Discover And Support The AAPI Companies And Creators Who Inspire Us

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In the last year, anti-Asian hate crimes increased by almost 150%. This is abominable, and the attacks are terrifying. The hatred initially stemmed from the use of the term “Chinese virus” — putting a target on all of the AAPI community immediately. The shooting in Atlanta claimed the lives of eight people in Asian-owned massage parlors, six of them Asian women. And then there are the regular hate crimes that we hear about on a daily basis. In this time of crisis, it’s important to support those in the AAPI community.

We’ve spotlighted a list of our favorite AAPI brands and creators, and we hope to continue amplifying the voices and stories of the AAPI community.

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AAPI Creators

AAPI creators are dedicated to creating art and jewelry. Evotia Tamua began her career by documenting the Pacific Island in New Zealand, while Weylie Hoang shares stories from her life growing up Chinese-American. You can support these creators below, and we’ve included other creatives you should know about.

 

 

sammakesamess


Looking for something small and cute? Samantha Llanes makes pins, postcards, prints, and stickers ranging from cats to sneakers to study rooms. She’s also on YouTube and Instagram, so you can give her a follow to support.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Sam Llanes (@sammakesamess)


 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by W E Y L I E (@weylie)

 

 

Weylie Hoang


Describing herself as “the sister you never had… or the sister you never wanted,” Hoang posts on her YouTube channel about beauty, Q&As, and what it was like growing up Chinese-American. Fun and informative, Hoang loves connecting with her followers, aka “sisters.”


 

 

Naomi Otsu


Born in New York and raised in Tokyo, Otsu decided to focus her efforts on graphic design and illustration. Going to Parsons School of Design to further her skills, she has managed to make a career out of her art, mainly using mediums including digital, clay, and acrylic.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Naomi Otsu (@naomiotsu)


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Evotia


Evotia Tamua is of Samoan descent – her first foray into photography was focusing on the Pacific Island and its community in New Zealand. Now, she has a full-time career in photography thanks to her diverse portfolio, which includes portraits and documentary.


 

 

BCHILA


“Sassy Asian American Art” is the description of LA artist Brenda Chi’s Etsy store. An artist of all types – she makes items such as pins and drag art – this small artist lives up to her tagline. With her “Shut Up // Go Away” earrings and gorgeous paintings, you’ll hit the buy button immediately.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Brenda Chi (@brendachiart)


AAPI Fashion Brands

Inspired by their heritage, sustainability, and the world around us, these fashion brands are dedicated to creating fashion that is representative of their lives in the AAPI community. We’ve highlighted five brands that are disrupting the fashion industry.

 

 

KARA


Sarah was born to a white mother and a Chinese father. She “mentally absorbed these cultures,” and her upbringing “made [her] acutely aware of how identity for many is multilayered,” she writes on KARA’s website. The camera bags, wallets, and bags are representative of her heritage – a smorgasbord of influence.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by KARA (@kara)


 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by 💖👄BONBONWHIMS👄💖 (@thebonbonwhimsclub)

 

BONBON WHIMS


Clare Ngai started this collection during quarantine, which features tinker bell rings, drop-earrings with initials, and an assortment of charms for bracelets. She also donates back to the AAPI community, including foundations such as Send Chinatown Love and Stop AAPI Hate.


 

AVRE


This brand screams “sustainability” because its shoes are made out of recycled plastic bottles. Comfort might sound impossible, but that was the exact challenge sisters Julie and Connie chose to tackle. The materials are moisture wicking, flexible, and durable – clean and cozy.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by AVRE | Sustainable Footwear (@avrelife)


 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by HEYMAEVE (@heymaeve)

 

 

HEYMAEVE


Started by Alicia, originally born in Singapore but living in NYC, HEYMAEVE sells beautiful jewelry goods. With creations including an Evil Eye necklace, “Joan Crawford” earrings, and gorgeous crystal rings, Alicia is in every bit of each product.


