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What Is a Personal Shopper?
A personal shopper is someone who shops for others for a living. Personal shoppers can shop for everything, from groceries to furniture, but most personal shoppers buy clothing and accessories for their clients. Some personal shoppers work directly for clients or their personal stylists; others work for boutiques or department stores that offer personal shopping services.
What Does a Personal Shopper Do?
The job description for a personal shopper varies depending on the client. Personal shoppers might offer advice to clients when shopping together, helping them build self-confidence in their look without being overly pushy. Or, they might work with a fashion industry professional to track down a very specific item of clothing online. Some personal shoppers choose clothing for clients who don't want to shop for themselves, sending photos of clothing options, or bringing racks of clothing to the client's home.
How to Become a Personal Shopper
Although personal shopping isn't a traditional career path, there are a few concrete ways to gain experience.
- Learn all about the fashion industry. You'll need to have a solid understanding of the fashion industry, including the latest fashion trends, fair pricing, and creative styling. Read fashion magazines and books. If you're looking for hands-on experience, consider working in another area of the fashion industry. You might work in retail or as an assistant to a stylist or fashion photographer. Whatever you do, spending time around industry professionals will help your personal shopping career.
- Learn about fit and tailoring. Even though tailoring might not be part of your job as a personal shopper, it is your job to help your client find something that fits. Understanding the basics of how garments fit and how to tailor clothes can help you identify which cuts will suit your client's unique body.
- Learn about photography. You can attract new clients by showcasing your fashion photography on social media. You don't need a fancy camera, but you do need to learn to direct your models and style their clothes to look great.
- Practice on friends and family. Your first client base consists of the people you already know. Offer your skills to friends and family. In exchange for helping them find the perfect outfit, ask if you can post a photo of them looking amazing on your social media accounts. This is a great way to attract potential clients while practicing your skills. Try to work with a variety of body types and personal styles. You may be great at buying your own clothes, but shopping for someone else is an entirely different game.
- Provide a VIP shopping experience. Shopping can be a vulnerable experience, so it's important to make your clients feel comfortable. Consider ways you can prepare for your client in advance, such as planning a shopping route, making connections with helpful salespeople to get the best customer service, and ensuring an easy and relaxing dressing room experience.
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