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How about a Career as a Personal Shopper?

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 is 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 vast range of fashion boutiques, and the ease of importing designer wear. On top of that, there are more affluent people to dress, many international events happening in the country and a fashion industry that is growing fast.

The Fascinate World of Personal Shoppers

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 outfits to purchase
  • Helps declutter a wardrobe and give styling advice

Ways to Make Money as a Personal Shopper

  1. As a freelance personal stylist
  2. As a sales assistant or shop assistant offering personalised shopping services in a store

Let us discuss them one at a time.

Freelance Personal Shoppers

Most fashion influencers and bloggers are personal stylists.

What you would 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 and fashion retailers, their stores, how to import foreign fashion brands, how to dress different body types and what to wear to various events and functions globally. Also, you should know the difference between luxury and regular designers.

Have 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 will need a mobile app to help style and organise your client’s wardrobe. The app will track items in your client’s wardrobe not worn yet, or the ones you need to buy. Go through Apps Store, and you will see dozens of apps for styling and organising. Check out Stylebook ClosetOutfit Planner & Ideas and Your Closet by Stylevault.

Sales or shop assistant

If you work in a high-end fashion boutique and have excellent fashion sense, diversify your revenue sources by offering personal shopping services. Offer to manage a client’s wardrobe and create new looks to wear for a 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 Money?

Personal shoppers make money in two ways. They either make money per hour spent on a client or charge for the merchandise bought and therein make some money. Like any other freelance job, a per-hour rate is better than including the cost of personal shopping services in the products purchased for your client.

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, then sit in traffic as you deliver the items to your client’s home in Westlands, a per-hour rate would be better. That way, you can add more services to the personal shopping package, such as organising the wardrobe and creating everyday looks for items purchased.

Here is a list of resources to help you understand the basics of personal shopper services.

Using technology to enhance your services

Megan Morrone, a podcaster, reviews the Stylebook closet app. She offers a basic overview of uploading photos, editing them, and managing 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 styles 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

Kenya has many seasoned and upcoming personal shoppers, such as Trish Kinoti, Dadson Kariuki and Erika Akoth. Here are a few stories and websites to visit for further reading on this topic.

Wendy Kimondo

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 in the Daily Nation]

Angela Bianchi

Angela takes us through her daily schedule as a personal shopper. She says it is important to know a client’s body type, do a colour analysis of the wardrobe, and ask if the client has a particular shop in mind.

 [Read the article on Personal Shop]

Maryanne

Maryanne, a high-end personal shopper in Paris, has overseas clients who spend as much as Ksh1,000,000. She says a personal shopper should know a client’s environment and how that person dresses.

 [Read the article on Business Daily Africa]

Betty Halbreich

Read about her 37 years at Bergdorf Goodman in The Guardian

Final Thoughts

The demand for a personal stylist in Kenya is growing with the increase in professionals with such fashion knowledge, a vast range of fashion boutiques, and the ease of importing designer wear. On top of that, there are more affluent people to dress, many international events happening in the country and a fashion industry that is growing fast.

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