As Co-Founder of Hermana Creatives, a global creative family specialising in digital branding, Gisele Orellano has worked closely with SLH’s Head of Social Media, Abi Tottenham Smith, over the past two years to rethink the SLH Instagram strategy based on personal, authentic, and unique travel experiences.
Now in the third phase of the project, Gisele’s team, which includes an art director and two photographers, have travelled to more than 130 SLH hotels all over the world to capture inspirational content for the SLH social media channels.
Tell us about yourself. Where are you from?
I’m from Argentina but I’ve lived in Europe for the past 10 years. I’m the mother of a wonderful baby boy and Co-Founder of Hermana Creatives with my sister Aliana. My background is in hospitality, and Aliana’s is in design.
At Hermana we provide branding, design and content for hotels and restaurants in the luxury sector. Aliana is the creative side of the partnership and I’m the perfectionist that zooms in on the details. We both love art, travel and learning about other cultures, so it’s a huge pleasure to work with hotels and restaurants around the world.
What is your role at Hermana Creatives and what is your favourite thing about it?
I’m Co-Founder and Managing Director, while Aliana is Creative Director. I have a fascination with the expressions and experiences that make us human, particularly communication and the subtle sophistication of what can be said in a message, so I love the process of finding a voice and visual identity for brands.
Often a hotel or restaurant has a unique product, perfect location, impeccable service, but isn’t finding the way to communicate that uniqueness. That’s a challenge I relish.
What has been your best experience when visiting an SLH hotel?
I’ll never forget my first experience at an SLH hotel – Les Sources de Caudalie in Bordeaux. It couldn’t have been a more perfect introduction to what the brand stands for; a truly unique, independent spirit, and the way the property integrates with the vineyards and surrounding nature shows how a hotel can look after and preserve the environment.
What SLH hotel do you most want to visit?
Castello di Reschio, which is opening later this year in Italy. I was intrigued as soon as I saw it – the peculiarity, the family history, the décor. A hotel like this is more than just a hotel I want to visit, it’s a whole experience I want to live.
Which is your favourite city and why?
I’d have to choose my home city, Buenos Aires. Nowadays I’m mainly between Barcelona and London – I love London for the way it leads new trends, but there’s nowhere like home and Buenos Aires still inspires me. There’s a huge amount of creativity in the air.
It’s a city that takes influences from around the world but is also far enough away to have the independence to do it’s own thing. It’s also a very resilient and resourceful city. In Buenos Aires you realise there’s a solution for everything.
Which destination do you most want to visit and why?
There are lots of countries that I’d love to visit in Africa but I was really interested in something that Deborah Calmeyer at Roar Africa organised last year – a trip in South Africa led by women guides and animal trackers who have broken stereotypes and managed to forge their way in traditionally male fields. That would be wonderful to learn more about.
What is your favourite travel trend for 2020?
The rise of community tourism because more than simply a trend, it’s something that can have a positive impact and break down barriers between visitors and locals.
People are thinking more about doing something positive when they travel – about experiences they can learn from as well as enjoy.
This and the fact more hotels are dropping single-use plastics are two really positive trends right now.
What motivates you?
Waking up each day to solve new challenges in an industry I love, other women in leadership positions, and learning from how they balance work and family.
As mothers, both Aliana and I are also really motivated by our children and the desire to be good role models, showing them good examples in caring for the planet, treating people well, and working hard, but making time to have fun.