22 Asian American Businesses to Support Today & Every Day

Two asian grandparents hold and smile at their grandchild between them iStock

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) which is a time to spotlight the AAPI culture and bring awareness to issues that the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities face. Since the beginning of the pandemic, many AAPI businesses have had a drop in sales and many have experienced an increase in racism and hate crimes. Supporting these businesses is a step in the right direction toward combatting systemic racism toward AAPI people, and it helps non-AAPI people understand the communities and their incredible contributions to our society today.

There are many thriving AAPI businesses in your community and online, and we’ve chosen to spotlight a few that we know families will love as much as we do.

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1. Shoot

Jennifer Tsay is the co-founder and CEO of Shoott, a start-up company that matches you to a photographer in your area. Available in over 50+ cities around the country, simply pick the day that works for you, the location you desire, and a professional photographer will meet you there. Shoott stands out in the crowd when it comes to taking family photos because it’s an uber-affordable option. There’s no session fee; you only pay for what you like ($15 a photo). You’ll get your images within a week, which means you’ll have plenty of time to decide what type of card you want to order. 

Online: shoott.com

2. Artuta

Founded by Takahiro Kawahara, a father of two based in San Francisco, and taught by his brother in NYC, Artuta is an online art program for kids ages four and up. Kawahara has lived in many different countries with his family and understands the importance of cultural immersion, which is why Artuta teaches kids from all over the world. There are creative drawing classes for kids ages four to six (taught in English and Japanese!), creative drawing and sound art classes for kids seven and up, and even a sound art class for adults! You can buy a class back or individual classes, depending on your preference. 

Online: artuta.org

3. Piccoliny

Founder Alex Zagami Ng comes from a long line of business owners. When she opened her shop in Little Italy, it quickly became a favorite for NYC locals and visitors alike. Ng curated a wonderful selection of toys, clothing and books, as well as designed her own line. While she was forced to close her brick-and-mortar location due to COVID, her resilience and determination, not to mention her loyal customers, helped Ng pivot her business angle. Now you’ll find Piccoliny gear online, or if you live in NYC, from these select retailers as well as Saks Fith Avenue in midtown Manhattan. 

Online: piccolinyshop.com

4. Aoko Noko

This family-owned and operated kids’ clothing line is known for its modern and thoughtfully crafted designs. Inspired by their own kids, the owners have over 18 years of experience in the fashion industry; they’re passionate about creating lasting, neutral unisex pieces that can be handed down again and again. 

Online: aokonoko.com

5. Anyday

Anyday is the first-of-its-kind cookware line specifically designed to create sophisticated, time-saving, and nutritious meals entirely in the microwave. Founded by Bay Area resident Steph Chen and launched with Momofuku Restaurant Group founder and Ugly Delicious creator David Chang as a Partner, Anyday is on a mission to save people time in the kitchen by demystifying microwave cooking and bringing greater awareness to this misunderstood and underutilized kitchen appliance, which has been championed by notable chefs, award-winning journalists, and health researchers for decades.

6. Wonton in a Million

Native New Yorker Cynthia Koo is the “founder, designer, and Chief Dimsum Eater” of Wonton in a Million. Cynthia built the company of her dreams by combining her design skills, her love of stationery, and dimsum. The designs are adorable and have resulted in even sweeter collaborations, like this Dimsum Steam Team Life Planner with the brand Erin Condren. Cynthia hopes to inspire people to learn more about the richness of Chinese food and culture.

Online: wontoninamillion.com

Online: cookanyday.com

7. gimMe Snacks

You know Annie Chun from her iconic line of sauces, noodles, and soups. When she sold the company, it was hard for the entrepreneur to stay away from the food industry. Having grown up near the west coast of central Seoul, Chun was raised eating fresh food from the sea, and gimMe was a way to bring her childhood snacks to a broader market. Chun’s seaweed snacks are the first organic version to be available in the United States, and her efforts have even changed the way Korean farmers harvest their products. You can find gimMe online or in most major retailers including Target. Oh, and did we mention they are delicious? 

Online: gimmesnacks.com

8. Happy Masks

Happy Masks has always been a family affair. Founder and owner Melinda Hwang’s father was a co-inventor of a powerful nanofiber membrane filter, which, when the SARS outbreak hit in 2003, was used to create a mask with this technology. When COVID hit, Hwang’s mother sent her some of the masks, and the rest is history. Kids love the beak-like shape because it’s easier to talk and even laugh. Other parents and friends started asking for some, and Happy Masks was born! 

Online: happymasks.com

9. Rae’s Roots

Born out of a quest to re-focus on self-care, founder Joanna Linton turned to the knowledge passed down from her grandmother to her mother to her; she turned to Chinese herbs called adaptogens, which are known to nourish and restore the body. Her line of teas for moms has something for everyone. There’s one for lactation, one for soothing the belly, one for expecting mamas, and of course, a calming tea, too! 

