The rise and rise of personal sourcing

Sourcewhere, which is self-funded by Wright, will take on the brands themselves, who are ready to access their global inventory; and luxury retailers, such as Net-a-Porter, Neiman Marcus, Farfetch, Mytheresa, Saks, and Mytheresa, which have in-house teams of personal shopper to cater to high-spending customers, which can amount to up to 40% business, according to the companies. There are also a host of personal shopping apps, including Threads Styling, and second-hand sites like Vestiaire Collective, RealReal and StockX.

Getting anything is at the heart of their appeal, says Wright. “Our network is set up to give buyers the best possible chance of finding a specific item. In a space heavily dominated by peer-to-peer marketplaces, there is an opportunity to develop a global network of trustworthy suppliers that focuses on personal requests.

The platform will rely on an organic network of people to help spread the word. Gab Waller, personal shopper for stars such as Hailey Bieber and Rosie Huntington Whiteley, joins us as founding advisor and senior curator. She will oversee a team of 15 established personal buyers, some of whom are former e-commerce employees, as well as private collectors and sellers across the UK and Europe including @oldcelinearchive, @mies_preowned and @cricketfashion.

The sourcing capabilities of internal personal buyers are generally limited to seasonal stock and the brands they carry. Consumers today don’t want to be siled, says luxury consultant Robert Burke, who was previously senior vice president of fashion and public relations at Bergdorf Goodman before founding his own consultancy in 2006. More than ever, customers are in control and brands need to be as seamless online as they are in-store,” he says, reflecting how this shift is providing new opportunities for independent personal shoppers.

Personal Sourcing Opportunities

The idea for Sourcewhere was sparked by Wright’s own personal frustration trying to locate coveted products, like a sold-out pair of Celine sandals. “I learned that this was a recurring challenge for fashion editors and industry insiders. I thought they would have access to it first and foremost, but [they also] struggled to get their hands on those pieces,” she explains. Frustrated with scouring search engines and setting “back in stock” alerts, she identified a gap in the market for a faster, less frustrating way to shop.

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