Chelli Look has always been creating. When she was young it was with cardboard, cutting, gluing, crafting it into any object she could. Creation is an outlet for her, it’s like she has these things inside of her that she has to release, has to create, has to make. It’s how she makes herself known to the world, it’s how she communicates. It’s a release for her. So when her older sister Megan handmade a bag in school Chelli latched onto this new way to create. When Megan encouraged Chelli to make a bag for herself, it lit a fire, and Chelli taught herself to make her own bag. That fire has since driven her through her life and career.
That drive was interrupted in October 2007 when Chelli received a call - Megan had been brutally murdered by Megan’s husband. How does one move forward from something like that? Three years later, after the trial and he was sentenced to life in prison, Chelli tried to move on but she struggled. Her creating took on a darker turn. Her work was not what she wanted, it was not what she knew she was capable of. She couldn’t find her voice. She had night terrors, woke up screaming. Sleepless, she was lost and broken.
Then a quiet voice came to her in her grieving, “pray for him.” She refused. For a year she refused. For a year she fought this idea of forgiveness until one day she listened to that voice and prayed for him. She kept praying for him and eventually chose to forgive him. In that moment there was a release. Her night terrors stopped and never came back. Her creativity began to flourish. She began to flourish.
This is the story we are telling. Today the fashion community in Chicago has high hopes for Chelli. CHC is growing and evolving. Faith, ethics, and community drive her business model. Her bags are handmade, the leather USA sourced. Her bags are high fashion yet functional, minimal at first glance to deeply complex upon inspection. And now, Chelli works with an organization called WINGS - a shelter for domestic violence victims, and a portion of the proceeds from every bag she sells goes to supporting them. Recently, WINGS hosted a gala in which Megan was honored and Chelli was the main speaker. She spoke about leaving a legacy of love like the legacy Megan left behind. She then asked "What legacy will you leave? Will you choose to love?"
We have begun to weave this beautiful and captivating story of Chelli & CHC. Chelli is compelling and mesmerizing to experience. Her bags are otherworldly. Her story and they way she embodies strength and wisdom is inspiring. We can’t wait to tell her story.
Directed by Jason & Blue