Ever wondered what it’s like being a personal shopper? You’re not alone.
Alarna Hope, 26, from New South Wales, is a high-profile Australian personal shopper – who works with countless clients with both normal and extravagant shopping needs.
Here, Alarna lifts the lid on her intriguing world and shares with FEMAIL some of the more unusual or lavish requests from her clients.
Alarna Hope (pictured), 26, from New South Wales, is a high-profile Australian personal shopper – who works with countless clients with both normal and extravagant shopping needs
Alarna (pictured) lifts the lid on her intriguing world and shares with FEMAIL some of the more unusual or lavish requests from her clients.
According to Alarna, who has run her own Personal Stylist business for several year now, she has a broad mix of clients – both regular and extravagant (stock image)
According to Alarna, who has run her own Personal Stylist business for several years now, she has a broad mix of clients:
‘My clients aren’t generally big spenders,’ she told FEMAIL. ‘They’re thoughtful people who invest their time and energy into getting their own style and the perfect wardrobe for them.’
However, she admitted she does have a few big spenders:
‘I remember one client who contacted me for the first time, who wanted her wardrobe to be cleaned out,’ Alarna said.
‘I went around there and there was probably about $150,000 worth of designer clothing still with the tags on – from failed online shopping attempts and impulsive moments.’
Among her clients, the 26-year-old (pictured) did say she has come across one woman, who had $150,000 worth of designer clothing with the tags on in her wardrobe
Alarna added that the woman had no idea she had so many clothes she’d never used:
‘She had been travelling for years and loved designer clothing, so she’d buy great pieces and be given some. However, when she returned home she realised how much she’d had that she’d never used,’ she said.
‘By the time I cleaned the wardrobe out, I think it was a big eye opener for her that she needed to be more picky when adding to her wardrobe and only buy pieces she’d wear.’
Alarna said that this is one of the biggest benefits of her job – it allows her to teach people to ‘shop smarter so they are not wasting their hard-earned money with no reward’.
Alarna said one of the biggest benefits of her job is that it allows her to teach people to ‘shop smarter so they are not wasting their hard-earned money with no reward’ (stock image)
Elsewhere, Alarna has worked with all sorts of people who need help with their shopping – including a woman who loved history and purchased a $15,000 pair of earrings:
‘The most expensive single item that’s ever been purchased with my help was a three-hundred-year-old set of gold earrings,’ Alarna said.
‘They were bought by a client who really appreciates history and who loves the idea of having a gorgeous heirloom to pass on to her family. They were $15,000, but stunning – it’s hard to find and buy a piece of wearable history like that.’
The most expensive item Alarna has helped to purchase is a $15,000 pair of earrings, which were hundreds of years old
Speaking about a typical day, Alarna said she’s big into planning:
‘I am a big planner and so my sessions always go smoothly,’ she said.
‘But my clients also need to be pretty planned and prepared – they need to be prepped for what to expect on a shopping day, including what to wear, how much on average they should allow to spend and be open to the fact that they will be trying on more clothing than they ever have before.
‘Once they’re prepped, I head to stores and pre-select everything they’re going to try on to eliminate browsing. This is where people can get the most distracted and lose their zest for shopping, so you need to be ready.’
Speaking about a typical day, Alarna (pictured) said she does lots of planning before she meets up with a client – and also makes sure her clients are well prepped too
Alarna said her favourite thing to do with clients is when someone has their entire wardrobe re-designed:
‘I love it when a client has their wardrobe re-designed after they’ve had a wardrobe makeover with me and they go all out,’ she said.
‘They might install lights, sliding trays, and all those things you’d want a dream wardrobe to have. I love it when a client wants to invest in their wardrobe by making it a well thought-out place.
‘My favourite wardrobe I’ve seen to date with a his-and-hers wardrobe with a packing and accessories table in the middle and a secret wall panel for jewellery. It was beautiful.’
Last but not least, Alarna (pictured) is keen to dispel any myths surrounding the personal shopping industry – she said it’s fast-paced, but not the Devil Wears Prada
Last but not least, Alarna is keen to dispel any myths surrounding the personal shopping industry:
‘It’s such a fast-paced industry, there’s not really enough time to be a diva,’ she said.
‘Everyone I’ve worked with has been very hard-working – it’s a hard industry to get into, but those who work hard and know their stuff really succeed.
‘I think the Devil Wears Prada has given us a bit of a stereotype, as much as I love the movie, but I’ve never experienced anything considered diva-ish.
‘Sometimes, I consider myself an anti personal shopper. My clients and I have an understanding that they only buy what they need, ensure it’s great quality and they feel fantastic in it.
‘I love being able to turn bad shopping habits into great ones, and ensure that my clients are getting an emotional reward out of it, too,’ she told FEMAIL (stock image)
Lastly, Alarna said she draws great satisfaction from her demanding job:
‘I love being able to turn bad shopping habits into great ones, and ensure that my clients are getting an emotional reward out of it, too,’ the 26-year-old said.
‘There’s a common misconception about personal shoppers and stylist that it’s just shopping, so many of us know it’s much more than that.
‘We’re trained to understand how things are made, assist with alterations, help people get better shopping habits and make life and building a personal style easier.
‘The elite aren’t the only ones using our services, the majority of my clients are everyday, average income people who are ready to invest in themselves and make smarter decisions when purchasing clothing,’ she concluded.
To read more from Alarna Hope, please click here.