They met in primary school in 1994 and were reunited 12 years later at university, connecting over similar interests and a love of fashion.
Their mutual passion for unconventional style motivated them to establish their business in 2011. GaTsh Fros is a combination of their names and a nod to their beloved signature hairstyles.
Gaone became interested in fashion at a young age when she used to accompany her mother when she went shopping.
“In junior school I loved drawing dresse, and asked my friends to buy the designs for their farewell party,” she says.
Tsholo credits her mother for her career choice as she would give her and her sisters’ clothes “designer-like” tucks and also encouraged them to sport quirky hairstyles.
“I guess I picked this up subconsciously and knew it was what I wanted to do. My movement towards fashion became more defined when I started performing with my friends in a hip-hop dancing group called BLAST, for which we had to come up with costumes,” she explains.
The duo’s eclectic yet stylish aesthetic won them the Africa London Fashion Week Innovative Designer of the Year award in 2014. They were also featured on CNN’s African Voices as one of the continent’s most dazzling trendsetters, while their style column in Botswana’s biggest newspaper, The Voice, has also helped put the international spotlight the local fashion industry.
‘There’s a greater need to sensitise and build our youth’s confidence through the medium of fashion communication. Our mandate is beyond fashion. It’s about giving hope that, regardless of our limited resources, one’s creativity can bring about limitless opportunities,” explains Tsholo.
They each have a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Botswana.
The pair have been active in the blogosphere for some time and they understand the concept of”sustainable blogging” and making money while following their passion.
The company isn’t limited to just blogging, but also offers a range of services including image consulting and analysis, fashion styling, wardrobe consulting, visual presentation and fashion design. Clients include a range of people from TV personalities to corporate executives.
When it comes to their personal styles, Tsholo likes her clothes with a touch of androgyny, flowy, one or two sizes too big, and quirky. “I always have to have that one statement piece,” she says
For Gaone: “I like it when my clothes have a subtle allure. Also, depending on my mood and the occasion, I would go for original and very different looks.”
The main thing Tsholo and Gaone love about working together is the energy they produce and the fact that their ideas always gel together.
“Gaone is the right part of my brain. We always have the same ideas or contrasting ideas that fit like a glove when executed,” says Tsholo.
There’s a growing trend in fashion collaboration where bloggers team up to form a business or execute specific fashion campaigns together leveraging off both their resources. It’s commonly being referred to as a “fashion duo” with bloggers such as Palesa Mahlaba and Crystal Kasper, and Aisha Baker and Anelisa Mangcu teaming up.
‘When we started branding ourselves GaTsh Fros, we had no idea it would grow into a ‘fashion duo’ type of thing. It fell into place because we’re best friends and we both enjoy fashion. We also realised it fits because there are two creative minds with different strengths. In any case, two’s company and three’s a crowd,” laughs Gaone.
“Like Gaone has said, ours is not a deliberate “let’s tag team” type of duo. We’re best friends first and teammates second. We’ve been besties for almost 13 years now and have the same interests,” says Tsholo.
GaTsh Fros’ mantra is: “We dress to express, not impress”.
They have a couple of exciting campaigns lined up for the rest of 2015 that are focused on celebrating Botswana fashion and taking it to the rest of the world. These include collaborations with African designers and Botswana Fashion Week.
When it comes to their hair, they embrace their natural styles wholeheartedly. Their tip for healthy hair? “It’s all about low-manipulation styling.”
As for their list of the African designers to watch in 2015 and beyond?
Gaone: Rich Mnisi, Imprint from South Africa and, from Botswana, Aobakwe Molosiwa, Botho Chalebgwa, Black Trash, Motlagomang “DihDah” Tsheko and Oganne Baitsile.
Tsholo: Laduma Ngxokolo, Sindiso Khumalo and Mimi Plange, Selfi from South Africa, Duro Olowu, Maki Oh from Nigeria, Lorato Barwaabatsile, DihDah and Mothusi Lesolle from Botswana.