A Personal Shopper, also known as a personal stylist, assists clients with their fashion and shopping needs. They help clients to choose clothing and accessories that suit their body type, personal style, and budget. A personal shopper may work for a department store, boutique, or as an independent contractor.
Personal Shoppers help clients to save time, money, and effort by curating a wardrobe that fits their lifestyle, occasions, and budget. They can help you to build a versatile wardrobe, improve your fashion sense, help you to find the perfect outfit for special events, and even provide an efficient shopping experience that can save time and money and minimize stress.
In this article, we will take a closer look at the role of a personal shopper, the skills and qualifications required to become one, and the benefits of working with a personal shopper.
Personal Shopper Duties and Responsibilities
Personal shoppers, or personal stylists, have a variety of responsibilities, which can include:
- Assessing clients’ needs: Personal shoppers will typically begin by assessing the client’s needs, budget, preferences, and lifestyle.
- Wardrobe analysis: A personal shopper will evaluate the client’s current wardrobe to identify items that can be kept, reused, or donated.
- Creating a shopping list: Personal shoppers create a shopping list of items that are needed to complete or refresh the client’s wardrobe, also taking into account the client’s special events and lifestyle.
- Shopping: Personal shoppers will typically do the shopping for the client, whether it’s in physical stores or online. They will find the clothes and accessories that match the client’s preferences and budget.
- Personal styling: Personal shoppers help clients to choose the best clothes and accessories for their body type, personal style, and occasions, also giving them advice on how to match and combine the items.
- Wardrobe organization: Personal shoppers can help to organize the client’s wardrobe, making it easier for them to find the right clothes for the right occasion.
- Outfit planning: Personal shoppers can help clients to plan outfits for special events and occasions, such as weddings or job interviews.
- Styling for photo shoots: Personal shoppers may also be responsible for styling models or actors for photo shoots or TV shows.
- Providing fashion advice: Personal shoppers can provide fashion advice and offer tips on accessing or caring for clothes.
- Building relationships: Personal shoppers typically work closely with their clients to build trust and long-term relationships.
It’s worth noting that depending on the level of service a personal shopper may provide, they could have a wider or narrower range of responsibilities. Still, the main focus is to help clients to improve their wardrobe, their shopping experience, and their fashion sense.
Personal Shopper Job Requirements
The requirements for becoming a personal shopper can vary depending on the employer and the level of service they provide, but in general, personal shoppers should have the following qualifications:
- A good sense of style: Personal shoppers should have a good sense of style, and be able to identify and select clothing and accessories that suit the client’s body type, personal style, and budget.
- Strong fashion knowledge: Personal shoppers should thoroughly understand fashion trends, designers and the different types of clothing and accessories available.
- Sales and customer service skills: Personal shoppers should have good sales and customer service skills, as they are typically working closely with clients to build trust and long-term relationships.
- Good communication skills: Personal shoppers should be able to communicate effectively with clients, understand their needs, and provide them with the information they need to make informed decisions.
- Physical stamina: Personal shoppers may spend long hours on their feet and be required to lift and carry heavy bags of clothes and accessories.
- Computer proficiency: Personal shoppers should be comfortable with using technology, such as computers and smartphones, to research products and manage client information.
- Networking skills: Personal shoppers should be able to network and establish relationships with fashion designers, store managers, and other industry professionals.
- Time management skills: Personal shoppers should be able to manage their time effectively and able to work independently and in a fast-paced environment
- Educational background: Some employers may require a degree in fashion, retail, or business management. However, it’s not always a strict requirement.
- Licensing or certification: Some states may require personal shoppers to have a license or certification in order to work.
It’s worth noting that while these qualifications are common, they may vary depending on the level of service provided and the employer, and also having relevant work experience in fashion, retail, or customer service is an asset that can help you stand out in your job application.
Personal Shopper Skills
Personal shoppers should have a variety of skills to be successful in their role, including:
- Fashion knowledge: Personal shoppers should deeply understand fashion trends, designers, and the different types of clothing and accessories available.
- Style analysis: Personal shoppers should be able to assess the client’s body type, personal style, and lifestyle and recommend clothes and accessories that flatter them.
- Wardrobe organization: Personal shoppers should be able to organize their client’s wardrobes, making it easier for them to find the right clothes for the right occasion.
- Personal styling: Personal shoppers should be able to help clients choose the best clothes and accessories for their body type, personal style, and occasions and provide them with advice on matching and combining the items.
- Sales and customer service skills: Personal shoppers should be able to build trust and long-term relationships with clients through effective sales and customer service.
- Communication skills: Personal shoppers should be able to communicate effectively with clients, understand their needs and provide them with the information they need to make informed decisions.
- Time management skills: Personal shoppers should be able to manage their time effectively and able to work independently and in a fast-paced environment.
