Kadena Gift Corner / An Inside Look

Kadena Gift Corner.png

I’ve been shopping at the Kadena Gift Corner since moving to our little island of Okinawa. One of the things you quickly learn upon moving here is how limited your options are when it comes to outfitting your home. Coming from the states, we are so spoiled with stores like TJ Maxx, Home Goods, and Target - and how easily everything will ship right to your front door. This is definitely not the case while living overseas. Though there are some local stores out in town that could easily get you by with your home needs, I think the Kadena Gift Corner offers something very special that most places don’t.

Here is a first look at their most current Bali shipment, opening for the public tomorrow May 31st 2019 at 10am!

The Kadena Gift Corner was actually founded 63 years ago by the Kadena Officers’ Spouses’ Club to raise funds for the American Welfare & Works Association, which provides grants to our military community and Okinawan nonprofit organizations. As an added plus, the profit generated by the store also provides scholarships for military dependents here on Kadena.

The second best part of our business model is that we send our employees, compromising of military spouses, all over the Asia-Pacific region to do all of the shopping! They meet with local vendors and traditional artisans, peruse all of the markets, and bring back a truckload of unique finds just for our customers just a handful of times each year.

Every shipment is inspired by the country we’re shopping in, our customer feedback, current trends, and our favorite stores back home in the states.

It’s such a thrill each time we visit our favorite countries like Bali, Thailand, and Vietnam, and we’re grateful for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity like this to do good while working in Okinawa.
— Melissa Kim, Operations Director of KGC

Grace Gallin Stout, the current Merchandise Manager of KGC, draws inspiration from various blogs, social media and searches for what is currently on trend. This Bali shipment will be her last shipment all of which she personally curates and stages. She is an artist and an anthropologist. She loves to travel and learn about people and their culture. Her passion for both, combined with her love of home decor has made her successful in this position.

When deciding what to buy for the store I try to keep all of our customers’ different styles in mind, while choosing decor that is new and exciting for them and showing them products that they may have never seen or thought of to use in their homes.

My time at the Kadena Gift Corner has been so much more transformative than I ever could have imagined. I have been able to travel the world and meet so many incredible people and had experiences that I never knew existed. I have learned and grown, and have changed for the better throughout my time here. I am most thankful for this experience because of the people I have met in Okinawa and the lasting friendships that I have made. Thank you to the beautiful women who have become my family. You have made this more than a job for me and the memories we’ve made together will live on in these KGC walls.
— Grace Gallin Stout, Merchandise Manager of KGC

Grace’s keen eye and sense of style will surely be missed. She was a wonderful buyer and integral part of the gift corners success. But don’t fret, they have found another amazing woman representing the military spouse community. Let me introduce you to Kristina Werner!

Hey everyone!

My name is Kristina and I’m so excited to take on this new role at the Kadena gift corner as the Merchandise Manager. I have been living overseas for the past seven years, traveling the globe, and curating beautiful items from all the exotic markets. My hope is to carry on the amazing job that Grace has done at the store, and continue to raise funds for the KOSC mission. Keep an eye out for some new amazing treasures from Bali, Thailand, Germany, and Vietnam this year.
— Kristina Werner, future Merchandise Manager of KGC

So to keep things short & sweet, I love shopping & supporting the Kadena Gift Corner. Not only is it driven by military spouses, it supports our community and local non-profit organizations. Last year they raised over $33,000 for the Kadena Officers Spouses Club. They offer many volunteer opportunities and show you love with endless laughs and perks. Once you get to know the team, you really feel like you’re a part of a family, and most of all, part of a greater purpose to make positive impact within our community. So whether you just want to find cute eclectic pieces for your home, or volunteer and become part of the team, come hang out at the Kadena Gift Corner starting tomorrow for their Bali opening. #youshopwegive

Stay tuned for blog posts to come about how I decorate my house with pieces purchased from this Bali shipment!


The Boho Birdie