Travel in Style with Style Tourista
By : Donna Künzler Mimi Ciccone, the founder of Style Tourista, who is an artist, designer, travel curator and most recently an author, has been exposed to fashion and travel for as long as she can remember. She was born and raised in Cebu, Philippines, to a Filipino-Spanish mother and a Swiss father who had a fashion exporting business. “I was practically raised in our showroom and also started designing jewelry as a little girl”, she quips. She also claims her father as “one of the world’s best travelled men” who has really inspired her lust to see the world. Ciccone herself has travelled to over 40 countries. Ciccone moved to Switzerland at the age of 18 to pursue her bachelor's degree in international design management at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts in her father’s hometown. She has now spent 18 years in Switzerland living and working in many different cities, includingLuzern, Zug, Bern, Solothurn, Fribourg, Basel, Zürich and Schaffhausen. Right after getting her degree, she launched her career in the fashion industry with an internship in the showroom in Zug for Hugo Boss, while at the same time slowly experimenting into the path of creative entrepreneurship. Since she graduated from university almost 15 years ago, Ciccone has been working 100% throughout the day and side-hustling in the evening for her brand — whether it be her e-commerce shop, creating new art and designs, content writing, building or fixing her website, or doing marketing. Her current job is for a big piping company called Georg Fischer AG as a global demand generation manager. In parallel she’s reviving her brand Style Tourista, launching it with a new book and refreshing the website and products. Style Tourista Style Tourista is a creative and sassy travel-in-style platform offering stories, tips and a collection of unique fashion pieces. It has a web shop and a presence on both Facebook and Instagram. Founded in 2018, it started with Ciccone blogging a bit here and there about her travels and selling jewellery that she wears in her travels to friends. It later grew into a combination of her blog and research into a creative mini travel guide, and she developed an e-commerce shop parallel to it. Ciccone has always known how to be an entrepreneur, as she was born and raised in such an environment with her parents. She admits, “It is not an easy journey, especially if you need to put food on the table, love to have that budget to travel and enjoy the comfort of a fully paid job with benefits in Switzerland. It’s a devil’s circle, I tell you. … My main challenge is time. Time to keep up with all my creativity. Just having the time to do it all. Especially now, as a new wife and mother.” For Ciccone, as a creator, there is nothing more satisfying than creating new elements, ideas and even ways to do things — whether it’s creating a book, working on her website, painting or designing. Ciccone adds, “The most rewarding is just people liking what you've created and wearing it with confidence; having your creations come to life and watching the audience experience them.” A Mini Getaway to Malta When asked how this book came to be, Ciccone recalls, “When I travel, especially when I organize travel with friends, I go through intensive research as I want us all to experience the full quality and potential of a country/city and their culture. I look for the best routes and ask locals and travellers for advice and I create a mini brochure. This time, I just kept working on top of it during the first few months of my maternity leave, and voila, it just became a book.” This travel companion has been meticulously crafted to include everything a (mainly female) traveller would need, from cultural highlights and to-do lists to styling tips, all wrapped up in a diary curated by one of Style Tourista's fictional characters. Ciccone explains, “The book is my current favourite creation of my travel in style brand as I relaunched my brand and website. It’s a different way to travel. You almost only see all these traditional travel books that are straight to the point, lots of text, not interactive nor fun. I wanted to bring some flavour and have the audience experience travelling more creatively. It’s kind of a “wreck my journal” meets “eye-witness” situation. The book is narrated by a woman local to the destination which acts as a tour guide throughout the book. Basically, my goal is to provide an honest and fully informed, creative, stylish and enjoyable travel experience, tailored for those constrained by time (e.g., busy students, professionals, and parents) and enabling one to embrace the ultimate, high-quality travel effortlessly! It's my aspiration to move beyond simply counting countries and instead delve deep into the heart of destinations, crafting authentic, stylish and fully informed travel experiences.” Reflections on Motherhood and Entrepreneurship Ciccone’s life journey is a testament to following one's heart, continuously challenging boundaries and ultimately, embracing the power of creativity, exploration and self-discovery. As an entrepreneur, one has to deal with the reality of working as a professional in a prosperous country like Switzerland, where working for a top company allows you wonderful perks of security, comfort and a good life. This is complemented by the fact that Switzerland, being a small market, will be more challenging to thrive in the creative industry (especially if you don't want to compromise your creative style). Ciccone closes with the following advice: “Through my story, I hope to inspire women who are passionate to never give up and to continue to hustle towards your goals, but to also understand that it is okay to enjoy a life of security whilst thriving for your own art just to allow yourself the freedom to express yourself without limits. I also didn’t believe in myself in my 20s, which delayed everything and messed with my flow. So I recommend to first believe in yourself and be perseverant and consistent. I would like to emphasise to mothers out there who think all hope is lost just because you need to shift the focus: Please note that this is not the end of the tunnel for your own personal endeavours. In fact, let your child be your driving force as it did for me. For me this was my eye-opening narrative. I have always feared this moment, but strangely started flowing insanely with ideas. I have done more as a new mom than I have ever done before with a short time frame. I became more disciplined, determined, focused and also gained passion from my child.” Check out Style Tourista at http://www.styletourista.com/ , follow @styletourista on FB and IG, and get a copy of the book on Amazon .