By Mohalenyane Phakela
MASERU — Venturing into business is no child’s play but the Thella twins are making it big in the fashion and media business.
Born and bred in rural Serutle in Butha Buthe, Tšeliso and Matšeliso Thella (now simply known as TTwins) grew up like other Basotho children in the village and got their secondary education at St Agnes High School.
They later on studied at the University of Johannesburg where they obtained degrees in Retail Marketing; that is where their journey started.
In 2010 Thella twins formed TTwins productions. It has three divisions which are TTwins Sunglasses, TTwins Clothing and TTwins Promotions.
The sunglasses are manufactured in Italy and now cater for both adults and children.
The clothing section offers a wide variety and assortment of T-shirts, headgear and hoodies.
The company started in South Africa and has been operating there since its dawn.
It has now broadened its horizons as its products can now be found in the United Kingdom, Namibia and Lesotho.
“TTwins is going global; we have now been able to serve the market beyond South Africa.
“We are exerting more effort in trying to grow our market in Lesotho, our home country,” Thella twins told the Lesotho Times on Monday.
Former Miss Lesotho Companies Gladys Pelesa has been appointed as the TTwins ambassador here in Lesotho.
They described this as the first step of many more to come in uplifting the fashion scene in Lesotho.
“Tapping into the fashion industry is not easy. We went through a lot of hustle trying to convince people to commit to our brand, especially our sunglasses which are our core business.
“We are competing against well known brands (both original and fake ones) which are mostly giant names from overseas, so it is a matter of us being African trying to skim the international market layer by layer.
“When we received our first batch of sunglasses from Italy just before the Fifa World Cup in 2010 we felt that was our moment.
“That was when we actually certified that we are really in business,” they cited.
TTwins also said they are inspired by many people in the business world, but they mostly look up to those closer to home.
“In fashion we look up to South African designer David Tlale. He started from the bottom and now he has got international recognition as he now showcases his designs in overseas fashion shows.
“As for business in general, we are inspired by Thabo Maretlane of T-Connexions.
“We perceive him as a brilliant businessman as he was able to turn history into an “edu-tainment” activity; Morena Moshoeshoe’s journey from Menkhoaneng to Thaba-Bosiu that has become an international annual event.
Like everyone in business, they want to expand.
They wish to partner with well known retailers so as to cover the rest of Africa beyond its bourders in terms of distribution and marketing.
They also intend to have their own plant so they can produce their sunglasses locally and involve more youth in their company.
By way of advice to people who wish to be entrepreneurs, they said: “Do what you love not what someone else profits from.
“Turn your passion into a money-making idea and stay focused at all times for the business world is very tough.”