One of his clients was panicking. She arrives at a luxury resort in Indonesia for her friend’s 40th birthday party and discovers she’s not packing.
Rao, 45, a 20-year sales veteran at stores such as Harrods and Harvey Nichols, started out, stocking up on a few items from luxury stores in Singapore and sending them to customers through three flights, and brought it to hand. contact.
“When people’s lifestyle is global,” explained Rao, “they don’t see any difficulty in buying products anywhere in the world.” This type of support defines Luminaire, which Rao launched this spring. Her partners are Harriet Quick, a long-time friend and former employee at British Vogue, and Olivia Scanlon, an accountant.
The 10-person company seeks to find and supply must-have, even sell, items and deliver them anywhere. Niche announced Luminaire is a global station and is distinguished by its responsiveness to the clock, according to Quick, 55.
“We offer 24/7 service,” he said. “There will be someone at the end of a WhatsApp message who can quickly respond to you. The 1% are not in one place – they move between different continents and the resources in their portfolio, that helped shape the business the body.”
The requests are mostly focused on luxury brands such as Prada, Bottega Veneta and Celine. Oftentimes, customer requests will include a limited edition that appears to be sold out or cannot be found. Quick’s work with Rao has given them access to a variety of products that are sold. (Both brands emphasize that they always try to reduce the carbon footprint of global trade and shipping by saving the material from the range, if possible)
Requests can also be urgent. Some customers rely on Luminaire’s taste and speed to solve their fashion emergencies. The company can also receive images of what was seen on the red carpet at the customer’s request to paint the same page. The team will then identify and produce the paper. Luminaire refuses to work with customers who want multiple items offered, in different colors or finishes.
“That’s not ‘new luxury,'” says Rao, which is about shopping more carefully, though he says the potential for a consumer to oversell is also a factor. him.
Luminaire uses a private membership, a kind of club: About 50 people pay an annual fee of 5,000 pounds (about $5,900). They can rely on one Luminaire as much as they want in return. “You can use our message every day if you want,” Rao joked. “I’m not going to lie, we have a few clients who do that.”
The company receives a 10% commission on new items, while vintage finds will be charged a flat fee of 150 pounds. There are benefits associated with membership, too: Members may be offered the opportunity to book an appointment with a hairstylist like George Northwood, or dermatologist and esthetician Dr. Barbara Sturm. In December, the company opens a temporary home in London’s Notting Hill for three days and organizes friendly events – like breakfast for example – with Sabrina Elba, Idris Elba’s wife and client, but It was produced by Brunello Cucinelli.
Luminaire isn’t alone: It’s just one of many startups combining concierge-style services with consumer expertise. But while Luminaire focuses on high-end, global buyers, London-based Sourcewhere makes the market bigger.
It was the brainchild of Erica Wright, 31, a former fashion publicist, who hit upon the idea after looking for a pair of snakeskin loafers from Celine. In March 2014, he spent two months calling stores in Europe and hunting online before someone responded to one of his emails. Try the Celine store in Indonesia, they said, while they are still in stock. Wright bought them there over the phone, and had them shipped to the brand’s location in Singapore, where he will be vacationing soon.
She recognized the business potential in providing the same services for other women like her – and set up Sourcewhere in January.
He said: “If you’ve ever been in a store and seen something that’s on sale, or you’ve seen something a few years ago and you’ve stopped thinking about it, you can come to us.
“Put a request into our app for a current or past event, and our network of search experts — handpicked by me — will begin the hunt.”
Sourcewhere employs about 30 independent contractors around the world, who want to buy and deliver the item to the customer – new or used depending on preference.
Brands like Row, Balenciaga and Hermès are popular, and the shoes are the main work, Wright said, whether it’s the Chypre shoes that are hard to find at Hermès or sold Adidas Sambas. There is no deposit or membership fee. It is up to the professional producers to determine whether they charge a flat fee of 120 pounds for an item, or opt for a commission of 10% to 15%.
The source retains an average of 10% of the bill.
Sources are not available in the United States, although Wright hopes to launch there next spring. And while Luminaire’s services are available worldwide, its founders say they have plans for an office in New York early next year.
Buyers in the United States may also choose to work with someone like Gab Waller.
Waller, 28, also works as a consultant at Sourcewhere as it plans to open in the United States. Waller, an Australian based in Los Angeles, has made a name for himself over the past four years as a source of success through Instagram, where the company is not the first to appear.
He estimates he has 1,800 active clients, including celebrities such as Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Hayley Bieber. Waller said that 90% of the requests he receives for things come from direct messages on Instagram. Its team of 20 also includes independent contractors based around the world from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to Singapore. Waller also recently added a new temporary staff member in South Korea.
His services cost as little as $200 per item. When his contractors – or helpers as he calls them – receive an item, they send it directly to the customer in Gab Waller’s packaging.
Shoes are a focus for her business, too, especially from brands like Chanel and Prada.
“Chanel covers shoes? We still get requests every day for those,” he said. Waller emphasized that his work provides access to hard-to-find luxury goods.
“Customers tell me that they are afraid to go into those boutiques and feel uncomfortable because of the way they were treated once, and we take away that feeling,” he said. For any business owner, however, the foundation of his work is that of Sourcewhere and Luminaire.
“Is anything for sale now?” Waller said. “No. It will be there somewhere. ”