Archives for June 2011


a NEW way to consign that is win-win!

retail recipes

When you think of the word consignment, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Perhaps a thrift or second hand store? Or maybe it’s an image of someone plopping down a pile of “stuff” on a counter and leaving the rest of the process in the shopkeeper’s hands? Either one would hold to be true according to a your typical idea of selling on consignment. There is usually very little interaction between consignor and consignee and not a lot of care on the part of the retailer.

As the Founder & Chief Buyer for Pink Olive, I have taken this idea of consignment and turned it inside out! While applying the general principles of selling on consignment, we took it up a notch by creating a program that is mutually beneficial for both parties involved.  Our team keeps everyone involved in the process from start to finish.  We assort and merchandise the collection that is visually stimulating and inspiring…. even the designer would approve! In essence, we become their headquarters in NYC! :)

Here’s how we do it:

1. Similar to placing a regular “buy” from a vendor, we work very closely with designer/artist to select work we think would be most successful on our shelves.

2. We give feedback on everything from product development to marketing… and even pitch to our press contacts.  We have been very successful in getting our consignment designers on DailyCandy, the TODAY show, TimeOut, Instyle and more.

3. At the end of each month, we supply our consignee with a full report on what sold and what didn’t, along with ideas on how to increase sales.

Every product that we place in the shop was chosen for a reason.  We want to peak the curiosity of every person who walk through our doors to inspire giving and beautiful living.  We wouldn’t be accomplish our mission without all the new and emerging designers out there.  We love to reciprocate that love by providing the kind of information and feedback that is invaluable for new companies or those wishing to grow their business.  On the other hand, we also benefit by not “owning” the inventory and being able to show a wide variety of unique, local and handmade merchandise. It’s a win-win in my book!

So here is your assignment for this week.

Choose 3 to 5 stores from last week’s assignment and pitch to them about starting out on consignment  Talk to them abou the benefits of what they will be getting from your brand and what kind of information/feedback you would like to receive to make this mutually beneficial.  When you stress the importance of a “win-win” relationship, retailers will have no choice but to say YES.

Here’s to making your product retail ready!


Grace Kang
Your Retail Product Mentor

p.s. A BIG, warm welcome to all of the new readers who joined our community! You are going to love the resources you will find here to help you make your product retail-ready… Enjoy!


5 Steps to WOO a Retail Buyer!

WOOing a retail buyer is just like DATING.

Think back to the time when you were interested in someone or dating. Did you spend some quality time to get to know them and see what makes them tick? The same concept applies here when looking for the “right” retail partner. People get so hung up on the # of retail stores that they end up sending mass emails over the moon. This is not the right approach. Personalize your pitch and you will get a MUCH better response.

Here are 5 actionable steps for this week:

1. Make a list of 5-10 stores that fits your ideal store profile
2. Visit the stores in person. There is no excuse if the stores are in your area.
3. Go to their website. Check out their product assortment and the about us page.
4. Make a list of how your product can enhance their offerings, not duplicate what they already have. Space is always limited!
5. Create a personalized email and incorporate some of the points from #4. WOW them with an unexpected surprise (i.e. abundant samples, something you learned about the founder in the about us page..etc)

BONUS: Wait a few days… and follow up. {tip: Typically, Mondays and Fridays are usually not good days to speak to the buyer. Call on Tuesdays or Wednesdays to follow up.}

At Pink Olive, we get product submission emails every week. Designers who send us a personalized email, along with a retail packet, tend to get a faster response than those who do not. Just the other week, we got a generic mass email from a company who sold mens shoes. Clearly, they did not do their homework. When you hand-select the type of stores you want to be in, you also have a better chance for success (i.e. reorders). Take your time and research the companies before jumping right in. You certainly wouldn’t do that in a real relationship so why would you here? Make sure it’s the right fit for your brand too! :)

So take action now and report back your findings here.

Next week, we will uncover my secret in selling products on consignment that is WIN-WIN for everyone!


Do you want a mentor?

WOW, what a incredible week!  I had so much fun hanging with my mentor, Fabienne Fredrickson, and connecting with other entrepreneurs at the Mastermind Retreat this past week.  I walked away with so many tools to up-level my business and ways to clone myself- scary thought :)  My father always told me, “You got to work hard AND play hard” and that is exactly what I did.  On Monday night, we had a blast at the Beach Theme Party, sipping my favorite sea breeze drink and dancing all night long.  On Wednesday night, Fabienne and Derek hosted a beautiful Sunset Reception by the water for all the Plats.  It was the perfect combination of WORK and PLAY .  On Thursday, I jetted off to the airport with my husband to see my brother-in-law get married to a beautiful woman (i.e. my “new” sister-in-law) at the rustic Kellum Valley Farm in Georgia.  It was a beautiful ending to a rejuvenating week. 

