Meet Retail Expert Grace Kang

“I never knew there was such a thing as a retail buyer!”

In fact, I always thought I would be a fashion designer. As a small child, I was fascinated with everything from fashion to stationery and wanted to create a line of my own.

During the summer of my junior year in high school, I decided to take on a summer job as a sales associate at the GAP and it was truly an eye-opening experience. I had the opportunity to learn the process of how products come to life in the retail marketplace and what makes people buy. I enjoyed every minute of it! When I was ready to apply to college, I was asked to write an essay about a business person who inspired me, and I ended up writing a children’s book about Mickey Drexler, who was the CEO of the Gap at the time (he’s now at J.Crew).  I got accepted to Cornell. I started off in their Textiles & Apparel Design program but ended up graduating with a Business Management and Marketing degree. My love for design and creativity didn’t change but I was determined to learn everything there was to know about running a business. I had no idea at that time the extent of how this one decision would tremendously impact my success as a retail buyer in collaborating with emerging designers to grow their businesses.

After college, I got accepted into the Bloomingdale’s Buying Training Program, and I guess you can say the rest is history.  I never knew that there was such a thing as a buying office or people who were “buyers.” Being part of this extensive training program opened up another side of the retail business that I had no idea existed.

Since the day I became an assistant buyer for Bloomingdale’s, I have been a sponge. I was determined to learn everything there was to know about the “business” side of how products came to life and catered to the needs of the customer. I learned that buying the right product at the right time is an art and a science. Over the years, I worked my way up the ladder and became a successful buyer for Bloomingdale’s, Saks and Barney’s, and operated multimillion-dollar business.

From when I was a little girl, I always knew I would have my own business, and that day came in 2007 when I opened up my first retail boutique in NYC. I now operate two specialty stores in NYC called Pink Olive where I’ve been able to turn my love and passion for retail into a successful business. Pink Olive was voted Best Gift Store in 2011 by Village Voice New York and Best Children’s Clothing and Toys in 2009 by Best of Citysearch New York! In 2012, I launched OliveBox, a monthly subscription service for paper lovers, to expand upon my mission.

What I’ve discovered through all my experiences in working with designers is my unique ability to help and nurture emerging designers how to figure out that BIG opportunity that will take their business to unexpected levels.

So the journey begins…

Are you still wondering how to get your product into retail stores or turn your creative product idea into a sustainable business? Don’t play the guessing game of wondering what retail buyers are looking for. As someone who has been on the “other side,” I can help you save time and money and guide you every step of the way. It’s time to work “on” your business and not “in” your business and together, we can make it happen!

Please be sure to check out my FAQ page and let me know how I can help. Here’s to your retail success!! xoxo