LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE, Calif. – Grocery delivery has increased during the coronavirus pandemic. Many would rather have their shopping done for them and brought right to their door. One local woman took advantage of this need and started her own personal shopping business through the app Dumpling.
Technology is helping a La Cañada Flintridge resident and entrepreneur start all over again. The pandemic shuttered Ann Drummond’s personal travel agency and she was left with nothing.
“I felt like the bottom was dropping out. Not only did I not have perspective clients to work with, all my clients that I had booked over the year for cruises had cancelled,” said Drummond.
The former travel agent needed a way to make money, so she took her sales experience and looked into gig work as a personal shopper, since the need for grocery delivery had increased. But certain apps made it difficult.
“You have a different client every shop. You are generally shopping for two clients at one time, so you don’t have full attention given to one list you are working from,” said Drummond.
Now she offers a personalized experience while shopping for one list. Drummond created her own business. She has a website and spread the word on social media. She facilitates it through the app Dumpling. It helps her organize her clients and complete the payment process, but that’s it. Drummond never thought she would be starting a new venture during the pandemic.
“I didn’t really think long and hard about it because it was a necessity. I needed to make money. I couldn’t afford to not be employed right now,” said Drummond.
The co-founder of Dumpling Joel Shapiro said cases like Drummond’s are common. He’s seen many more shoppers join who have recently lost their jobs and noticed 20 times more customers signing up once the pandemic started. Drummond already has 15 clients she shops for every week.
“It’s about nurturing relationships. It’s using those skills and transferring them to the personal lives and families in my community,” said Drummond.
That’s what the personal shopper loves most about what she does. She is helping those who are unable to shop on their own or may be afraid to leave their homes during COVID.
“It’s nice to know that I’m helping, not someone who just wants a personal service, but needs a personal service. I can go to Home Depot and get lumber. I can go to the nursery and pick up plants for you. I can do a variety of things,” said Drummond.
This is another way the community can support a local business, so she hopes to continue this even after the pandemic subsides.
“The travel agency is going to take years to recover, so I really would love to build my business up to a point where I didn’t need a second job and this could be my primary job,” said Drummond.
The app Dumpling is allowing anyone to create a new career in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, while fulfilling the growing need for the public.