Behind the Bop- About Kingston’s favorite shop
“It was never about opening a shop”
“I wanted to make gift-giving more accessible.”
Karen Clark-Adin pauses for a minute. “I had a guest book at our original location. I just left it on the counter by the register and people would leave notes. I should dig that up.” She turns to give an enthusiastic hello to the group that just entered the store. You can tell they've been here before. They relax into their browsing. Happy to just laugh while Karen models the eclectic sunglasses she brought out of inventory earlier that morning.And that's the magic of this uptown shop equivalent of Cheers.
You may be here to shop. But Karen's the real draw.
Karen opened Bop over 20 years ago. Noting a void of affordable gift-store options, she drew on her years in the fashion and retail world to bring joyful shopping to uptown Kingston.
“When you give a gift, it's not just a thing. There's an energy there. And if you’re stressed about buying that gift, what kind of energy are you giving?”
And energy flows through Bop's aisles. Regulars come in to revive themselves with Karen's easy conversation. First-time shoppers find themselves oddly comforted by Bop's quirky, funny, slightly snarky vibes.
Buying something isn't always everyone's goal, and that's OK with Karen.
“There should be a joy in finding the perfect gift, whether it's for yourself or someone else. And I want Bop to be that refuge where you feel joyful in shopping, whether or not you end up buying anything.”
“It’s not about how much money you put into getting the gift. It is about how much Love you put into giving the gift.”
“This is my community!”
“This is my community,” says Karen. “My business has been here for over 20 years. I owe it to my customers to do everything I can to make Kingston thrive.”
And she does. An avid volunteer, Karen has served on many boards, including on the Board of Trustees for SUNY Ulster, and previously served on the Ulster Community College Foundation, Inc. Board, the Arts Alliance of Ulster County, Hudson Valley Aids Auction, Friends of the Senate House, Kingston Uptown Business Association, Ulster County Chamber of Commerce, YWCA, Kingston Tourism Task Force, City of Kingston Board of Ethics, Ulster County School to Work Program, and the Kingston Farmers Market, which she is a founder and served as president of the board and marketing manager.
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