Skip to main content

Already overwhelmed by your holiday to-do list? There's an app for that. Caitlin Agnew logs onto virtual concierge services

As we increasingly find ourselves feeling time poor, with not enough hours in the day to get everything done, virtual concierges are popping up to help with everything from gift shopping to finding a new outfit for a holiday party. These stylist-driven services will even select outfits to wear on a regular basis, eliminating trips to the mall or hours spent clicking through e-commerce sites.

Clothing subscription services are popping up online, including Alberta's Frock Box– which includes Canadian designers in its deliveries – and New York's Dailylook. These companies periodically send subscribers a complete outfit based on their style profile, and anything users don't want to keep is returned free of charge, offering both a wardrobe surprise and freeing up time that would otherwise be spent shopping.

Story continues below advertisement

Based in Toronto, Handled is a new online personal shopping site that offers purchasing, delivery, returns and alterations for clothing, accessories and gifts. A former executive in the tech industry, CEO Shira Yoskovitch founded Handled in June to address the gap between the retail and the concierge markets. "Handled is really a company that's born, frankly, out of my own experience and out of the experience of my friends of just going, 'I'm trying to take care of my job, I'm trying to take care of my life, I'm trying to take care of family and I don't have five minutes to get all this done,'" she says. Yoskovitch describes Handled as a way to outsource your personal life. "The busier I would get, the longer my to-do list would get and the less able I was to find people to not only help me, but get it done how I would."

Handled promises to help with those to-do list items, like picking up turtlenecks for a child's skiing trip, and goes beyond to get to know the lifestyles and preferences of their clients. "Handlers" will complete wardrobe consultations, including purging, decluttering and evaluating what works and what doesn't, and styling services. "It's about giving folks access to things that maybe they didn't know that they could ask for," says Yoskovitch, adding that building a relationship is a key component of her business model. As for fees, Handled charges 20 per cent of the value of items purchased, a number that decreases with a higher frequency of orders. "This is about having a service that people can access to take pain out of their day."

For 2018, Handled is expanding into travel concierge services as well as working on artificial intelligence and virtual reality capabilities for its website. For now, Yoskovitch and her team are gearing up for the madness of the holiday season. "We all have those days when you just need someone to help you and be in your corner," says Yoskovitch. "Then you can focus on the stuff that makes you happy."

THIS WEEK'S STYLE HAPPENINGS

  • Illustrator and Globe Style contributor Alanna Cavanagh is showing her work at Toronto’s Jet Fuel Café. On until the end of November. Go Big or Go Home showcases her colourful illustrations of fashionable items. For more information, visit www.alannacavanagh.com.
  • The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts has announced that it is producing the first ever exhibition on French designer Thierry Mugler. Opening in 2019, the retrospective will include more than 130 of his outfits, examining his work as a couturier, director, photographer and perfumer. For more information, visit www.mbam.qc.ca.
  • Two new labels have launched this week. Toronto jeweller Myles Mindham has created an array of everyday wear jewellery pieces that will be available at Hazelton by Mindham Fine Jewellery, a pop-up boutique in Yorkville Village open until Dec. 24. And online shopping site Mr Porter has debuted its own in-house label, Mr P. Focusing on core styles, the line will also offer limited-edition capsule colletions each year.
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • All comments will be reviewed by one or more moderators before being posted to the site. This should only take a few moments.
  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed. Commenters who repeatedly violate community guidelines may be suspended, causing them to temporarily lose their ability to engage with comments.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.
Cannabis pro newsletter