change of career path at the age of 39....advices on being a SA/Personal Shopper

  1. i just never had that kind of opportunity in terms of stage design. and as far as i know in terms of realty design...a lot of people just went to home depot and picked out finishes themselves. it's not hard to pick out finishes for people...the hardest part is to find the clients who are willing to hire and listen to a prof. almost all the clients i've met, they all think they can pick better finishes than architects/designers do. we have so many years training and when we work IRL...a lot of people just think "how hard can this be, i can do better."
    if we are talking about putting a new beam or a new stair...those contractors sometimes would just change our design...i am sure they are thinking "how hard can this be....those architects don't know ****". it happened to us a few times already.
    i am just hoping to shop for the wealthy/rich...and slowly from wardrobe to home decor if possible.
  2. I've been SA'ing at luxury boutiques from really early on. But all they are are jobs. They require little expertise and add no value to yourself. I don't see a career in retail, there's just nowhere to move.
  3. ^^do you enjoy what you do?
    any advice on being a good SA?? should i be aggressive or laid back...??

    i want to be a personal shopper and/or fashion stylist SA is a stepping stone.
  4. i don't have experience to help you out, but i know i'd want an SA who is knowledgeable yet laid back. i really dislike aggressive SA's because it makes me feel like all they care about is the sale (i want to at least feel like they'll be honest when suggesting an item or they're telling me the truth about looking good in something).

    if you want to be a personal shopper or stylist, maybe you could take some fashion related classes? i know being a SA is a start, but i think it would take a longggg time to move up. i think classes and then internships would help you move up because i think a lot of SA's never really move up, nor do they really plan to.

  5. I used to think this - I spent years as SA, but I moved up to Area Manager, then to National Sales Manager. Retail is really, really hard work but you can move onwards and upwards!
  6. Well as clevercat has proven, you can move up into the corporate side of things. And wow, from SA to NSM, that's impressive :smile:

    Do I enjoy it? Yes, the work is fun, my managers have been awesome, but there's always one or two that spoil the party.
  7. I would suggest getting a part-time job as a sales associate to get a flavor for dealing with retail customers. Perhaps you could start a business as a personal shopper and find clients through friends, referrals, craigslist, etc. Maybe you could redesign people's closets/wardrobes, etc. I don't think working in retail is necessarily your only avenue into the personal shopper world. Good luck!
  8. have you thought about being a stylist? that might be something you can get into as you understand design and enjoy helping others dress themselves.
    I changed careers too at 39. I say go for it!
  9. wow...that's impressive!!

    the fact that is i really want to try and i am willing to overlook the money issue....
    that's my final goal...personal shopper, fashion stylist...the person to pull the look together...i am not sure what exactly the term for that role. i thought it's personal shopper..then i read it's called fashional coordinator and a fashion stylist...many names. anyway that's my passion, my interests.
    thanks shoo....:hugs:
  10. ya....i did think of that. but i am not going to let those losers to stop my dream. i am working for one of the biggest ******* i've ever met....our office was quite nice to work at until that bastard came along....:faint:
  11. The first thing that came to my mind when I read your original post was, "um, yeah, wouldn't we all like to shop for a living." It seems like one of those jobs that you see advertised in the back of magazines (like "work form home!") that are just too good to be true. Not that the job of being a personal shopper doesn't exist, but you'd think that it would be pretty tough to get to that point (and pretty lucky).
    If you've weighed everything out, then I see nothing wrong with switching your career path at your age. I liked the idea of maybe starting out part-time to get a feel for it before jumping right in.

  12. I think this is a good option or at least a give you a good start. An acquaintance started a career as a stylist and conciege service. She had no formal experience in fashion other than her love for clothes and finding deals.

    She's a sahm with kids in school and does most of her shopping and meeting up with clients during the day or weekends. She started by offering shopping/styling suggestions to the moms at the school playgrounds. She's also friends with the owners of the high end consignment stores, helping clients revamp/declutter their closets.
  13. ^^thanks....i'll think about how to advertise myself...i went back and re-read Sonia*luvs*bags post....that's very good advice. thank you for your time and advices....i need to revisit the strategy of changing my career.
  14. Like another poster, I suggest you retain your current job and take on a part-time position to give yourself the opportunity to really make an informed decision before you quit. It is very hard to get hired at a luxury store with no would be starting at the bottom, perhaps mall stores working with teenagers. I just see it as a step back. I think the world today is permeated with this message that you can grow up to follow your dreams and, while that is true at some level, the reality is most people put up with bosses they don't like in positions they only sometimes love. I think you'll find the fashion/retail world is not very glamorous. Check out this thread if you've missed it:
    Retail Hell

    Honestly, it concerns me that you've come this far and are unwilling to take the final step to become an architect. I really believe making it official would open a lot of doors, and may have something to do with you not receiving other job offers. The fashion industry is brutal, and follow-through and determination are super-important.

    Other things that concern me: you mention not liking "putting all the things together", and also "researching the next IT thing"....which is exactly what a fashion consultant would have to do.

    Sorry if I'm coming across like Debby Downer...I just cannot in good conscience say I think it's a good idea to switch careers in your situation.
  15. I was an SA for a very popular luxury goods brand here for years in college. I was good at my job and got an offer to go to corporate upon graduation. It's tough. I think people go into luxury sales and think that you'll be dealing with glamorous clients, going to launch parties and helping people with major bankrolls fill out their beautiful closets. That is a minute part of the job. Most of it is spent dealing with very picky customers who will spend 3 hours picking out a $150 item (when the average sale in the store is around the 3x that), then come back and return/exchange it several times over, and then if they feel like you didn't give them good service, will complain about it to their manager or in this day and age, complain about it on tPF. You're on your feet all day and have tough hours (opening and closing). And honestly, if you're in the US, luxury isn't the best sector to be in right now (although I think architecture isn't either).

    I feel your pain in architecture. The field isn't doing well either, the jobs you do get probably aren't what you thought and hiring has virtually stalled. If this is a temporary bump I would advise to stick it out as being an SA in my opinion will be much worse. However if you do want to go into the fashion/styling business, I don't think that being a SA is a bad choice (if you can get hired). It's a great job to take to understand the industry and will help you on your resume.