind the times, I am constantly being “put on” to something via my circle of friends or even checking in to social media. I love culture and knowing what people are into so I tend to ask a lot of questions to friends and peers in the same fields from various industries. I read a lot, from magazines like Fast Company and Inc to the blogs (everything from style, home improvement, entertainment and baking) and checking into certain outlets online also keeps me at the forefront of what’s going on. Having a PR degree and publicist background means I still love popping into a magazine stand and flipping through media from domestic to international to check the trends out. I love checking the fashion magazines in different countries (especially the Philippines) to see what the youth culture is from beauty and fashion to lifestyle.
What are your must-have tools or apps to run your day-to-day grind? What kind of gadgets would we find on your desk or in your bag?
My phone is most usually in my hand, my back pocket or within quick reach in my purse. Working mobile means getting my email is important on the road. My MacBook Air comes with me everywhere and it’s the best investment I ever made. I recommend it to any road warriors who have to lug around a laptop (I did it with a 15″ MacBook Pro and ended up with some shoulder/neck/back issues so Im an advocate to Go Light!) Mobile Internet is the ultimate life saver. I can’t say how many times I have popped it on in meetings, sent emails in a cab or at various lunches (grateful for friends who don’t judge me on quick responses on my phone or computer in the middle of a catch up) or at any location that hasn’t caught up to free wifi. It’s great in airports when I’m on the road and it’s secure. Travel wise other items that usually come along are my pretty Molami headphones, Beats pill speaker and ill take my iPad on trips that I will have relaxation time on since I tend to read a lot of books on there.
In a fast-paced industry where last-minute-anything can happen, what’s your fail-proof, go-to outfit that will last from morning meetings to evening events?
A great dress and jacket that can easily have a day to eve accessory and makeup change. Especially when working on the road, you want something that looks good that is easy to wear and you don’t have to think about it too much. Otherwise, well fit and polished outfits and a good pair of shoes. If the bag one’s carrying allows for quick flat to heel changes, its definitely helpful when running from one meeting to the next. On more casual day to night days it’s a little more New York – a tee and dark jeans or all black, leather jacket and stomp around boots. Red lips and great eye makeup can make anyone feel a little more dressed up as well.
How important are mentors? Who is your mentor?
Mentors are extremely important. I’m constantly inspired by the people around me both peers and older colleagues of mine. I have a few too many to name but there is a small circle of people I call on for advice either professionally or in life in general. I am always open to feedback and people’s strategic advice especially when I know they are invested in me or have my best interests in mind.
Define your idea of success.
It’s funny, when I was younger I thought success meant hitting a million and being married with kid(s) by 30. These days, I think I’ve hit a measure of success – I’ve worked with some of my favorite people on amazing projects and brands, I’ve been blessed to have the ability to travel, I started my own company and had a full successful year of business. I’ve gotten to a point where people call me because they want to work with me, they trust my ability to manage and work with a team, and they know that I execute and deliver well. I’ve managed to do things on my own terms and had the freedom to live my life while still doing meaningful work. i have a great support system and amazing friends and family. At the end of the day, isn’t that all that matters??
What should we expect from Isis Arias this year?
BIG TINGS! Honestly I never know what opportunities are on the table for greatness but I do have a few substantial projects in the works that are long term goals so they’re slow cooking!
What’s your advice for other women entering creative fields?
Be steadfast in your dreams. Never stop doing. Don’t be afraid to say yes to things you are unsure of but interested in, and never be afraid to walk away from something that does not make sense for you, your goals or your brand. Work with integrity. Never give up. Get in, get it done. DO WORK.