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UNUSUAL CAREERS: How you can shop AND get paid for it

Last updated on: March 12, 2012 15:28 IST

UNUSUAL CAREERS: How you can shop AND get paid for it

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YouthIncMag.com

If you enjoy shopping more than any other pleasure in life and have a flair for picking up styles and trends, then learn how to turn your passion into your work as a personal shopper.

Personal shopping is a relatively new concept in India but has taken off in the past few years, particularly with the busy metropolitan men and women who are working late nights and Saturdays and socialising with friends otherwise.

However, with busy lifestyles of the city, working people don't always get the time to keep in touch with trends and to scour the shops for styles that will suit them.

In such cases, personal shoppers can be lifesavers.

Personal shoppers step in to fill the gap, helping you to look fabulous while maximising your time out.

Personal shoppers can either associate with high-end luxury clothes stores or start an independent consulting business.

Courtesy:YouthIncMag.com




Tags: AND , India

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'Most older women didn't really want someone younger telling them what to wear'

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Personal shopper Madhura Roy worked as a stylist for Bollywood movies for several years before foraying into personal shopping.

She approached several luxury brands such as Luis Vuitton and Chanel at their flagship stores in India to work as a personal shopper.

However, she found that none of the stores even had a personal shopping department. She finally opened a personal shopping department for Moschino in Mumbai.

She recounts, "Personal shopping was not an easy field for me to break into. Most of my customers were wealthy older women who didn't really want someone younger telling them what to wear. It took a while to gain their trust and then start wardrobe consulting for them. Younger women were more open to hearing what I had to say about what cuts would suit them and what they should wear. In just a few months, I drove up sales for the company, and now, I have the opportunity to work with Moschino in New York."

She continues, "I've always loved fashion and shopping, so this is the ideal career choice for me!


Image: Image for representation purpose only
Photographs: Hitesh Harisinghani/Rediff.com

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'We spent a lot of time explaining to people why they needed to have a personal shopper'

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Personal shoppers Shazia Kachwala and Divisha Maroli co-founded their personal shopping and styling company, Revive my Vibe, three years ago.

Kachwala was a stylist with Bollywood films while Maroli had a business background and was working with Ernst & Young. Maroli recounts, "I wanted my own time and creative gratification of moulding people's styles."

The initial capital investment of a shopping consultancy was quite litt#8804 inspired by shows such as What Not to Wear by Trinny and Suzannah, Maroli and Kachwala channelled their passion for shopping and fashion into a fulfilling business.

However, breaking into the nascent Indian market was not easy. Marorire collects, "Three years ago, we were the only ones in this field. No one got why we were doing it. We spent a lot of time explaining to people why they needed to have a personal shopper."

Men have taken to personal shoppers better than women, says Maroli, since they rarely have the time to shop and women would rather trust their individual sense of style.

Maroli says, "We have standing instructions from some men to buy clothes for them every couple of months. With women, it is more of a collaboration to find what they like best."



Image: Image for representation purpose only
Photographs: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com

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Qualified personal shoppers can make about Rs 3000 to Rs 5000 for a single consulting service

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Marori advises young shoppers looking to enter this field, "You may enjoy shopping but if you can't do this365 days a year, then you won't last. It takes a lot of physical exertion to shop for people, especially in a city like Mumbai. You need to be on your feet all the time. Our retail is not as organised as in the departmental stores you get in the West, so you have to constantly dig, organise and look for clothes that are suitable. Our families now call us 'daily wage labourers,' as we often end up working10 hours a day! Even in our free time, we are looking up what's new in the fashion world."

So, if you don't have a crazy addiction for shopping, this is not the career for you. However, for those who think they can meet these challenges, the sky is the limit.

Qualified personal shoppers can make about Rs 3000 to Rs 5000 for a single consulting service that lasts about two hours.

Percentages of clothes bought for wedding trousseaus or red carpet affairs, where clients have huge budgets, can significantly boost business. So, fashionistas, try it for a while by consulting for acquaintances.

If you find that you are seriously considering a career as a personal shopper, get yourself qualified through a fashion institute. And shop till you drop!

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh


Image: Percentages of clothes bought for wedding trousseaus or red carpet affairs, where clients have huge budgets, can significantly boost business


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Tips for the professional shopper

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  • As a personal shopper you have to careful not to put your own personal style on to the person you are shopping for. The client comes first. You are attracted to the things you like, but you have to consider the lifestyle and activities of the person you are buying for.
  • One has to work hard to come up with something new and unique for each individual to give them their own personal touch to any fashion trend.
  • Personal shopping is a business, so you have to set up your organisation properly; you have to maintain taxes, keep your books, set up a website, etc. Otherwise, you have no scope for growth.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh





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