I was reflecting on this past week and remembered a quote that I heard from my mentor,“Who you will be in 5 years is a direct result of the people you learn from and spend time with.” I have always been a SPONGE and know that life without learning is no fun at all.  This completely sums up my work ethic and how I have been able to grow multi-million dollar businesses in the corporate world and how I have been able to continually grow Pink Olive with double digit increases every month.  No matter what level of business you are at, it is so important to spend time with other highly successful people who want to see you grow.  I always challenge myself and my team to “think outside the box” and look for new ways to service our customers and make them happy.  I continue to push my clients and pass on concepts that will work well in their business.

Are you ready to stop making excuses and start up-leveling your business?  Whether you are just starting out or looking for ways to maximize your current business, you are in the right place. With my unique perspective, you will embrace your retail business with open arms and have FUN doing it.  Click here for more details.

Look forward to “meeting” you!


Grace Kang
Your Retail Product Mentor

p.s. A BIG, warm welcome to all of the new readers who joined our community! You are going to love the resources you will find here to help you make your product retail-ready… Enjoy!




RPS is KING…. PLUS, “new” site launches!

I bet you were thinking about Rock Paper Scissor right? :) That sounds like a lot of fun but I was actually referring to RPS – Regular Price Selling. When I was a buyer for Bloomingdale’s, my planner and I looked at the RPS report every single week. It was like our “Bible” in determining how we distributed our product buys to each of our store locations every single month. Why is this so important? Before we can dive into why your RPS is so important, let’s go over your sell-thru percentage.

1. Sell-Thru Percent
Sell-Thru Percent is the percentage of your inventory that you sell-thru each day/week/month..etc. Simple, right? Here is an example. If you sold 10 units last week of a product that you had 500 units in inventory at the beginning of the week, your weekly sell-thru percent is 2%. That’s not good!

To calculate your weekly sell thru %, follow this formula:

Sold Units / Beginning of week inventory = A
A x 100 = B%

I would say 8-12% (an average of 10% sell thru) is a good percentage to use as a barometer.

If you have an item that is considered “basic”, it can have a lower sell-thru of 5% and still be OK. By basic, I am referring to products that you want to be “in-stock” ALL the time. An example of these styles can be black and white t-shirt styles, basic style jeans, black pumps…etc. You just have to remember that your other “fashion” styles have to turn faster to balance out the sell-thru% for the total department.

On the other side, if you sell 10 units of a product that you only had 50 units of at the beginning of the week, your sell thru is at 20%! That’s a great sell-thru! It also means that you probably missed out on “some” business. As a buyer, I am constantly in a balancing act of “chasing my business” and being “in-stock.” The sell-thru model differs by category of business but this will give you a good idea. As a designer, it will be beneficial to partner with retailers who can share selling reports with you so that you are aware of what’s going on. You can be “on the ball” and can assist them in getting them more inventory when they are selling out (and vice versa) – it’s a win-win partnership!

2. Regular Price Selling (RPS)
So how does this affect your RPS? You want to be monitoring the sell-thru percent (as mentioned above) for your regular price merchandise. Let’s say that you had a high 30% sell thru last week, but if that all came from markdown selling it doesn’t really mean much in terms of growth opportunity. Buyers/Retailers want to grow businesses that they can sell thru at regular price. It’s as simple as that!

Are you monitoring your sell-thru % for your business? Here’s to maximizing missed opportunities and creating new ones!

On an exciting note, we just launched our “new” and improved site for Retail Recipes! If you haven’t already, go to and get your FREE checklist report – TOP 10 things you MUST do before approaching a retail buyer. When you are ready to start attracting more retail stores, contact me and we’ll set up a time to chat and see if I can help. If you know of someone who would benefit from this information, please feel free to share with them. It is my mission to equip emerging designers with the right tools to make their products retail-ready and create a desirable brand!


Grace Kang
Your Retail Product Mentor

p.s. A BIG, warm welcome to all of the new readers who joined our community! You are going to love the resources you will find here to help you make your product retail-ready… Enjoy!



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