 

CJW


Christina J. Wang is an Asian-American designer, with her brand CJW. Once quarantine hit, she expanded her clothing brand to include face masks. The face masks include a filter pocket, and they’re made with an inner cotton liner to keep you comfortable.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Shopcjw (@shopcjw)


AAPI Beauty Brands

We’ve written about how to get glowing glass skin thanks to the AAPI community’s dedication to skincare, and they’re also pros in the makeup industry. We’ve put a spotlight on skincare and makeup brands you should know about. 

 

 

Petite Cosmetics


If you’re struggling to find lashes for petite or hooded eyes, Petite Cosmetics will help you solve this problem. Beauty YouTuber Tina Yong started the company, putting her makeup artist skills to good use. All lashes are hand-crafted and cruelty-free.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Petite Cosmetics (@petitecosmetics)


 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by BLUME (@blume)

 

Blume


Blume is changing the way you see periods and puberty. With items such as deodorant, acne oil, cramp oil, and tampons all targeting common issues for women, this brand, founded by sisters Taran and Bunny, will have whatever you need to make life more comfortable. (We even wrote an article on it!)


 

KraveBeauty


Liah Yoo’s tagline: “KraveBeauty is for the people who want to love their skin more than skincare.” Rather than selling trends for a quick buck, Yoo has focused on making straightforward products that help tired skin. See: Matcha Hemp Hydrating Cleanser and Oat So Simple Water Cream.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by KraveBeauty (@kravebeauty)


 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by EM Cosmetics (@emcosmetics)

 

EM Cosmetics


Looking for an all-items-included makeup line? EM Cosmetics literally has you covered. Their best sellers include their plethora of blushes and their Face Cuddle Moisture Balm. The founder, OG beauty influencer Michelle Phan’s favorites are the lip nourishing balm and Soft Blur Velvet Lip Liner.


 

Cellular MD


Cellular MD’s founders, father-daughter duo Erin and Ronald Moy, know our skin is exposed to irritants on a daily basis, such as outside light rays or internal stress. Cellular MD aims to create a natural barrier that will keep out the irritants, lock in hydration, and repair prior damage.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Cellular MD (DNA Renewal) (@cellularmdskin)


AAPI Small Businesses

As small businesses go under in the time of COVID, it’s extra important to support them — especially those that are AAPI-owned. We’re sharing five businesses that are solving problems you may not have thought of in the first place.

 

The Grown Up Asian


Jenny and Kathleen, physicians and life coaches, began The Grown Up Asian in order to help fellow Asian women through struggles in both their personal and professional lives. The ultimate goal: to teach you “how to harness this power to create a life that you love.”

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Jenny & Kathleen | Drs/Coaches (@thegrownupasian)


 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by A Good Used Book (@agoodusedbook)

 

A Good Used Book


Looking for a good book and wanting to support the AAPI community? A Good Used Book, aka friends Chris, Jenny, and Sarah search for used books and then clean, condition, price, research, and take photos of them to sell online during COVID. They also sell through social media.


 

Silk + Sonder


As someone who struggles with their mental health, the concept behind Silk + Sonder resonates with me. The founder, Meha Agrawal, founded Silk + Sonder after struggling to find something that worked for her. These planners give you room to word vomit while adhering to a structure.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by SILK + SONDER (@silkandsonder)


 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Material (@materialkitchen)

 

 

Material


Knives, pans, pots, boards, plates – you’ll find them all at Material. The high-end utensils are made of stainless steel and natural maple and walnut, specifically chosen by co-founders Eunice and Dave, for a sleek, modern feel.


 

The Woobles


If you’ve been wanting to learn how to crochet, The Woobles has all types of patterns (peas in a pod? Got it. Fox? Got it.) and kits for every level. Co-founder Justine Tiu also made sure to keep lefties in mind, creating tutorials for both right-handed and left-handed crocheters.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by The Woobles (@thewoobles)

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We hope you’ll support these small businesses in a time of crisis. Share any other AAPI companies and creators in the comments!


Looking For Ways To Support The AAPI Community? Read These:

Asian Hate In America Is An Epidemic, We Discuss This Heavy Issue

Are You Cultural Appropriating Or Appreciating? POC Share Their Insight On This Issue

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