When I decided to quite my job and move back to Johannesburg, I didn’t know what I was going to do apart from going back to varsity. I didn’t have a plan whatsoever, all I knew was I was suffocating and my soul yearning to be away from it all.
I got to Johannesburg and I thought what the hell, let me just work for my mum, it’s a family business in the end but then I was reminded of my love for fashion and how I wanted to always be in the industry either as a personal stylist or having my own line of clothes and the idea of PersonalizeShopperSa was born, inspired by a Nigerian Personal Shopper based in the UK. I ran it by my grandmother and she loved the idea but I still wasn’t convinced. I was shy to approach people and definitely concerned about what people think, like ‘she quit her job, moved to another country to buy clothes for people’. I was honestly my worst critic and obstacle.
But I did it, I started my business page and my grandmother forced me to take pictures whenever we were in the mall. She was the person I needed, to push me to make that jump.
I got my first client in the first week I started, by just family members and friends sharing my business and referring me. My business concept is very foreign to my primary target market country which is, Namibia but they are slowly accepting it and appreciating it.
I honestly want to build the bridge between the world’s famous retailers and our small developing countries that are always denied access and use my gift for fashion styling.
It’s been a rollercoaster the past six months since I started, countless of times I wanted to give up because business was slow and I was running on a loss, didn’t calculate all my expenses to the’ T’ like my Uber, courier etc; I had to learn on the job, from marketing to branding. There were times where I had to pay for courier from my own pocket. In fact, July was the first month I stopped running on a loss, I finally put a fixed shopping concierge service fee together and in July alone, I made a profit that suppressed my pervious salary; I know employment can be a joke sometimes.
I didn’t have all the details for running PersonalizeShopperSa figured out or my life but once I climbed the first step, I saw the next one. I started believing more in the vision that I have for my labour of love and my talent than in failing, I make sure I give it my best and don’t beat myself down when my best isn’t enough. I understand now, as my business continues to grow, that there will be a new ‘best’ and an unfamiliar step that I will have to learn and master.
Here I am now, having clients from Namibia, South Africa and Malawi; one country at a time.
Truly, you just have to start. If God put it in your heart, if you yearn for it more than you would like to acknowledge, then do it. Take the first step you see and give it your best. That is with anything in life honestly from business to friendships.
Where your heart is set, it’s were you will bloom and flourish. Forget about what people will think and concentrate on building.
Follow Rautia’s styling page PersonalizeShopperSa on Instagram.