Christelle – or Stella as she is affectionately known – is espy’s South African import. Stella was born in Namibia, a neighbouring country to South Africa. She grew up on a farm in Namibia, where her parents still live, but moved to Stellenbosch, South Africa for high school and her post-secondary studies. She came to Canada in February of 2011 after traveling around Europe and Eastern Canada. She decided to make Calgary her home!
Stella is quite the find all the way from Namibia. Her first language is Afrikaans, but she has studied English her whole life and could speak it fluently by age 16. Growing up, she had always liked fashion, but never thought she would end up working in the industry. In high school, she studied textile design for three years and after graduation, decided to enroll in a fashion design program at the Elizabeth Gallaway Academy of Fashion Design in Stellenbosch.
“Don’t try to be someone else – be yourself and make it your own.”
The lines she constructed in school are made up of sophisticated, feminine pieces for women in the corporate world. “It’s like, how to be feminine in the corporate world.” She did a lot of work with chiffon, cut off fabrics, and draping mixed with structure for professionalism. In July of 2008, one of Stella’s designs was chosen to be made for the fashion show at Durban July, a horse race held in Stellenbosch (think Kate Middleton in a huge hat with the Queen and everyone is dressed to the nines to watch the horses). While in school, Stella also donated her services to a plus-size bride and made her a wedding dress for free!
After graduation, Stella continued her fashion studies by taking an image consulting course, where she learned about professional styling, color analysis, figure analysis, and wardrobe analysis (yes! She studied closet interventions!).
Stella started her own company, Crystal Image, and she was hired by women to design and construct formal wear. She did a lot of wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses, mother-of-the-bride dresses, and Matric Farewell dresses (graduation dresses). She also made ready-to-wear clothes. Stella managed a clothing boutique and worked with her sister in a beauty salon that sold professional skincare products before going full-time with her business. On the side – this busy and talented fashionista taught sewing classes.
After a few years of working and saving, she decided to travel around Europe and Eastern Canada. Her adventures led her to make a major change and a major move from Stellenbosch to Calgary. “I wanted to experience something different and broaden my knowledge of new cultures and new people.”
She found espy through a customer she was living with. Megan tweeted that espy was hiring new stylists and before she knew it, Stella was in skincare training with the espy staff! Stella loves the energy and passion of the young and fresh espy stylists. The Canadian people in general have made Stella feel at home in a new country, and interacting with strangers everyday at espy and helping them feel good makes her happy. She doesn’t necessarily know where life will take her – but she has always known she wants to help people. Her avenue to do so happens to be through fashion, and espy is the place in Calgary where she can do what she loves – spoil people. Customers and staff truly appreciate her sweet nature, honesty, and kind heart, which is evident the moment you meet her. You can guarantee that if you get styled by Stella, you will be treated with genuine concern and thoughtfulness from the sweetest South African woman.
Stella is a senior stylist and floor manager at espy. She makes sure the day-to-day runs smoothly and all of customers are getting the espy experience.
Her personal style is all her own. Bold prints, interesting shapes, geometrics, and anything black and white with a pop of coloured jewellery is a “Stella outfit.” She loves mixing textures like leather with knits and flowy tops with structured jackets. Her “go-to” outfit is her black and white cropped jacket with a white tank, jeans, ankle booties, and colourful jewellery.
This dramatic dresser has an eye for style. Through her education, natural talent within the industry and her love for people, Stella can determine your current style, what you are comfortable in, and what she can do to help you accentuate that personal style. “Don’t try to be someone else – be yourself and make it your own.”
Follow Stella on Twitter: @stellaimage
Stella is available for Closet Interventions and Personal Shopping. If you would like to book an appointment with her, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any inquiries about espy, please send Stella an email or give her a call in the store.
Address: 1009 9th Ave SE
Calgary, AB T2G 0S6
Hours of Operation:
Mon, Tues, Wed: 10:30 - 7
Thurs & Fri: 10:30 - 9
Sat: 10:30 - 6
Sun: 11 - 5