Wondering what the difference is between a personal shopper in a department store and a freelance fashion stylist?
Free reign of the city.
Personal shoppers can only pull from their store. They make money based on what you buy, and they want you to come back every season to shop at their location. They have management breathing down their necks to meet quotas. My job is to educate clients on what looks best on their body regardless of where they find their ideal pieces.
I have connections with wonderful personal shoppers in the department stores who facilitate the experience for my clients. One called me the other day to tell me that she had seen one of my clients with shopping bags that she had purchased without either of our guidance. Her tone was as if that was a bad thing. When I told her that I teach my clients about their bodies so that they can shop by themselves, she suggested that my approach was a terrible idea!
I got to thinking about what she said, and it helped me to realize the incredible value I offer. I want my clients to “graduate” from my program and to be fashion and style self-sufficient. My goal is for them to be empowered and to understand what they need for themselves to look their very best. Obviously, if they don’t have time to shop, that’s a whole other matter (and that’s when personal shoppers come in).
Most stylists would prefer that shoppers become addicted to them and their service, forcing customers to be reliant on their opinion. I want my clients to solve their style issues solo so that they can move on to the bigger, brighter, more beautiful world of style options. I’m here to tell you this is trap you don’t need to fall into – much like the designer lines and fashion magazines that want to sell you brand new clothing every season.