Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Life of a Personal Shopper

When Jeff and I realized I needed to go back to work, I thought long and hard about my dream job. What have I done in the past that provided me satisfaction, financial gain, day to day excitement and was fueled by my passion for fashion? DUH.... Personal stylist, Personal Shopper. It's a no brainer.

I think back on the Nordstrom days with mostly fond memories. While there was drama, and there is always drama, I loved the actual job. I loved it so much because it never felt like I was working. My clients became my friends. I got to play dress up with them- ahhhhhhh, the newest clothes, shoes and accessories in my fitting room everyday. We would laugh and have a blast in that room sharing our thoughts on the good, bad and ugly garments, gossiping about celebrities and finding that shopping zen when we achieved our goals. What is not to love, right?

Most people stereotype personal shoppers as ritzy, snotty salespeople who expect their customers to just plunk down a credit card and buy crazy, expensive stuff, sight unseen. Truth be told, that would be a big fat NO! I am not Rachel Green from the NBC show Friends either. Rachel wasn't really a personal shopper- at all. So when you think I am lolly gagging around designer merchandise, petting Pucci, mauling Missoni, and lusting about Louboutins, think again. In reality, I will be sending out contact cards, drumming up business, networking with every person I know and adore, and because my business is completely self generated. I won't be able to just stand around and wait for customers to walk in the front door. I gots to make it happen. On my own. I would not have it any other way.

Did you know that working with a personal shopper is free? Most people think it costs money to engage the services of a professional, but in this case, I am yours for FREE. You just make an appointment and the store pays me to help you find that perfect interviewing outfit, special occasion gown, gift or splurge- you want/need. I accept odd challenges under extreme conditions and time constraints. I am like a shopping doctor. I take your physical information, fashion history, and after reviewing your chart, I make an informed diagnosis about this crisis, emergency or long term wardrobe plan. Then, I offer you choices of a treatment, suggestions, and possible tailoring to customize the fit- but you ultimately decide how to proceed. While I do not take insurance, the store pays me a commission to treat my patients. Free for you, fun for both of us. If it is not fun, I have not done my job correctly.

It is not all glamour and glitz. Much like it sounds so fabulous to be a flight attendant, in reality, flight attendants are security guards, waitresses, nurses, and babysitters. Once the plane is at 30,000 feet they toss puke bags into the trash and make coffee. They get to jet set around the globe seeing the insides of airports and musty hotel rooms, and in an emergency they help keep passengers safe. There are delays, weather issues and oh yeah, they get to deal with drunks and mean spirited people. Sounds fun, doesn't it?

In all honesty, being a personal shopper really is fun and it is definitely challenging at times, I won't sugar coat it. Much like the flight attendants, I will be doing all kinds of less glamorous stuff behind the scenes. I will be hunting and gathering clothes to fit, flatter and financially make sense for all types of folks- this can be tricky. I'll be trying to get my clients to step out of their comfort zone which is part psychology, part persuasion, part raw truth and combination of honesty and tact. Additionally, I will be hanging up clothes, putting back the ones that did not work, and I will be running around the store in my 5" platform pumps trying to make sense of the styles and turn this all into a positive experience for the client.

Ohhhhh, the clothes. The shoes. The handbags. Sigh. I'll spend my days with Giorgio, Ralph and Manolo. Triple sigh.

With all this insight, you see that my life as a personal shopper is destined to begin again, at Saks Fifth Avenue right now. The cat is out of the bag, as I am truly jazzed to get back into the swing of things, styling and shopping for and with my favorite people- you included. Let me know if you see something on Saks.com or even if you have a hankering for something fabulous and frivolous. No job is too grand, no task is too small. I am working for you here.

With anticipation of all this glory, I have been re-organizing my own Fall pieces, mixing, matching and painstakingly planning my first day outfit. First impressions you know. I know, I know. My life as a personal shopper is never dull, never boring and never the same day to day. It is a natural fit for someone like me.

Now, who is ready to make an appointment? The Doctor is IN!


Rachel said...

If I lived in Ohio I would look you up in a second!

Anonymous said...

What a perfect job for you!! Where are you working??

Leah said...

Congratulations on your new job! Sounds like you will do fabulous.

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