“I have been working with Grace Kang for over a decade now in several different capacities. The experience and knowledge that she brings to table from several different aspects of the fashion and retail industry are invaluable. She has an intimate, all-inclusive, full-circle understanding of what it takes to be a successful retailer. Grace Kang’s insight as a buyer for high volume prestigious businesses has also directly impacted our business on a wholesale level. She operates with the high professional integrity of the big business world, with the kind approach and patience of the small business community. She is a great attribute as a consultant. “
-CEO, REBECCA TAYLOR, Beth Bugdaycay
“In business, I always hear people talking about connecting the dots, the power of networking and you need to see the forest for the trees, you know, things like that. However, running your own business leaves absolutely no time (or extra strength) to even see a dot, or a tree for that matter, let alone get on with connecting, networking or anything of the like. There are not enough hours in the day to accomplish the simplest tasks let alone plan a path. When Grace Kang walks through your door for the first time you feel as though a long lost piece to your life’s puzzle just arrived. Really, her presence alone starts to make you feel like there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Just start talking with her and you feel like she has been looking over your shoulder all along. She knows what we’re going through and she has such keen insights on where we need to be going next. I don’t know how to put a price on that but the words invaluable and priceless are on the tip of my tongue.”
-DESIGNER, ELLIOT MANN, Louise Paul
“Grace Kang knows exactly what retail buyers are looking for, and she can help you to get your brand retail-ready for the marketplace. She consulted with me and suggested that I change my packaging for Om Aroma; after I followed her advice, our sales nearly doubled! To this day, I credit her for helping me to break through to the next level of packaging for my skincare brand. This is the power behind Grace’s flair for all things retail!”
-CEO & FOUNDER, OM AROMA & CO, Angela Jia Kim
“Grace’s knowledge and advice about the necessary elements in starting a business are invaluable to any new business owner. Her insight on marketing and branding about my specific product was incredibly helpful in deciding on next steps to take with my business.”
OWNER, LINDIE & FRIENDS/CRAFTY KIDS, Kara Lesondak
“I took advantage of Grace’s initial offer of a one-hour consulting session with her new business retailrecipes.com. Grace actually spent 90 minutes with me and I came away from that session with several very practical ways to improve my product: I changed the tie on my hangtag to synthetic raffia ribbon to natural twine; I created names for my bags and taglines that are central to my marketing strategy; and on the train back to CT drafted a new outline for my website. Based on the success of our first meeting, I hired Grace to coach me in further developing my new website and creating a multi-tier retail strategy for my brand. Grace’s many years as a buyer and retail store owner make her the perfect coach for anyone launching a new product. She knows what buyers/store owners want to see from new lines and advises on how to shape your product and marketing to meet those needs. We still have two sessions to go and I am looking forward to what additional pearls of wisdom Grace will reveal… she’s a gem!
-DESIGNER & FOUNDER, SHARP HILL DESIGNS, Catherine Woodman
“It was so nice to speak with Grace for our “Critique my Line” session and actually put a voice to the emails! Just in that session alone, I learned so much that I will definitely put into use going forward. I made sure to take diligent notes on all of her advice! It was so great to get an outside perspective on my brand and letterpress cards. Sometimes you get so involved and engrossed in your product that it’s hard to separate yourself from it and see it from the buyer’s perspective. I definitely will be heeding Grace’s advice on the # of cards in my packages (and labeling them as such!) as well as paying closer attention to the sizing of my cards for the various designs. I truly appreciate all of her advice! Thank you!”
-DESIGNER & FOUNDER, Paper-Lovely, Kim Burks
” It was a delightful experience working with Grace Kang. Her easy approach in communicating a simple recipe to retail success helped elevate TANE organics’ business to the next level. With Grace’s extensive background in retail, she was able to explain and guide the importance of having a clear and profitable business strategy and plan.
While TANE organics’ success in Great Design was well established, her ability to examine the various business opportunities assisted in the continuation of developing a strong business and marketing platform. As a business owner, Grace knows exactly what is needed for a successful sale of a stellar brand. Her authentic integrity, her easy mannerism, and sincere but direct approach, very quickly contributed to visible successful results. Her patience and enthusiasm, with her professional background and industry insight was invaluable as TANE organics reaches its next level.
Grace truly understands the importance of Great Design while developing a Profitable and Successful Business. “
“Grace is brilliant! I’m so happy to have had the chance to take advantage of her expertise. Grace’s ability to categorize my products in mere seconds gave me a better & smarter way of marketing them.It was simply genius. Grace is an entrepreneur’s dream because she took the guesswork out of the process & left me with a solid plan. Her ability to focus on picking out the strongest parts of my brand and explaining how I could better showcase them was a huge benefit to me. I feel 100% more confident as I pitch to the stores and have completely changed my approach because of her direction. Thank you for everything!”
-DESIGNER & FOUNDER, She’s Got Paper, Tanea Smith
“Sometimes I am so caught up in trying to juggle all the aspects of my business that I don’t realize some of the most essential areas that need help. Grace helped me see and realize some very important elements of my brand that were necessary for me to stop ignoring and start working on. Within 60 minutes of speaking with Grace I had a mission list of 5 different areas of my brand that I was going to change. Her one hour consultation was so very informative as well as motivating for me that I had to hire Grace for more! All of Grace’s mentoring, advise, references, and support have been invaluable. I always looked forward to our private sessions together to learn how to position my brand in the retail marketplace. Thank you for being my coach. Jusani Culture is on it’s way and I hope it will help save many lives!
