Working, playing, eating and shopping with people that don’t necessarily look like you can help build connections through shared experiences and make our communities stronger. To that end, we’ve rounded up this list of local businesses that offer fun and easy ways to support our local AAPI community. From a hospital that takes in sick bonsai trees to a fashion designer who makes dolls with your choice of skin, hair and eye color, get ready to discover new shops, desserts, decor and more, all here in LA.

Oh Shiny!

The experts at Oh Shiny know the "wow" power of a good balloon. Whether you're searching for that single, perfect unicorn balloon or need an epic photo op installation made, they can make your helium dreams come true! They're also a one-stop shop for all your other unique party supplies: Llama piñata—check! Astronaut-shaped napkins—no problem! Rainbow glitter-dipped candles—yes, please!

Hours: Tues.-Fri., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

3815 E. Colorado Blvd East


Sender One Climbing

asian american businesses in LA to suupport
Sender One Climbing

When Sender One's Taiwanese American founder, Alice Kao, fell in love with rock climbing after a bad break up, she was told to give it up because it was a sport for "men only." She persisted, though, and started Sender One to share the joys of self-discovery and connecting with others (including her two young daughters) through climbing. All ages and abilities are welcome here to climb together and reach new heights.

And you absolutely don’t want to miss a trip to Sender City (located within their larger locations), where you and your family can climb, swing, slide, and glide like superheroes through giant webs, trembling towers, and glow-in-the-dark mineshafts!

Insider Tip: In addition to classes, they offer camp options and you can even host a birthday party here

Hours: Vary by location.

Sender One LAX (Climbing Center & Sender City)
11220 Hindry Dr.
Los Angeles

Playa Vista (Climbing Center)
12775 W Millennium Suite 4-140A
Los Angeles


Magpies Soft Serve

This made-from-scratch soft-serve ice cream has three locations (Tarzana, Silver Lake & Highland Park) to fulfill all your ice cream dessert needs and then some. The beauty of these dream creams? Interesting and creative flavors like Kahlua and Horchata that will have you coming back for more. 

Check out the website for daily flavors (including a ton of vegan options). And, in addition to ordering gorgeous cones and pints, they also offer soft-serve pies (by the slice or whole). Order ahead of time for easy pick-up via the website.

Hours: Noon-10 p.m.

2660 Griffith Park Blvd.
Los Angeles


Mimochai offers self-care through creativity. It was started by Mimi, a lawyer-turned-illustrator, whose art, children's books and online courses lead us into a gentle world of mindfulness and creative expression. The online shop is full of dreamy prints, featuring young explorers, sprites and a "hamstercat" sidekick(!), making them perfect decor to both spark your little one's imagination and soothe them to sleep come bedtime.

And for those who want to get in touch with their creative side but aren't sure how, Mimochai offers on-demand art courses and community support through their Cloud House membership program.

Good to Know: The company's core values include giving back to the community by donating to organizations that bring creative arts to children from marginalized backgrounds; and creating a sustainable studio that avoids unnecessary plastics in their products and ensures that packaging uses 100% recycled and recyclable materials.



la Lovie

la Lovie

Every la Lovie doll is cut to order and lovingly handcrafted by the shop owner, a fashion designer, who fell in love with sewing as an 8-year-old while making her own doll clothes. These heirloom-quality dolls come in many skin tones with customizable hair and eye color—along with freckles, pom pom hair clips, removable fairy wings and other whimsical details. You can even add embroidered initials and a doll "makeup" kit (Stockmar beeswax and a handmade fabric ball brush to add rosy cheeks). 




When first-time parents, Steve and Kristin learned that 90% of toys are made from petroleum-based plastic that is not so great for the planet, they rolled up their sleeves and created Earthtiles—magnetic tiles made from sustainably-sourced wood. The mix of solid base plates and geometric cut-outs (like isosceles, equilateral, and right triangles) invite hours of open-ended, STEAM play. Lay them flat to create beautiful 2D designs; or stack them together to build 3D castles, animals, and landscapes. The possibilities are endless—put this one squarely under the #FewerBetterToys column!

Good to Know: The company plants a tree for every toy sold!




Yamaguchi Bonsai Nursery

Take a zen-like stroll through this botanical mainstay on Sawtelle. For over 70 years, this family-run business has been Japantown's go-to destination for the finest bonsai. And want to know a cool fact? The owner's father was an early pioneer of bonsai in the U.S., and one of his trees is currently at the National Arboretum in Washington, D.C. "Bonsai" in Japanese literally means, "tree planted in a shallow container"; they are actually ordinary trees that have been miniaturized by pruning and patient care. Your whole family will be charmed and amazed by the vast display of these small-scale giants at Yamaguchi Bonsai. 

