Giving tips on how to save your dollars has turned shopping guru Kathy Sheeran into a household name, as Jane Igoe discovers.
The creator of website Shopping Confessions, Kathy Sheeran, approaches her shopping obsession in a bubbly, no-nonsense, down to earth manner and over the past 12 months, she has quicky forged a popular niche on primetime television, print media and online.
Two years ago, the Northern Beaches local was working as a finance broker, and she says her transition from broker to shopping guru has taken "everyone by surprise".
Ms Sheeran has risen to assume the mantle of 'online shopping expert' with her website www.shoppingconfessions.com.au, which provides readers with information about shopping online - the best buys, the best sites from around the world, and tips on how to shop on the internet. "When I launched my website, A Current Affair aired a feature story on my collection of shoes - which number about 300," she tells Peninsula Living.
"After the show, I got a call from my shocked dad asking, 'Are they seriously all your shoes, Kathy?' - it was a funny moment," she recalls.
She now plans to put all the shoes up for auction and give the money to charity, which will no doubt please her father.
"Apart from shopping, my great passion is my family. Fame has been good but we all sit and have a laugh and don't take things to seriously - I really do have great support from them," she smiles.
Ms Sheeran has made appearances on morning television with her own segment called, 'Bag a Bargain' on The Morning Show, and has her now hugely popular weekly column and blog for The Daily Telegraph, called Shop SMART.
"There are so many areas of your life where dollars can be saved," she says. "The trick to getting value for money is in the research you do and really being informed. I'm thrilled to be able to share all my shopping experiences and money saving ideas, whatever you are looking for," she confirms.
She has travelled extensively overseas, she says, and each time when she has come back to Australia with her overseas purchases, she's asked in the street, "Where did you get that?" "I started discussing the concept of an online shopping site with my husband and the idea took shape with a media release. The next thing I knew Channel 7 asked me to come and do some live television. I went in and it was fun - and I really didn't know what they thought until they called me up to say 'come in again'."
Kathy Sheeran's column in the Sunday Telegraph is now one of the most widely read in the newspaper. "I guess the main message that I want to give my readers is that you don't have to pay full price anymore for products."
With 60 per cent of people now saying they shop online for price and convenience, Ms Sheeran is committed to bringing the best buys and value to her adoring public.
"I guess I do miss the days of going shopping with my girlfriends but now i'm lucky enough to have parcels that arrive everyday. Who doesn't love to shop? It's a girl's dream," she smiles.