- Networking skills: Personal shoppers should be able to network and establish relationships with fashion designers, store managers, and other industry professionals.
- Creativity: Personal shoppers should be able to think outside the box and come up with unique and creative solutions for their clients’ fashion needs.
- Adaptability: Personal shoppers should be able to adapt to different clients and situations and provide a tailored service for each client.
- Attention to detail: Personal shoppers should pay attention to small details in order to provide the best service and make sure the client’s needs are met.
Personal Shopper Salary
The salary for a personal shopper can vary depending on the location, the level of service provided, and the employer. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median hourly wage for fashion designers, a profession that requires similar skills, is $30.57.
Here are some factors that can influence a personal shopper’s salary:
- Level of experience: A personal shopper with more experience is likely to command a higher salary than someone just starting out in the profession.
- Location: The cost of living in different cities and regions can affect a personal shopper’s salary. For example, in general, the salary for a personal shopper may be higher in big cities than in small towns.
- Type of employer: Personal shoppers may work for department stores, boutiques, or as independent contractors. Each type of employer may have different salary ranges.
- Level of service provided: Some personal shoppers may offer full-service packages, which may include wardrobe analysis, shopping, styling, and wardrobe organization, while others may only offer styling or wardrobe consultation services. The level of service provided can also impact salary.
- Commission: Some personal shoppers may earn a commission on items sold to clients.
It’s important to note that a personal shopper salary can vary widely, and there’s no standard salary for the role. It may depend on the specific location and employer and the personal shopper’s experience and qualifications. Many personal shoppers are self-employed and may charge by the hour, project, or day. The hourly rate for personal shoppers can range from $20 to $100 per hour. The more experienced and sought-after personal shoppers may charge more.
Personal Shopper Work Environment
Personal shoppers may work in a variety of environments, depending on their employer and the level of service provided. Some possible work environments for personal shoppers include:
- Department stores: Personal shoppers working for department stores may work in the store’s personal shopping or styling department. They may spend most of their time working with clients in the store or in a private styling room.
- Boutiques: Personal shoppers working for boutiques may also spend most of their time working with clients in the store, or in a private styling room.
- Offices or Studios: Some Personal shoppers may work in a private office or studio, where they meet with clients to discuss their needs, create shopping lists, and plan outfits.
- Online: with the growing trend of online shopping, some personal shoppers may work entirely online, communicating with clients via video call, phone or email.
- On-location: Some personal shoppers may work on-location, going to their client’s homes or workplaces to provide their service, this can be specially helpful for clients who have a busy schedule or prefer convenience.
Regardless of the specific work environment, personal shoppers should expect to spend a lot of time on their feet, walking around the store or walking from client to client. They should also expect to spend a lot of time communicating and building trust with clients. Personal shoppers should expect to work in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment and be comfortable working with people and building relationships. They may also be working under tight deadlines, especially when preparing clients for special events.
Personal Shopper Trends
Here are a few trends that are currently shaping the personal shopping and styling industry:
- Online personal shopping and styling services: With the rise of e-commerce, personal shoppers increasingly provide their services online, communicating with clients via video call, phone, or email. This trend is helping personal shoppers reach a wider range of clients and provide their services remotely, especially in these times of social distancing.
- Sustainable and ethical fashion: Consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of the fashion industry’s environmental impact, and personal shoppers are adapting to this trend by sourcing clothes and accessories from sustainable and ethically-minded brands. This can include sourcing clothes made from sustainable materials, clothes made in fair labor conditions, or second-hand clothes.
- Virtual styling and wardrobe consultations: Virtual styling and wardrobe consultations are becoming increasingly popular, as they allow personal shoppers to provide their services remotely and can be more convenient for clients who have busy schedules or who live in remote areas.
- Men’s styling: Men’s personal styling is a growing market, as more men recognize the value of a well-styled wardrobe and seek out personal shoppers’ services.
- Personalized styling plans: Personal shoppers are increasingly creating personalized styling plans for their clients, which can include regular wardrobe updates, styling for specific events, or regular check-ins to ensure that clients are maintaining their wardrobes.
- Personal Shopping becoming a wellness service: Personal Shopping and styling are increasingly being seen as a form of self-care and wellness service, as it can give clients the confidence and self-assurance they need to be their best selves. Personal shoppers are now taking on a more holistic approach to styling, not just focusing on how the clothes look but on how they make the client feel.
- Influencer-style personal shopping: Some personal shoppers are modeling their services after those of fashion influencers and stylists, offering fashion and styling advice and curating specific looks and trends that align with the clients’ personal style.
How to Become a Personal Shopper
Here are a few steps you can take to become a personal shopper:
- Develop your sense of style: Personal shoppers should have a good sense of style and be able to identify and select clothing and accessories that suit the client’s body type, personal style, and budget. Spend time learning about fashion trends, designers, and the different types of clothing and accessories available.
