Maria Viader, founder of London Shopping Tours, shares her lifelong passion for fashion. With her early career beginning as a personal shopper in Harvey Nichols' private personal shopping suite, Maria has honed her expertise over the years. In this interview, she provides insights into the unique experiences she offers guests and what being a personal shopper means to her.

What inspired you to start London Shopping Tours, and what do you enjoy most about running this business?

I've always admired well-dressed individuals and love helping others look their best. Starting my own shopping and styling business was a dream come true. The most enjoyable part of my job is meeting new people and helping my clients feel and look stylish. I also enjoy shopping for special items and exploring beautiful boutiques. My job is my passion, and making my clients happy through style and shopping is my main goal. Over my career, more than 3,000 clients have trusted me, which brings me immense joy.

Could you describe some of the most popular tours you offer and what unique experiences they provide to participants?

The Classic Shopping Tour covers the heart of London and is one of our most popular options. We explore the shops on some of London’s most exclusive streets around the Oxford Street area. This tour also offers insights into neighbouring areas such as Piccadilly and Marylebone. Highlights include Carnaby Street, known for its high street brands, and the nearby Soho area with its charming smaller shops.

The Chelsea Shopping Tour is full of charm and character. This tour takes us through the beautiful streets of Chelsea, where we can visit some of the exclusive shops and department stores the area boasts. We explore the shops on Kings Road, as well as the many little squares and surrounding streets, like Sloane Street and Walton Street. Chelsea is renowned not only for its designer brands but also for its beautiful, small, independent boutiques offering a variety of unique items.

The Exclusive Shopping Tour is tailored to the client’s preferences; it offers a glamorous and exciting shopping experience. Specialising in luxury goods such as fashion, watches, and perfumes, I can organise specific tours based on these high-demand items. As a professional stylist, I will guide you to the best shops and shopping areas of London, offering advice that suits your lifestyle and budget. London Exclusive is all about experiencing shopping in the city with style. Let us know what you fancy, and we will ensure it happens.

How do you select the shopping destinations included in your tours, and what criteria do you use to ensure a great experience for your clients?

I use a questionnaire to get to know the client before we shop together, helping to prepare for the shopping experience. Each tour covers a different area of London, and I select the shops based on the client's specifications and shopping needs. We shop for anything from English brands and high-street labels to vintage and international designer brands. London’s diverse array of shops and unique boutiques ensures there is something for everyone.

Have you noticed any emerging trends or shifts in shopping habits among tourists in London over the past few years?

English-made brands have become increasingly popular, with many clients seeking out English designers and vintage items. There is a growing interest in clothes and accessories that are hard to find outside the UK, as well as boutiques known only to locals. Clients are drawn to unique items and the history behind the brands.

Can you share a memorable experience or a piece of feedback from a customer that highlights what makes your tours special?

Clients consistently appreciate my energy and passion, making them feel comfortable spending hours shopping with me. Most shopping tour requests come from couples, mothers and daughters, or families.

One memorable experience was with a couple from Texas seeking a quintessentially British shopping trip. We visited the newly opened Burberry flagship store on Bond Street, enjoying the VIP area with privacy, clothing alterations, and refreshments. We later continued to Harrods for more shopping. The couple initially booked for four hours, but they extended the tour to eight hours because they enjoyed it so much. Time flies when you’re having fun!

Every shopping tour is special, with each client bringing a unique touch. Clients particularly love discovering local and off-the-beaten-path shops.

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For more information and availability on Maria's London Shopping Tours, visit the link below.