Online: raesroots.com

10. Little Moony

Little Moony is a designer daughter and master tailor mother team. The idea to launch a children’s clothing line was born out of an afternoon watching their niece/granddaughter play in a cute but comfortable dress (which mom had made!). From there, Little Moony has become known for comfortable, well-designed clothes that range from bright and colorful to calm and cool. There’s a brick-and-mortar store in the SOHO neighborhood of NYC, but you can purchase everything from onesies to dress and jogger pants from the website too. 

Online: littlemoony.com

11. Little Hippo

Founders and partners Stephanie and Dennis were on the lookout for high-quality electric products back in 2016, and when they couldn’t find exactly what they wanted, they started their own company! Known for their popular MELLA clock and sleep trainer, they’ve also got WISPI, which is a 3-in-1 humidifier, diffuser and night light!

Online: littlehippo.com

12. Hudson and Bleeker

Founder and CEO Eram Siddiqui launched Hudson and Bleecker when she couldn’t find stylish travel accessories. What started as a single shoe bag has expanded into a line of multi-functional, well-crafted travel accessories. Take a peek at the website, and you’ll find garment bags, cosmetic bags, packing cubes and more. 

Online: hudsonandbleecker.com

13. KidsLuv

Ashi Jelinek founded the Luving Company in 2018, when, as a mother of three, she felt the market for healthy, innovative products for kids was sorely lacking. Her zero-sugar enhanced vitamin water has nine essential vitamins and minerals and comes in three different flavors: Flying Fla-Mango, Starstruck Coconut and Peach Me, I’m Orange. It’s a vegan drink, tastes great, and you can order it from Amazon!

Online: kidsluv.com

14. The Librarian Box

Founders Dayna and Traci love to read, and they love cats! They teamed up to create The Librarian Box, which is carefully curated each month and includes a book with other unique items from small businesses. Past boxes have included fun things like tank tops, jewelry, coffee mugs and candles. 

Online: thelibrarianbox.com

15. Ellie & Becks

Owners Christina and Stephen are first-generation Vietnamese Americans, who, when they were kids, and even now with two kids of their own, had a hard time finding toys and books that recognize and appreciate other cultures. Ellie & Becks is their response to this void, a personal mission to provide a thoughtfully curated collection of toys and books that connect kids to the world around them. With home goods and toys crafted by global artisans, you will appreciate the attention to detail offered in their online collection. 

Online: ellieandbecks.co

16. Guildford Green Wine

If you like wine, then you need to check out Guildford Green. Inspired by the village market concept, their wine selection rotates with the seasons. They focus on family-owned wineries, natural wines and wines you can’t find anywhere else. They hope to bring small businesses and small vineyards to a larger audience. 

Online: guildfordgreen.com

17. Bitty Bao

Imagine this: two first-year teachers ended up being roommates, then friends, and then, when life takes them on different paths to becoming moms, they re-connect and create a really cool company that puts the spotlight on Asian American culture with adorable bilingual board books and gear for kids. 

Online: bittybao.com

18. Loulou Lollipop

This baby gear company is owned and run by twin sisters! Their silicone teethers were an instant hit with the parenting community when they launched in 2015, and since then, they’ve added other chic products made with high-quality materials like pajamas, swaddles, bibs, and more. 

Online: louloulollipop.com

19. Paper Culture

CEO and co-founder Christopher Wu wants his customers to find joy not only in the colors, designs and quality of the photo books, cards and announcements created at Paper Culture but in the mission behind them too. The company believes that fight against the climate crisis is the biggest challenge of our generation, and from products made from 100% recycled and eco-friendly materials to green office practices, Paper Culture completely offsets their production carbon footprint  And, with every purchase, a tree is planted—to date, the company has planted over one million trees! 

Online: paperculture.com

20. Lauren Hom

Known for her hand-lettering skills and bright color palettes, designer Lauren Hom has nabbed clients like Target, Vans, and Google. You can find her iconic style on everything from gift cards to planners (like this one in collaboration with Erin Condren) to album covers. She even has a book based on her blog, Daily Dishonesty. There are lots of reasons to love Lauren Hom but one of our favorites is that she offers courses both on business strategy and art including mural painting and hand-lettering.

Online: homsweethom.com 

21. Pink Moon

When Lin Chen, a second-generation Asian American, launched Pink Moon, an online beauty site in mid-2020, her focus was on curating exclusively female-founded, sustainable self-care, well-being and lifestyle brands. “Practicing self-care/love has positively changed my life and this is why I want to offer other women the opportunity to experience this, too,” she says. These days Chen runs her business from her office in Midtown East, with hopes of opening a flagship well-care and community site for women through every phase of life.

Online: pinkmoon.co

22. Rooted

Rooted may have started out of Ryan Lee and Kay Kim’s apartment in Williamsburg in 2018, but it’s soaring now with a greenhouse in Florida, a Brooklyn team, and a commitment to doing everything through a lens of sustainability. “We’re adamant about doing things as green as possible, even if it’s much harder, for the sake of our environment,” Kim says. The online nursery offers plant subscriptions, as well as one-off orders.

Online: heyrooted.com

—Gabby Cullen with Lambeth Hochwald and Amber Guetebier

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