Handcrafted goods are big business. International shopfront which lets smallscale designers sell their wares online, Etsy, has just been valued at over $100m as part of its plan to float on the stock exchange. South Africa’s answer to Etsy, HelloPretty, isn’t quite at the same scale yet, but it has just unveiled a clever plan to help it on its path to growth.

Just like Etsy, HelloPretty is an online storefront through which local designers can advertise and sell their creations, and you’ll find everything from clothes to crockery to 3D prints on its pages. Now, the same designers can use HelloPretty’s technology and databse to create their own shops on their own websites or Facebook pages too.

More than 1 200 entrepreneurs currently list goods on HelloPretty, and the new feature – Pretty Portable – gives them a simple method to boost their profile and market directly to customers. What’s more is that a small HelloPretty logo will only appear in the embed’s footer, focusing the attention on what’s important – your brand and your products.

Pretty Portable is especially useful to designers who are just getting a footing in the industry and are looking for a way to get their products out there in a simple and cost-effective way.

“We’ve always believed you should have your own branding on your Hello Pretty store,” the HelloPretty team says.

“Social media has become a vital marketing tool – you can’t argue against it’s effectiveness,” Lee Geldenhuys, head of strategy and social said in a statement. “But it can be difficult to convert Facebook likes into sales. With Pretty Portable, fans don’t have to leave the comfort of the brand’s Facebook page to browse their shop.”

At the moment, no other local online marketplace offers this, however it is similar to the Amazon embed feature which lets small businesses embed product listings onto their own sites.

To learn how you can embed your HelloPretty store via Pretty Portable, follow these easy peasy steps posted on the HelloPretty website.

Here’s a look at what Pretty Portable will look like once you’ve embedded it

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sbcIf you’re not registered and selling your products through HelloPretty and would like to do so, you can apply to have your store featured by filling in an application form on the HelloPretty website.