Insider Tip: You can bring in your sick bonsai for "hospitalization" or reserve "babysitting" at this nursery for your bonsai baby while you're out of town!

Hours: Daily, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Closed on Wed.

1905 Sawtelle Blvd.
Los Angeles

Hiromi Paper

Washi in Japanese means paper; and Hiromi offers the largest variety of washi outside of Japan from papermakers who still use traditional techniques, tracing back over 1300 years. The psychedelic mural outside the store (by LA artist, Kenny Scharf) is a fun, stark contrast to the beautiful collection of neutral-based tones that fill the space inside. There's a reverence towards paper here that inspires gratitude for something we often take for granted and sometimes subsequently crumple, toss and trash. Your kids will also appreciate their playful collection of washi tape, origami kits, and kamifusen ("paper balloons"). 

Insider Tip: Subscribers to their free newsletter get early access to their popular workshops on things like bookbinding, printmaking and kite making!

Hours: Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat. by appointment only; Closed Sun.

9469 Jefferson Blvd., Ste. 117
Culver City

RELATED: A Local's Guide to Must-Dos in Culver City

Shop Merci Milo

Spoiler alert: Once you see all of the goods (sustainable, heirloom-quality toys, baby gear, clothing, accessories, furniture and decor) this shop carries, it will be incredibly hard to shop anywhere else. Inspired by the toy shops they saw in Paris, the founders decided to set up a similar shop here in LA. Merci Milo carries handmade unique toys and accessories for children from local artisans, traditional toy makers, creative mamas, and global brands which translates to walking around the store and squealing, "THIS. IS. THE. CUTEST. THING. EVER."

Good to Know: They automatically donate a portion of sales to different charities each month, including non-profits that advance justice in the wake of increased AAPI-related hate crimes.

Hours: Tues.-Sun. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. (closes for lunch around 1-1:30 p.m.)

6017 Echo St.
Los Angeles

RELATED: Our Favorite Places to Shop for Gifts All Year Round

Giant Robot Store

The fuzzy grinning Totoro and buzzy neon signs beckon you into this iconic LA destination, offering before-it-is-a-trend housewares, gifts, apparel, toys and more. Their sister space, called G2G Gallery, is just a couple doors down; with touring art shows you won’t find anywhere else. Your kids will love the fun merch, and just visiting this spot will make you feel like a cooler parent.

Hours: Wed.-Sun., noon-6 p.m.

2015 Sawtelle Blvd.
Los Angeles 


This local gift shop was the first Japanese-owned business in Los Angeles when it opened in 1946. It's still at its original location in the heart of Little Tokyo and is a treasure trove of fantastic finds like traditional Furoshiki cloth (a centuries-old practice of using a single piece of cloth for various uses like wrapping gifts or carrying items), Japanese Darumas dolls, favorite children's books, stationery and more.

Hours: Mon.-Thurs., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Fri.-Sun. 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

340 East 1st St.
Los Angeles


This inventive company is at the intersection of "style" and "function." It's no wonder major brands like Target, Nordstrom and Toyota are lining up to collaborate with them. Their designs are modern, colorful, and happy—from household items like mugs and candles all the way to hats, socks and stationary. Even their potholders are joy-sparking! 

Hours: Daily, 11 a.m.- 6 p.m.

Little Tokyo DTLA
374 E. 2nd St.
Los Angeles

Bel Canto Books

This Long Beach bookstore (located inside The Hangout on Retro Row) takes special pride in uplifting the work of historically marginalized authors and artists. This is especially apparent in the children's section, where bookstore owner, Jhoanna Belfer, curates many works by amazing AAPI and BIPOC authors. In addition to the great selection, check their events page for storytimes, author readings, and workshops to engage and support the local community and economy. 

Insider Tip: Bel Canto offers a book concierge program and hosts free book clubs (currently held online).

Hours: Main bookstore location is open Tues.-Sun. 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Mini bookstore location Tues.-Sun. 7 a.m.-4 p.m.

