By Lauren Jade Hill
“If I can’t find something for a client, I become obsessed with getting it, so I get a real buzz when I’ve found it,” Sophie says as she sits across from me. In partnership, Sophie Spencer and Natalie Bellamy founded the high-end personal shopping, personal gifting and corporate gifting service The Fussy Shopper just over a year ago. And with such passion and drive behind the bespoke service, it’s already proving indispensable to an increasing number of discerning clients around the world.
The key to this success is in part owing to the exclusive access they have to hard-to-find products and luxury brands, with particular pride taken in their ability to source rare and limited edition Hermès bags. “Hermès is very difficult to get and you’re very limited on styles, size and color,” Natalie explains, “The range that’s usually available is very limited. What we’re able to offer is the ability to source any Hermès bag the client wants from a supplier who makes sure the bag is authentic.”
Of course this privileged contact base isn’t just limited to Hermès, as Sophie goes on to elaborate: “We have a great book of suppliers and really good connections around the world, so we are able to source products that aren’t readily available, and our contacts within luxury brands mean we can source limited edition pieces and sold out items. We have particularly good contacts with a number of fashion brands who can supply pieces that are straight from runway.”
This aptitude for sourcing hard-to-find products is then met with uncompromised efficiency and speed—ensuring they meet even the tightest of deadlines—and a flair for coming up with thoughtful gift ideas. Some of the most unusual, Sophie reveals, have been one-off collectibles including an ape suit from a movie set and a celebrity’s own sunglasses. “It’s often who you know that makes the process to getting there quicker,” she explains.
“On the corporate gifting side, we are able to think outside the box too,” Sophie continues, “One that comes to mind was a client who had been drinking wine in Ireland with a client of theirs and wanted a gift to thank their host. To capture the experience they were showing appreciation for, we sourced the labels of the wine they had been drinking from the vineyard it came from in France, and we mounted the labels with a message from the person who was sending the gift.”
From start to finish, Natalie and Sophie provide a complete and personalized service, which begins with a tailored presentation of gift ideas based on the client’s budget and a profile of the person receiving the gift. The products are then sourced, gift wrapped—with a white label service if requested—and sent directly with complete discretion and confidentiality, even hand delivering the gift with a butler and roses if required.
As such a unique service, The Fussy Shopper is proving to be sought after by a growing list of high-profile clients. Perhaps what sums this appeal up most is the Fussy Shopper’s insightful strapline: Finders of the impossible, thoughtful and exclusive.