July 1, 2015
David & BuoyShare
The Wellingtonian was headhunted by the prestigious department store to be one of its Personal Shoppers.
Sophie’s love for fashion has seen her carve out a successful career in the industry. She spent three decades with one of New Zealand’s biggest labels, Zambesi.
We wanted to learn more, so caught up with Sophie at the David Jones Café.
Buoy: You’ve been at David Jones since it opened in Wellington. Why become a Personal Shopper?
Sophie: I wanted the challenge of being a Personal Shopper. I loved the idea of selling Valentino Rockstud and Saint Laurent Bags. And literally that’s the truth - that’s what I do now and it feels fantastic. We are selling luxury and there’s a lot of satisfaction in finding that special outfit for somebody – whether it be for a wedding or a party. You are playing a little, but important, part in their life.
Buoy: How does the personal shopping service work?
Sophie: I’m doing all the running around for you. When you book the service online you fill out what your needs are, what your size is and also the brands you like. I also get an idea when I see you. You want me to fill your needs and I use all that information you provide as a guide - but at the same time I want to bring you a little bit out of your comfort zone. When we meet, we do so at our personal shopping suite in the store and everything is brought to you! It’s not just clothes; I’m a personal shopper for everything. I’m here to take the stress out of shopping. When people leave, they leave happy.
Buoy: Why would someone choose to have a Personal Shopper?
Sophie: People are time poor and they often don’t want to make decisions, especially when it comes to shopping. We want to take the stress out of it. Buying clothes is actually just about making a decision and people want a style expert. Often people are not even sure what suits them. I’m like that when I go to the hairdresser, I always ask ‘what do you think because I don’t know’. It’s the same thing when you go to a restaurant, you don’t know what to eat, so you check out what they’ve got on the menu. Personal shoppers are style experts. It’s like when you go to Buoy Salon & Spa, you go because they’ve won awards and they’ve created a beautiful environment. David Jones has also created a beautiful environment. It’s all about creating more of an experience.
Buoy: So you are like a journalist…. you have to ask questions to uncover what the client is looking for?
Sophie: Absolutely, you’ve got to find out about their lifestyle. Knowledge is power; so the more I know about them, the more I can dress to suit them. And it’s not just for clothes, it’s absolutely everything. Before Christmas I had a client who had written all the names and ages of his great nieces and nephews. He’d told me where they lived as well. I went around the store and picked all the presents and got them all wrapped for him. And just like that his Christmas shopping was done! All I need is a little bit of background.
Buoy: You’re up with the latest trends but how much do you advise people to dress for their body type versus what’s ‘in’ at the moment?
Sophie: You have to dress for your body shape. I’m not going to push something if it doesn’t suit you. You have to wear the clothes – the clothes can’t wear you. That’s why we go back to the classics . It’s about getting the right colour and cut for your body.
Buoy: What’s your favourite outfit?
Sophie: It changes every single day. At the moment I’m into my biker leather jacket and my Valentino sneakers. But next week I might be into my Stuart Weitzman over-the-knee boots and my suit jacket. It all depends on my mood.
The exclusive service is free and there’s no obligation to buy. To book your personal shopping session with Sophie book online or call David Jones, Wellington.
Look our for regular Sophie's Choice on our Blog.