-FOUNDER, Jusani Culture, Melissa Salinas
“I learned so much in Grace Kang’s Retail Recipes 2 hour workshop on how to get your products retail ready. She gave us a checklist which made me see clearly the missing pieces and why I’m not retail ready yet! I knew right away that I needed to sign up for her retail coaching/consulting package. Grace is the missing link who can help me resolve many of the issues I am currently facing, help get my business to the next level and my products into the stores. I’m very excited to start working with Grace!”
-FOUNDER, Divine DZigns, Rekha Krishnamurthi
“I was fortunate to find Grace on a wonderful community blog. I signed up for her 2-hour teleseminar on how to prepare your brand and products for the retail world. I went away with an abundance of helpful and practical tips that I have already started implementing. The wealth of information Grace shared from her extensive experience as a buyer and retailer definitely answered many of the questions I have been asking for years. Grace graciously offers her time and talents to help emerging and established designers/business owners alike succeed and for that I am truly grateful.”
-DESIGNER, DESIGNS BY YU, Virginia Yu
“Grace is very thorough. Within the first 10 minutes of assessing my website, she pointed out several changes I needed to make to increase traffic and membership. I must say, it’s working. She knows the ins and outs of getting your product and branding message ready for retailers. In talking to her, she also forced me to look at my product from a retailers prospective as apposed to my own. Truly the knowledge and insight she possesses is amazing and is worth my time. I look forward to her continued mentorship and advice to help my business grow and meet its full potential.”
-FOUNDER, Dixie Bits, Dixie Lincoln-Nichols
“Truly an amazing VIP day today! Great info, advice, suggestions and ideas. I got so much just in one day together. I can’t wait for more! I’m going to start implementing now. Thanks again.”
-FOUNDER, CECILIA WONG SKINCARE, Cecilia Wong
“I have worked with a lot of mentors in my day but working with Grace was truly eye-opening. Our private one-on-one call focused in on my business shortcomings. It is great to get a fresh perspective! She pointed out things that I would have never realized on my own. I look forward to working with her again real soon.”
-DESIGNER, PINCURL GIRLS, Jen Landis
“Working with Grace has been an amazing experience. In our very first session alone, she’s tackled a lot of the questions I’ve been needing answers to. Every session with Grace gets you excited & motivated about your business.
Wearing all hats for my own business can be overwhelming. Grace helps you in the right direction, and help you find balance.
The knowledge that she offers is invaluable – these are the things I may have not figured out on my own, or probably would have taken a while to figure out. It has truly been a pleasure working with Grace.”
-DESIGNER AND FOUNDER, Justine Cajanding
“The retail recipes e-workbook is a must read for any creative enterprise. As someone who can spend hours drawing and sewing, I realized that spending time on the business side is just as important, especially when approaching buyers and clients. Grace’s book and critique has taught me so much about creating a cohesive brand and vision. I read a new chapter and it gives me a new goal to work towards.”
-ARTIST, EDUCATOR, and DESIGNER, Christina Soriano
“This is a totally unsolicited heartfelt shout out to Grace Kang, with whom I just completed the 6 month Rock Star Designer Mentorship program. I found Grace through these forums, and she was exactly the coach I needed - in terms of expertise and personality. In the 6 months that I worked with Grace, she provided me with invaluable feedback on my business, and areas where I needed to improve, and also gave me great insight into the whole world of buyers, especially the department store ones. She even recommended me to some of her old colleagues. I still have a ton of work to do, but when I look back at where I was at even 6 months ago to now, I know I’ve made some great strides and improvements. Thank you so much Grace – you are such a pleasure – and also a wonderful friend!”-DESIGNER AND FOUNDER, Catherine Choi
“Before working with Grace earlier this year, Ana Apple had been experiencing significant growth, but I was feeling a bit scattered and overwhelmed. The demand for my products was increasing and I was having a difficult time keeping up since I was still a one-woman operation. I also had a ton of ideas on where my line could go next, but was uncertain on what the best strategy would be. I knew that having a mentor as experienced and passionate as Grace would be the way to get more clarity on what my unique strengths are, where I should focus my time + money, and receive the first-hand guidance that I really needed.
Throughout our 6-month program, Grace pushed me beyond my comfort zone, and I am so grateful for it! From our very first session, she dug in with an extensive critique of my current product line, branding and pricing structure, offering constructive tips on what could be improved to move my brand up to the next level. She encouraged me to raise my prices to position myself in a more appropriate market for my work. During our entire term, Grace also helped develop my newest project, Little Eco-Hero Sets, which is launching with a Kickstarter campaign this week, and we set goals for the holiday season and projections for 2013.
Our one-day session was absolutely wonderful. Grace gave me worksheets to complete that helped with refining my niche and brainstorming out of the box ways to get in front of my ideal audience. I loved having complete access to ask questions and present my ideas to her directly. She even sent me home with an extensive list of retail stores, media contacts, blog topic ideas, and sales representatives. At the end of the day, I felt as if a huge weight had been lifted and I couldn’t wait to get back to my studio to implement all of the plans we laid out.
Not only did I receive help with the nitty-gritty of the retail industry, we talked a lot about issues with confidence that were keeping me from taking big leaps with my business. I have no shortage of inspiration, and in fact have a big vision of one day establishing a creative-based mentoring program and studio space for children. Grace helped me see that with Ana Apple, I am creating a platform in order to build resources + experience so that I can make my big dream a reality. She reminded me that taking risks are what get me closer to my goals.
I wholeheartedly recommend Retail Recipes if you are looking to develop your brand and take the next big leap with faith under the guidance of an experienced and caring mentor. Just as Grace helped me realize, you have been given a unique gift that you are meant to share with the world. Invest in yourself and your talents!”
-DESIGNER AND FOUNDER, Ana Manzano