The Hangout (main bookstore)
2122 E 4th St.
Long Beach 

Steel Cup Cafe (mini bookstore)
2201 N. Lakewood Blvd. Ste E
Long Beach




Mochinut is the happy love child of Japanese rice cake (mochi) and American-style doughnuts. It's made of a connected circle of eight dough balls, resembling a drizzly bangle of crispy, stretchy, chewy goodness. And with six locations across LA, there's a store nearby for you to try out their inventive flavors like strawberry funnel, chocolate churro and black sesame.

Insider Tip: Don't miss out on their newest menu item, Brown Sugar Milk Tea—a drink made with organic whole milk and decadently delicious Taiwanese brown sugar syrup and comes with soft and chewy boba pearls. YUM.

Hours: Sun.-Thurs. 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Fri. & Sat., 10 a.m.-9 p.m.

Westfield Century City
10250 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite FC20
Los Angeles 

RELATED: We Live in a Donut Town—Check Out Our Running List of Must-Have Donuts in LA

Coffee Tomo

Go for the drip-tastic coffee, but stay for the made-to-order gourmet pretzels. Order the sweet potato cheese pretzel for the kids—one review claimed it "changed her life," and order the red bean and cheese or the jalapeño and cheese pretzel for yourself. Oh and get a honey toast for the table. 

Hours: Daily, 8 a.m-6 p.m.

11309 Mississippi Ave.
Los Angeles

Wanderlust Creamery

Yuzu creamsicle. Ube malted crunch. These are just some of the mouth-watering flavors that this ice cream shop carries, inspired by far-flung destinations. Thankfully, with seven locations (Atwater Village, Fairfax, Venice, Tarzana, Pasadena, Smorgasburg DTLA & Sawtelle), you won't have to travel that far to swing and land a cone that will transport you back to your favorite exotic vacation—no passport required. And with seasonal flavors rotating in regularly, there's always a new reason to travel back.

Hours: Vary by location.




Sachiko Studio

From maternity and newborn shoots to first birthdays and smash cakes, photographer Nadine (who, fun fact: is also a professional race car driver) is here to commemorate life's special moments with her full-service photo sessions. Sachiko Studio comes with its own beauty team, giant wardrobe and hundreds of props; not to mention, a flower wall backdrop that changes with the seasons. And as a mama of four daughters with an age gap of nineteen years, she knows a thing or two about how to connect with kids of all ages—super important when it comes to family portraits—she is not above bribing your children with toys and stickers in exchange for smiles.

Good to Know: You can get both an indoor and outdoor session done in just one hour with this studio!

Hours: Mon.-Thurs. 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat. & Sun. by appointment only

125 E. Santa Clara St.

Betty Ling Calligraphy

asian american business to support in LA
Betty LIng Calligraphy

Sometimes, it's the little things that make the biggest difference—like the flourishing touch of hand lettering. With Betty Ling, you'll enjoy a range of styles, from lyrical scripts to precise block letters. She can even do glass etching, wood burning, and gold foiling for things like guest lists and personalized gifts. So the next time you're in the mood for something extra special, add a little calligraphy to your life! 


Sho Dough Cookie Co.

These cookies are as yummy as they are adorable! Sharon, mom of two and the cookie master behind this company, is also an acoustic engineer. Her customers really love the unique blend of scientific precision and eclectic art style she brings to create custom-made cookies that warm hearts and win smiles. Sharon collaborates closely with clients to design the perfect treats—from character themes to pet portraits and even, “Paint-Your-Own” cookies sets with mini brushes and edible color palettes (This one is a huge hit with kids!). Shipping available throughout CA.

Good to Know: Delicious gluten-free and vegan options are available upon request!



Asian American Businesses to Support in LA

Bumo means "parent" in Korean. And by providing top notch, on-demand childcare, this company says it's really in the business of parent care. Their location in Century City takes it to another level with their work and play design, where parents can stay in the parent lounge after dropping-off their children to enjoy coffee, pastries, office space and free Wi-Fi. They even have a sound-proof phone booth and separate vanity areas to prep for those last-minute video meetings! 

Hours: Daily, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Closed Sat.

Westfield Century City 
10250 Santa Monica Blvd., #2860
Los Angeles 

RELATED: More of Our Favorite Places to Co-Work with Kids in LA

Wenfloral Designs

No one can make a dahlia dance or a peony preen quite like this husband and wife team. From luxe events to enchanting fêtes, birthday bouquets and graduation leis, Wenfloral makes any occasion feel more special.

Insider Tip: They also offer feng shui-based "interiorscaping" through their plant service to promote balance and positive energy in your home or office.

Hours: By appointment only

146 W. Live Oak Ave.

—Andie Huber & Mary J. Lim


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