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Erica Mena for Poolside Collection, wearing Dsquared2 Lilac Virginia Sandals

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing celebrity personal shopper, Shenisse Mclaren aka The Haute Shopper .The 26 year old mother of 1, moved from Connecticut to Atlanta in pursuit of her dream of being a part of the fashion world. Studying Fashion Merchandising at Clark Atlanta prepared her for her successful career in fashion. Since then, she’s built an international brand & has executed jobs for celebrities & socialites globally.

When did you realize you had a passion for fashion?

I realized I had an interest in fashion at a very early age. I wanted to wear everything the Spice Girls wore. Platforms, lots of quirky styles and colors, you name it! Back then, however, I had NO clue that you could make fashion a career, so I wanted to be an interior designer.

What field were you in before becoming a personal shopper?

I was a regular nine-to-fiver before I started personal shopping. I had a security job I absolutely hateddddd and wanted to leave so bad. I couldn’t be my fun fashionable self. I had to do something to get out of there.

How’d you get started?

When I started at my security job, I had already had a small fashion insta-boutique and knew deep down within that I wanted to do something bigger and better. I would post some designer things I would find on Poshmark and before I knew it, people were asking me to find things for them. I made everyrequest a mission, calling stores from here to Australia, to find the things they needed and see how I would get them here.

What exactly does a personal shopper do?

A personal shopper is someone who does shopping at the request of their clients. You could do blind personal shopping, which would essentially be “styling”; using your client’s style to do a shopping run within their budget, or directed shopping, where a client is in search of a particular item or two.

How long did it take from the time you started your business, to actually begin to get celebrity clientele?

Wow. Within about four months? I remember I was up very late one night connecting with some overseas clients (Its always 3 pm somewhere) and Tamar Braxton posted that she was in search of a particular shoe. A lot of my followers had been tagging me under her page but I didn’t think she would notice! About a week later I saw she commented on a post of mine and had inquired for a purchase. Major surprise!


Tamar Braxton at the BET Awards wearing Christian Louboutin Body Strass

Who is your inspiration?

Firstly, none other than Mrs. Nene Leakes! I adore her forwardness, her bubbly personality, her steadfast desire to tackle her dreams and how she has taken life by the horns. Also proud to call her my client! Secondly, my friend, who I respectively refer to as my Aunt, Camille! She’s so gracious, so positive, so classy, and so stylish. I love them.


Nene Leakes on the set of Fashion Police, wearing Giuseppe Zanotti Cruel Summer Sandals in Shooting Argento

Who are some of the celebrities you have worked with?

I’ve had the absolute pleasure of working with Tami Roman, Erica Mena, Rosa Acosta, India Love, Nene Leakes and Tamar Braxton. Having their support means everything.

What do you find the most challenging in your line of work?

Well…. Getting clients to pay their invoices in a timely manner. I really hate when things are available when they inquire but sell before they make payment. My heart hurts for them a little bit when it happens.

Where do you aim to be in the next 5 years?

To be honest, I really want to develop an app that I can grow to be worth millions. It’s not unrealistic, but if it doesn’t happen, I would love to have a highly-esteemed position in the New York fashion industry.

Describe yourself in 3 words?

Stylish. Feminine. Spiritual.

Do you see yourself having your own TV show?

Uhhhh. I’m veryyyy camera shy, so probably not lol. Not one for just myself, at least. I wouldn’t mind making a cameo on someone else’s show but I cant say I love being the center of attention.


Tami Roman in Christian Louboutin So Kates in Striped Pony hair

What advice do you have for anyone trying to become a personal shopper?

If that is what you want to be apart of your destiny, then you must wake up and put your best foot forward like it already is. If you know you want to be a shopper, you must be willing to put effort into building that brand. I sometimes wouldn’t make it to sleep until 3 or 4 in the morning to make sure my international clients were well taken care of. That’s the sacrifice I had to make to become an internationally present brand. I still have some ways to go but every sleepless minute has proven worth it. Walk in your destiny.