Retailer Profile: Pink Olive, Brooklyn
It would be easy to assume that opening a gift shop had been founder Grace Kang’s plan all along, since the idea of giving thoughtful gifts comes so naturally to her. “The truth is, I never thought I would leave my job as a successful fashion buyer for Bloomingdales, Saks and Barney’s,” she said. But to move out of fashion and realize her true passion, Kang had to step outside her comfort zone. What she found is a love of inspiring people to give and create a beautiful living.
Since the opening of its first shop in East Village 10 years ago, Pink Olive has expanded to include four additional retail locations in West Village, Williamsburg, Park Slope and its newest in the upstate New York town of Cold Spring. “I opened Pink Olive because I’ve always loved the idea of giving (and getting!) gifts from someone special,” said Kang. “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.”
Pink Olive carries an eclectic mix of thoughtful items that its curated from local designers, including everything from stationery and artwork to baby gifts and DIY books. “I love supporting local designers,” said Kang. “Additionally, I have a great passion for working with emerging designers and draw inspirations from all around the world.”
Not only does Pink Olive work with local and emerging designers, but it also supports local shopping by doing a lot of cross-promotion with other complementary local businesses to help bring customers to each of the other shops. The shop has partnered with cafés, restaurants, vintage shops and other boutiques in the neighborhood. “It’s not only a great way to draw in new business, but also to develop meaningful relationships with our neighbors,” Kang said.
Various holidays are important for Pink Olive. Specifically, the days leading up to Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day are the busiest at each location. But it’s all about celebrating the little things in the everyday. Kang’s staff helps customers find those perfect last-minute gifts whether for a holiday or just because.