Samantha Marx

Founder, Hello Pretty

No one appreciates the challenges young entrepreneurs face better than a fellow entrepreneur. Samantha Marx has embraced this realisation in building Hello Pretty, an online marketplace on which local designers are starting to reach a global audience.

Established in 2012, hellopretty.co.za has quickly grown to be recognised as a source for locally designed and made fashion, home and art handiworks.

The online store was born out of Marx’s obsession with shopping, an eye for design that has been honed by travelling the globe, and a background in software development.

Marx’s skills and acumen contribute to her ability to grow a niche marketplace that is already enjoying global appeal.

She says that while the concept of online shopping is growing, South African consumers and sellers are still behind the international curve.

This acknowledgement has been a key to Hello Pretty’s success as an integral value-add that Marx provides, and is a guide to educate local designers and artists on how to best market their wares on the site.

“We’re a small business and understand the challenges they have,” she says.

One of her passions is showing local entrepreneurs that they have no reason to doubt their ability to compete in the international marketplace. Marx is resolute in her conviction that local design and quality are on a par with what is available in larger markets.

She has therefore made it her mission to build the skills and confidence of local entrepreneurs and designers to realise they needn’t play second fiddle to their global counterparts.

Giving effect to this conviction, Hello Pretty will be embarking on an active campaign to link up with retailers in selected European markets to promote South African-produced goods and crafts. — Johann Barnard