Grace Kang never thought she would leave her job as a successful fashion buyer for Bloomingdale’s, Saks and Barney’s to open a gift shop, but that is exactly what she did. She had been named Bloomingdale’s “Buyer of the Year” and excelled in the fashion industry, but Grace had to step out of her comfort zone to realize her true passion: inspiring people to give and create a beautiful living.
She opened Pink Olive because she always loved the idea of giving (and getting!) gifts from someone special. Grace says, “There is something amazing that happens when you live your life in a place of appreciation and gratitude. Gift-giving becomes a gift in and of itself.”
Not Your Ordinary Gift Shop – Just Extraordinary!
Her first shop opened in New York City’s East Village in 2007, and she continues to expand, opening two shops in Brooklyn (in Park Slope and Williamsburg) before opening her fourth shop in Manhattan’s West Village last month. Grace’s mission: to discover creative finds that inspire giving and beautiful living.
Pink Olive is more than an ordinary gift shop. Top sellers at this whimsical boutique include pretty stationery and exclusive cards, but also thoughtful gifts for the home like candles and mugs. They also cater to the stylish auntie looking for baby clothes and books for a new niece or nephew. The store’s mission: To discover creative finds that inspire giving and beautiful living.
Instagram is one of their favorite platforms for promoting their stores since it’s so visual and whimsical. Grace says, “We love when people find us by word-of-mouth, too, and have their expectations exceeded once they step inside!”
Tourists are some of their favorite customers, and they love helping them find the perfect NYC-themed gifts and mementos to bring back home. As for the locals, there’s definitely a creative vibe–New Yorkers love to find products that feel as unique as they are.
you are loved.
One of Pink Olive’s slogans is “you are loved”. They use Nashville Wraps to hot stamp this onto white shopping bags in a fun gold metallic. Grace says these gift bags are a huge hit for people who want to wrap their purchased presents in a unique way. They also offer the gift bags for sale on their website.
Grace’s other mission is to mentor creative designers to do what they love. So she started the Pink Olive School – a mentorship program devoted to empowering creative designers and artists on how to make their product retail-ready to create a desirable brand. You can learn Grace’s tips in her book Retail Recipes.
In 2012 Grace launched her third venture OliveBox, a monthly subscription service for paper lovers. Pink Olive has been featured on The Today Show, New York Times, Forbes.com, InStyle, Huffington Post, Brides, Country Living, Oprah.com, and many more.