Member Profile for August is Nichola Anderson of Shopperella Personal Shopping & Wardrobe Services!
Tell us a bit about your professional background.
I’ve had the privilege of working for some great organizations over the past ten years, and have met many interesting people along the way. The majority of my career has been focused in marketing, communications and special events, however I now work in the career and job development field where I strive to connect the unemployed or underemployed with potential employers.
I’ve always been an advocate of the underdog and had empathy for those who have been knocked down in life, so this role has been very fulfilling for me so far. I like to help people and open doors when I can.
In terms of education, once I finished my degree at the University of New Brunswick, I relocated to Toronto to study business management, with a focus on the fashion industry.
Near the end of the first school year, I politely and faithfully began contacting Rogers Publishing on a weekly basis to request the chance to work as a marketing intern for one of their magazines. After over a month of phone calls, my persistence finally paid off and I was granted a two-month internship working directly under the Marketing & Public Relations Associate at Today’s Parent Magazine. That was a great learning experience for me, one that turned into a full-time position and three-and-a-half years with the Today’s Parent brand.
It has been much more grueling to build my career since moving back to New Brunswick. The job climate is still quite gloomy in this beloved province and many talented people are struggling. I’m thankful that I’ve
always managed to find meaningful and sustainable employment, but that did not come without great effort and tenacity.
Tell us about your business and how you came up with the idea.
Shopperella is a specialized shopping, delivery and wardrobe service designed to take the time and stress out of shopping. The business idea came out of my love of people and shopping, and my keen ability to organize and coordinate outfits. I’ve been shopping for my family for years, but didn’t consider offering my services to the public until I found myself unexpectedly unemployed last year. After many prayers and encouragement from my dear parents and close friends, I decided to launch Shopperella.
I offer two categories of professional service – personal shopping and closet reorganization. Personal shopping covers a lot of retail areas, however most clients tend to rely on me for grocery shopping and gift
shopping, and one-on-one wardrobe shopping that takes place in-store. I have also done clothing sourcing for clients who had specific fashion looks they needed help finding through online merchants.
The closet reorganization, or what I like to call my Closet Cleanup service, is very fun. I actually go into a client’s home to assess their closet, then start sorting, organizing and making outfits. I typically reorganize their closets into clothing categories, then by colour and/or season. I give them a list of the need-to-buy clothing and accessory items that are missing from their wardrobe, which will help them shop in the future. Once the cleanup is complete, I personally deliver any donated clothing items to the charity of the client’s choice, and if needed, I make a trip the store to pick up additional organizing tools such as clothing hangers and storage totes.
Where do you look for inspiration?
Fashion and décor inspiration is everywhere. I see it in the everyday people that live in our beautiful province, and I find it whenever I’ve been fortunate enough to travel. Even a quick trip to one of my favourite
stores will fill me with excitement and new ideas. I also find great inspiration when browsing the internet, especially searching Pinterest for trends and designs.
How do you get yourself inspired?
Prayer does wonders for me. Taking my cares to God and asking for his help throughout the day gives me a quiet confidence to tackle the challenges ahead. I also keep a few verses of scripture written on sticky notes in my purse and peek at them from time to time for encouragement.
Who are some of your favourite fashion icons or designers?
I’ve had a strong interest in clothing my whole life. Even as a child, I would take notice of women who were fashionable and admire them. My grandmother has always been a well-dressed woman and I very much
enjoyed rummaging through her jewelry, shoe boxes, and clothes when I visited. She also loved musicals like My Fair Lady, The King and I, South Pacific, and Carousel, and would always play one on the television for me.
I remember being awestruck by the costumes in those films, especially My Fair Lady. I also swoon over Edith Head’s costume designs for Paramount Pictures during the forties and fifties. She dressed some of Hollywood’s finest women during that time - Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, Rosemary Clooney, Joan Fontaine and so many more. The gowns, and the women who wore them, were absolutely beautiful.
What project have you worked on that you enjoyed most and why?
One of my most enjoyable assignments was a Closet Cleanup I did this spring for a shy young woman who wanted help building a more sophisticated and polished wardrobe. Once I looked through her closet and spoke with her, I realized she already owned many useful clothing pieces but lacked confidence in herself, which affected her ability to coordinate outfits without a great deal of second guessing.
My main focus became reassuring her of her clothing choices, and then showing her how nicely things fit her body. By the time I left, she was grinning from ear to ear and excited about what to wear next. That particular assignment was actually more about providing encouragement than cleaning and reorganizing.
I really enjoy the people I meet through my shopping and wardrobe service. Everyone has a story, and I’m very thankful I get to hear some of them.
Do you use Social Media for your business? How has it impacted your business?
I use Facebook to connect with fellow shoppers from across the web, both near and far. The Shopperella page alerts fans about local shopping events and sales, new store openings including restaurants and cafes, and great local products. I also update the page regularly with clothing, accessory, and beauty posts, home décor ideas, yummy recipes, and anything else my fans might enjoy. Facebook has been a useful, free marketing tool for me, especially in terms of reaching a younger clientele.
The Facebook page can be found at www.Facebook.com/ShopperellaPersonalShopping
As a member of FFC, what do you hope to see the council achieve?
My hope is that the FFC would organize an initiative geared at encouraging and empowering underprivileged children in the Fredericton area through fashion. By partnering with local retailers and businesses the FFC could provide a group of deserving children with a much needed back-to-school wardrobe. It’s important to help people in the community, especially children.
What’s next for you?
Believe it or not, I will soon need to start preparing for the Christmas shopping season. Many people prefer to have their gifts purchased months in advance so they can relax and enjoy the holiday, while others want help finding the perfect outfit for a Christmas party. Clients can contact me directly at email@example.com
or visit my website www.shopperella.ca for more information.