I often post on my social media platforms asking for suggestions of local businesses that have stood out for them, or need a little more awareness. I have had so many amazing brands/businesses recommended for me, and it is a constant reminder of the talent we have in South Africa. I challenge you to try to buy local for every gift in the next month – you will honestly be blown away at what you can find.
Today is a feature like none other – a fashion designer. With gorgeous vibrant clothing designed by a stunning young lady who studied for 7 years in Cape Town, she isn’t actually based in SA anymore but you can still purchase her designs and have them delivered to you here.
Teshie has been an absolute joy to get to know, and I would love to know what you think of her creations as well as what is your favourite.
Your name: Teshie Ogallo
Business name: Styletech by Teshie
What is an interesting fact about you that nobody knows:
I entered an art competition when I was around 10 years old that was being hosted by the Japanese embassy through my primary school and became one of the runners up. It was the first validation I got that I was good in creative arts and it made me feel so satisfied! I drew a farmer on a farm with his animals in my art piece. The winners had a day out at the Japanese embassy and we were each awarded a collection of art and craft equipment and certificates. I really want to explore more of my artistic side and brush up on my painting skills during this pandemic
Tell me a bit more about your business:
I launched my business in January 2018 while in my final year at university. A few months after launching my business, I was chosen to take part in a fashion incubation programme by one of the biggest fashion retailers in South Africa, Truworths Group in partnership with The Startup Hatchery.
After completing my university degree, I enrolled in Cape Town College of Fashion Design (CTCFD) and got certified in the courses “Design To Make” and “Pattern Making and Garment Construction”.
At Styletech by Teshie, we design, produce and sell ready to wear, trendy afrocentric clothing apparel for the young and modern man/woman. I realised that a lot of African clothing in today’s market was too traditional and ceremonial. I therefore wanted to create clothing that celebrated African prints and culture while still being very fashion forward and allowing our clients to have fashionable basics that they can wear on a day-to-day basis. My fabric is inspired by various African cultures for example the Kitenge from East Africa, Shweshwe from South Africa and Ankara from West Africa.
I have had the opportunity to showcase my designs on the runway at a couple of fashion shows in South Africa and at Africa Fashion Week Nigeria 2019. This year, I hope to continue to penetrate the Kenyan and wider African market.
Have you always been a creative:
Yes I’ve always been a creative. However, growing up I was also really good in science and maths too. Coming from an African home where education is taken really seriously I was encouraged to study more “serious” courses and never really pursued my creativity in school. I studied Computer Science and Information Systems at the University of Cape Town and that’s what I graduated with. While in university I started my fashion blog and started exploring my creative skills. I made a vow to myself to keep working on my creative talents and pursue them once I was done with the Computer Science degree.
What makes your brand so different to others:
I’m not afraid to be daring with my colour and print choices. I follow my personal authentic style when designing my collections. It’s a true definition of my personality: confident, free-spirited and bold!
What is your personal favourite piece:
This year I designed this gorgeous pink party dress with poofy sleeves for my 25th Birthday celebrations in Lagos, Nigeria. I didn’t get to finish the dress in time for my trip so I didn’t actually wear it on my birthday in February. I completed it almost a month later and was so in love with it. It got a lot of positive response on social media as well.
What have been the most popular items:
These wide legged pants with adjustable straps attached that look like suspenders. Designed these last year and they’ve been my best seller since. I initially designed it with kitenge fabric and then repurposed the design for a piece from my Lion King Collection which I named “Lady Cheetah”
My flagship product which was an off shoulder ruffle top has also remained a fave of my clients till today.
Also, I recently I added this black and white satin dressing gown to my loungewear collection which has been getting quite a number of orders.
How can people purchase your items:
Locally in Kenya people can shop from my online e-commerce store. We also ship globally with DHL Express. I am a selling partner on the Fashionomics Africa digital marketplace where my international clients can shop for my designs and get favourable delivery rates with DHL Express.
Do you deliver in South Africa:
Yes I do deliver to South Africa. We are actually a legally registered South African business and would love to do more business in the country that made me fall head over heels in love with fashion and pushed me to pursue my creative dreams. I lived in Cape Town, South Africa for 7 years and the Mother City will always be a home to me.
Quote you live by:
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams
Anything else you want to add:
I launched a loungewear collection on Thursday the 18th of June 2020. The one thing that has kept bringing me some joy and sense of normalcy during this pandemic is dressing up. I decided to come up with this small collection to give my clients who love options some choices and variety in looking fabulous while still being comfy at home. The collection will be available to shop on my website on Thursday the 18th of June as well as on the Fashionomics Africa digital marketplace.
Guys, aren’t these items just GORGEOUS! I am completely obsessed by those leopard print wide-legged pants, as well as all the lounge wear (especially with lockdown and my lack of leaving the house!). Teshie is such a joy, and I can only wish her good things. I can’t wait to see her work on the cover of magazines, and for more people to support local designers.
Now, I’m off to lose myself on her website again! Perhaps we will meet there.
PS if you know of any stores that would be able to and willing to stock Teshie’s range, please reach out to her. This is a powerhouse right here, and I can’t wait to see her just fly.