Sophia Zheng of Bay Shore was a top seller at Coach, Inc., the fashion company.
This summer, she took her retail skills to Main Street in Islip Hamlet, where she opened Sophia’s Gifts at 549 Main Street in July.
The Islip Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon-cutting at Sophia’s Gifts on Thursday.
“I’ve always had a good relationship with my customers,” Zheng told greaterbayshore.com. “But my kids are growing, they are 4 1/2 and 6 1/2, and they’re going to school and I needed more time for them.
“So I was thinking, I should run my own store and have my own schedule.”
Nearly three months in, Sophia’s Gifts now offers children’s toys, handcrafted items, jewelry, hostess gifts, home goods and more. (More photos below.)
“Since my children loved them. I thought maybe I could share some ideas with other parents who, like me, wanted to have a high-quality toy for their children.”
In the meantime, Zheng had traveled to China where she learned about flower art, which involves using real flowers. So now also sells her flower art craft products that range from greeting cards to iPhone cases.
“It’s all handmade,” she said. “I was selling them to friends and more and more friends and I thought, hey I could do this in my store so people can see these unique products.”
Zheng also pointed to handcrafted wooden music boxes that are popular.
“We’re always adding more and more stuff,” she said.
Scroll down for photos.
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