A personal shopper carries out essential tasks like shopping, styling and organising a wardrobe for a client. Billionaires, leaders in the corporate world and politicians have been using the services of personal shoppers for years. That’s how we have famous personal shoppers and stylists like Betty Halbreich.
Here in Kenya, the demand for a personal stylist is growing with the increase in professionals with such fashion knowledge, a variety of fashion boutiques, the ease of importing designer wear. In addition, there are more affluent people to dress, many international events happening in the country and a burgeoning local fashion industry.
What does a personal shopper do?
- Suggests where to shop
- Helps a client choose the right outfits to wear every day or to wear to a function
- Goes shopping for or with the client
- Organises a client’s wardrobe at home
- Creates a virtual wardrobe for a client to know what to wear and what outifits to purchase
- Helps declutter a wardrobe and give styling advice
Ways to Make Money as a Personal Shopper
- As a freelance personal stylist
- As a sales assistant or shop assistant offering personalised shopping services in a store
Freelance Personal Shoppers
Most fashion influencers and bloggers are personal stylists. As a personal stylist, your services may range from helping bridesmaids pick the best shoes to assisting a celebrity buy outfits to wear on holiday.
What you’d need to survive as a freelance personal shopper:
- Great fashion sense. Use your social media profile, such as your Instagram feed, to show your ability to style suitably.
- Fashion knowledge. Know all the famous designers, fashion retailers, where brands are located, how to import foreign fashion brands, how to dress different body types and what to wear to different events and functions around the world. You must differentiate luxury designers from regular designers.
- A good rapport with fashion designers and fashion houses. It will help you get exclusive deals for items in the limited edition.
- Computer literacy. You’ll need a mobile app to help style and organise your client’s wardrobe. The app will track items in your client’s wardrobe that she/he hasn’t worn or needs to buy. Go through Apps Store and you’ll see a dozen or so apps for styling and organising. Check out Stylebook Closet, Outfit Planner & Ideas and Your Closet by Stylevault.
Sales or shop assistant
If you work in a high-end fashion boutique, and you have great fashion sense, diversify your revenue sources by offering personal shopping services. Offer to manage a client’s wardrobe and to create new looks for a whole month. Small fashion boutiques can also offer this service by adjusting the cost of the merchandise sold to that client to include the fees for personal shopping services. For example, style a week’s worth of office wear and offer it as a package for a client.
Do Personal Shoppers make a lot of Money?
Personal shoppers have two ways of making money. They either make money per hours spent on a client, or charge for the merchandise bought and therein make some money. Like any other freelance job, charging per hour is better than including the cost of your service in the merchandise purchased.
For instance, if the item your client needs is in a shop in Garden City and you have to take a taxi from your house in Rongai, get to Garden City, then sit in traffic as you deliver the items to your client’s home in Westlands, do you think it would be wise to just tuck in your pay in the cost of the merchandise? The most relevant pricing would be per hour. This pricing strategy is flexible for you to add more services to the personal shopping package, such as organising the wardrobe and creating everyday looks for items purchased.
Here’s a list of resources to help you understand the basics of this service
- Using technology to enhance your services
Megan Morrone, a podcaster, reviews Stylebook closet app. She offers a basic overview of how to post, remove the background of the photo and also manage your outfit’s calendar.
- A day as a personal shopper
Juanita Londono, a fashion stylist in Los Angeles, takes us through putting looks together for a client going on holiday. She goes shopping with the client, declutters the client’s wardrobe and also styles various complete looks.
- A personal shopper for male clients
Watch Joseph Senese go about his day as a personal shopper for male clients.
- Who is a personal shopper?
Cleo Lacey explains why, when and how to offer personal shopping services.
- Shopping for the rich
Learn about shopping for billionaires, through an episode of Buying for Billionaires, as Nicole Pollard buys a client a handbag that eventually costs $120,000.
Top Personal Shoppers
There are many seasoned and upcoming personal shoppers, such as Trish Kinoti, Dadson Kariuki and Erika Akoth. Here are just a few stories and websites to visit for further reading on this topic.
Wendy worked in the fashion industry before starting a business as a personal shopper making between Ksh8,000 and Ksh20,000 a month.
[Read the article on the Daily Nation]
Angela takes us through her daily schedule as a personal shopper. She says it’s important to know a client’s body type, do a colour analysis of the client’s wardrobe, and also ask the client if he/she has a particular shop in mind.
[Read the article on Personal Shop]
Maryanne, a high-end personal shopper in Paris, has overseas clients who spend as much as Ksh1,000,000. She says, know the client’s environment and how the client dresses.
[Read the article on Business Daily Africa]
Read about her 37 years at Bergdorf Goodman on The Guardian