Archives for January 2016


Want to know my secret recipe for getting more orders?


Happy Monday!

Are you still wondering how to get your product into retail stores or turn your creative product idea into a sustainable business?  This is not an easy task but one that can be learned — it’s a process of understanding the basic tools to honing assortments, maximizing sales opportunities, and understanding buyers’ open-to-buy system.

In all my years in retail, I can tell you there is no shortcut around the crucial steps for getting your product retail ready, but I believe in making things simple. What I am about to share with you is a brief introduction to my secret recipe to get a piece of the buyer’s Open-to-Buy (OBT). Are you ready?

1) Eat your veggies (the absolute must do things that you can’t survive without):

  • Do your homework! – Visit the store you want to be in (or at least check out their website) and see what their assortment is like before contacting the buyer. You’d be amazed how many people skip this simple step.
  • Share your story – Buyers want to connect with the person behind the brand and hear their story. Or else, it’s just another product.
  • Professional looking website & email – The first thing a buyer will do when he/she hears about a line is google their website. Make sure that your website is professionally put together, reflects your style and easy to navigate. Your presence on the web will show the buyer that you take your business seriously and ready for the next step. It’s also a great way for buyers to “preview” your collection before meeting with you. 
Also, no janky emails!
  • Have a linesheet – Buyers are inundated with product submissions every day. Stand out from the crowd by having a linesheet that has all the necessary components that buyers need to write a purchase order: product shot, style number, wholesale cost, suggested retail and delivery. If you have a clothing line, it helps to have a lookbook as well as a linesheet.
  • Know your competition – It helps to know who your competition is so that you can be competitive with what’s already out there, speak confidently about what makes your line different, and how it fills a void in the market.

2) Add a little sugar (the extra little things designers can do to sweeten the deal when trying to get in stores)

  • Send samples – Depending on the nature of your product, you can send product samples for the buyers to try. Top buyers like to see products in person so that they can see how the product feels in their hands and on retail shelves.
  • Give an incentive – With the nature of the current economy, every dollar helps the margin. Give a 10% discount for new accounts or free shipping with an opening order. This is the kind of incentive that might push a buyer from a “maybe” to a “yes!”
  • Be open to do consignment – This is a great way for stores to “test” your line without having to commit to buying the inventory upfront. It can be mutually beneficial if you’re starting out because it gives you an opportunity to sell your product in the store (that you want to be in) while gaining feedback and exposure.

3) Create a buzz (ways for designers to garner interest with public)

  • Stores want to know that you are doing your part in getting the word out about your line. The secret that many designers may not know is that buyers are looking for new vendors as much as you’re looking to be in stores. You need to get out there with your product line to increase their chances of getting picked up by a store or media.
  • Participate in local craft fairs and flea markets (ones that are relevant to your business). It is imperative for designers to get direct customer feedback on their line so that you can share this information with potential store buyers.
  • Use social media outlets to create your own posse – Be relevant to your customers and engage with them for feedback and support. Create a Facebook/twitter/instagram accounts and use them as if you are networking at a cocktail party.
  • Pitch to editors and bloggers to obtain press mentions – Customers, as well as stores, love press mentions. Post them on your website and have tear sheets to show to prospective stores.

Do you have a success story you want to share with others? I would love to hear your story, comment below.



Grace Kang
Your Retail Product Mentor


P.S. If you are looking to shake things up and propel your business to the next level,  be sure to check your inbox next week. I will be sharing something that has helped me to grow my little empire to unexpected heights and you can do the same! :) See you then. xoxo


What if …

Happy Monday!

We all wonder what it would be like “if” we could take our business to that next level. We search high and low for that big “A-ha” moment in our business and start daydreaming. Well, I hate to burst your bubble of the ever-thinking idea of, “If I made ____, my life will be perfect!” Or, “If I get that big investor, everything will be good.” Or, “If I get that order from Bloomingdale’s, my business will be set.” As much as it’s good to think BIG for your business, (trust me, I’m a big vision person too) you also need to start breaking down those BIG goals into real bite-size action plans. If you have a BIG goal, how can you make them happen?

Someone wise once told me that your BIG breakthrough is already in your business, right under your nose. Start combing through your business and look under those rocks — you would be surprised to see that your biggest opportunity has been sitting all along.

Here are a few places to start:

  • Do you have a blog interview request in your inbox that can lead to new connections and potential sales?
  • Do you need to increase your prices?
  • Does your website need a makeover but you haven’t given the green light?
  • Do you have a networking opportunity coming up that you are not sure about going?
  • Do you need an assistant but have not put up that ad on craigslist yet?
  • Is there a coach that you wanted to work with but haven’t made up your mind?
  • Is there a store around the corner that you want to approach but haven’t?
  • Is there a win-win partnership idea that has been brewing in your mind but haven’t approached them about it yet?

Who knew that YOU are the “what if” that you have been waiting for?

Make a list of 8 things that you haven’t acted on and let’s turn your plan into action.

Here’s to creating a business you love!







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. Let us know your comments below.


What do you want to create?

Whenever the New Year or new season rolls around, everyone gets wrapped with new goals and resolutions. While most people confine them to their personal lives, why not apply the same idea to your business life as well?

Before you go setting your big goals, let’s think about what you want your life to look like when you achieve those goals. What kind of life you want to create? Big goals don’t mean anything if they don’t work well together.

I’m a huge believer that you need to not only think about and write down your goals but also talk about them. So, right here, right now, write down three big goals you’re setting for this year, and share it with three people! Don’t worry about the “how” right now. Today, just focus on the big picture.

After you’re done writing your big goals, write down what it would mean if you were to achieve these goals (i.e., healthier life, spend more time with the family, make more money, live with passion and purpose, increase product exposure, etc.). Really think about these answers. You may discover some new things about yourself!

Here are 3 of my goals for Pink Olive to get out there in a big way this year:

1. Doing less but better
2. Simplify our offerings and create more synergy between our three brands: Pink Olive, OliveBox and Pink Olive School
3. Spread our message of “celebrating the little things and relaxed happiness” via our #dailydoseofwhimsy campaign

By achieving these goals, I’ll add more value to my customers and create a place that truly inspires giving and beautiful living. When people feel inspired, there is no limit. When you live a life with purpose, you’ll be handsomely rewarded for it in your personal life. I truly believe that… For me, that means more time with my family and friends and creating a beautiful home with my husband.

What about you? Once you get to the heart of your goals, you’ll be able to begin tackling them in a more successful way. The more passionate you are about each goal, the more likely you are to make it a reality! Don’t forget to reward yourself along the way. Self-care is the most important goal of them all!

So what do you want to create this year? Leave a comment here and let me know.

Here’s to a great week!





Prepping the stage for 2016

As creative entrepreneurs, we are always on the go, with pages of daily to-do lists and projects. Setting aside some quiet time for planning prepping the stage for 2016 will make all the difference and help simplify your life.

First things first, get in the habit of doing a “brain dump.” There’s something very powerful about writing things down, putting your thoughts onto a piece of paper. Practicing this on a daily basis that will give you the clarity and focus you need to grow your business.

So let’s do this. Take out a piece of paper, and write down everything you want to accomplish this week. If you start to get overwhelmed looking at your list and wondering what you need to do next, ask yourself this – “What is going to get you closer to your goal this month?” And then do that first.

We all have the same amount of time in a day, it’s how we choose to use it on the most important things that will make all the difference this year. For more resources and tips, check out the Retail Recipes e-workbook & DIY kit and learn how you can create a business you love with more ease and have fun.

Here’s to your success!