- Get relevant education: While formal education is not always required, taking classes in fashion, retail, or business management can help you develop a deeper understanding of the industry and give you a competitive edge.
- Build experience: Gain experience in the fashion industry, working in retail, as a sales associate or in customer service role. This will give you an understanding of how the fashion industry works, how to interact with clients, analyze and evaluate wardrobe, and use technology such as computer programs and applications.
- Network: Establish relationships with fashion designers, store managers, and other industry professionals. This can help you to find out about job openings and gain insights into the industry.
- Build a portfolio: Create a portfolio showcasing your style, sense of fashion, and best work. This can be a great way to demonstrate your skills to potential clients and employers.
- Build a website: Create a website to showcase your services, portfolio, and any certifications or education you have obtained. This can be a great way to market your services and reach potential clients.
- Get licensed and/or certified: Some states may require personal shoppers to have a license or certification in order to work. Research the laws and regulations in your state to find out if this applies to you, and if so, what you need to do to get licensed or certified.
- Consider becoming self-employed: Many personal shoppers are self-employed, and this can be a great way to get started in the industry. This allows you to set your own schedule, and to build a business that is tailored to your skills and interests.
It’s worth noting that becoming a personal shopper is not an overnight process and it may take some time to build a client base and establish a reputation as a professional. It requires a combination of fashion knowledge, customer service skills, and business acumen, and the ability to build trust and long-term relationships with clients.
Personal Shopper Advancement Prospects
Advancement prospects for personal shoppers can vary depending on the level of service they provide and the type of employer they work for. Here are a few possible career paths for personal shoppers:
- Senior stylist or personal shopper: A personal shopper with a strong reputation and a large client base may be promoted to a senior stylist or personal shopper role. In this role, they may be responsible for training and mentoring other stylists, or they may be responsible for managing a team of personal shoppers.
- Department head or manager: A personal shopper who has been working for a store or boutique for a long time, and has proven themselves to be an asset to the business, may be promoted to a department head or manager role. In this role, they may be responsible for managing the store’s personal shopping or styling department and overseeing other stylists’ work.
- Stylist for photo shoots or TV shows: Personal shoppers with strong experience and a good reputation in the industry may be sought out by photographers, art directors, or TV producers to be stylists for photo shoots or TV shows.
- Opening their own business: Personal shoppers with strong business acumen and experience may decide to start their own business, providing clients with personal shopping and styling services.
- Specializing in a particular field: Personal shoppers may decide to specialize in a specific type of client, such as plus-size or petite clients, or they may specialize in styling for specific events, such as weddings or red-carpet events.
- Joining high-end, luxury personal shopping companies: Personal shoppers who have a strong reputation and experience may be hired by high-end, luxury personal shopping companies that provide personal shopping and styling services to a VIP clientele.
- Fashion consultant: Personal Shoppers who have strong knowledge and reputation on the industry may transition to become fashion consultants, providing advice to fashion companies and retailers on how to improve their product lines and marketing strategies.
It’s worth noting that the path of becoming a personal shopper, like in many other careers, the opportunities for career advancement are often determined by an individual’s experience, skills, performance, and reputation. Also, the advancement may vary depending on the location and the industry, but there are several opportunities for personal shoppers to develop their skills, and knowledge and to grow their careers in this industry.
Personal Shopper Job Description Example
Here is an example of a job description for a personal shopper:
Job Title: Personal Shopper
Location: New York City, NY
We are seeking a highly skilled and experienced personal shopper to join our team at XYZ Department Store. As a personal shopper, you will be responsible for working with clients to identify their fashion needs, creating personalized shopping and styling plans, and assisting them in selecting the perfect clothes and accessories for any occasion.
- Meet with clients to discuss their fashion needs and preferences.
- Create personalized shopping and styling plans for clients, taking into consideration their body type, personal style, and budget.
- Research and source clothes and accessories that match the clients’ needs and preferences.
- Help clients choose the best clothes and accessories for their body type, personal style, and occasions, and advise them on how to match and combine the items.
- Organize and maintain client’s wardrobes.
- Network and establish relationships with fashion designers, store managers, and other industry professionals.
- Provide excellent customer service, building trust and long-term relationships with clients.
- Meet sales targets and achieve specific KPI’s
- Strong sense of style and fashion knowledge.
- Strong sales and customer service skills.
- Good communication and interpersonal skills.
- Strong networking skills.
- Physical stamina and ability to lift and carry heavy bags of clothes and accessories.
- Computer proficiency.
- A degree in fashion, retail or business management (preferred)
- Minimum of 2-year experience working in a similar role.
We offer a competitive salary and benefits package, as well as career development and advancement opportunities. If you are passionate about fashion and customer service, we encourage you to apply today!