For this week’s edition of our Travel Influencer series, Wetravel is featuring a Filipino-American intellectual who is sharing the story of how she started Stelavie, a lifestyle blog that showcases how her experiences with travel have inspired her to fuse her love for fashion and travel to create a unique style of her own. Christel Gellidon, a San Francisco Bay Area native, breathes and lives the true meaning of wanderlust. Beginning at a young age, Christel traveled the world internationally, abstracting a piece of her cultural explorations and weaving it into her everyday wear. Along with these experiences, she grew an appreciation for the culture, cuisine, and fashion around the world.
After graduating from UC Davis, Christel landed a corporate buying position at Macy’s, one of the largest chain retailers at the time. In 2009, a year following the Great Recession, Christel along with 1400 of her colleagues lost their jobs in what was one of the biggest layoffs since the Great Depression. Driven to succeed, she proved to the world that there was no obstacle that could stand in between her, her passions, and her success. Unlike many who might’ve jumped the gun in taking any open positions available, Christel had a unique plan of her own. She eventually packed her bags, and left San Francisco to start a brand new life in Italy to fulfill her dream of living abroad.
Refusing to let the layoff get the better of her, she started her life in Italy and took in the culture and art in all of their glory. She attended the prestigious Polimoda International Institute where she received her Masters in Merchandising and Marketing. There, she met a group of like-minded women striving to pursue similar passions of traveling the world and fashion. The group of fifteen women stuck together and explored various parts Europe together. Years after graduating, they still prove to us that distance doesn’t have to come in between friendships. She and her group of classmates keep in touch by planning a group trip to another part of the world every year.
In documenting their adventures and cultural journeys around the world, Christel brings alive Stelavie. With inspiration from different cultures around the world, she relives these experiences by fusing it into her own style and inspiring others to get a glimpse of what the world has to offer. Stelavie doesn’t just end at fashion and travel. Stelavie brings to light valuable insights about different cultures, customs, and traditions, including beautiful, vibrant, awestruck photos of historical sites and architecture from her travel adventures.
Continuing her career in merchandising, Christel is now working as a Merchandise Manager with the masters of hatmaking, the historic Goorin Brothers, a brand of talented hat makers that started in 1895. We were lucky enough to score a photoshoot and interview with Christel at the Goorin Brothers flagship in North Beach, San Francisco, where she shared with us the history of Goorin Brothers and the story of its transformation through each generation. Goorin Brothers has a fine selection of timeless hats suitable for every occasion and all genders. Stepping inside the shop, you’ll feel as though you’ve just entered into a time machine and back to the era of the Prohibition, when speakeasies and barbers were tucked away to provide a gathering space for their customers. Goorin shopkeepers continue the legacy of the brand by providing unmatched expertise and specialized customer service to offer the same unique shopping experience as they did at its start, with each shop equipped with a feather bar for regular customers to stop by and customize their own hats to their fancy.
We want to thank Christel for taking the time to talk to us about her passions, travels, and Stelavie. We loved hearing her inspiring story and learning about how she connects fashion and travel. If you loved hearing about Christel and her adventures as much as we did, then check out Stelavie on social media!