Five Asian American Woman Owned Businesses You Can Support This AAPI Heritage Month
So far No Fixed Addresses (NFA) has highlighted destinations, experiences, and activities that bring a sense of warmth to the soul, but this blog post will be much more. We’ve included below some of our favorite Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) and woman owned businesses. Each topic is connected to our overall ethos here at No Fixed Addresses and we use it poignantly to connect with our readers.
We believe in creating a global reach that has a local impact. It’s our slogan, but it's much more than a slogan to us. Global reach, local impact is at the heart of everything we do. It is the very foundation of what we’re trying to build. We believe that supporting local communities through exposure, influence, and connection can help those who are most affected by the pandemic. We can help small businesses in localized economies that are trying to thrive and give back to their communities at the same time. We believe in standing in solidarity with communities, businesses, and families that suffer from discrimination and social injustice.
Today's blog post will not be about a destination or a travel guide. This AAPI Heritage Month, we will be highlighting 5 Asian-American small businesses we love and that you can support today. These 5 Asian-American small businesses are all owned and operated by women. According to Stop AAPI Hate, there have been roughly 3,800 cases of violence towards Asian-Americans and 68% of those reporting the violence have been women. These attacks have predominantly occurred with their working environments.
A study conducted by University of California, Santa Cruz, economics professor Robert Fairlie, Ph.D., and analyzed by CNBC, concluded that Asian-American businesses have suffered the most out of all demographics since the start of the pandemic. Due to these negative impacts, discrimination, and acts of violence these small businesses now more than ever need our support. This is in no way a solution to ending violence and description targeting Asian-Americans. The best way for fighting anti-Asian sentiments is through educating yourself on the history of Asian-American suffrage, speaking out in both public and private on racism, and donating to various organizations leading the charge against descrimation against Asian-Americans.
1. Nguyen Coffee Supply
Sarah Nguyen is the daughter of Vietnamese American refugees who fled during the Vietnam War. Often stigmatized for being “inferior” by large coffee producers, Nguyen wanted to bring attention and praise to the Vietnamese coffee bean. Her company, Nguyen Coffee Supply, partners with a fourth-generation farmer in Vietnam to offer special blends of arabica and robust beans that are roasted in Brooklyn, all of which you can purchase (plus tools for brewing Vietnamese coffee) on their site. Sarah Nguyen is focused on changing the “future of specialty coffee through diversity, inclusion and sustainability.” A key partner in her mission is a fourth-generation farmer, Mr. Ton, who owns and operates his family farm in Vietnam’s famed Central Highlands. The dynamic relationship focuses on the mission “bring his organic, green [coffee] beans to the U.S. for people to enjoy fresh roasted and in a variety of brew styles.”
2. Let’s Take Care
Created by DJ Mei Kwok, earlier this year, Let’s Take Care is a lounge wear line. Due to the stress of the pandemic, Mai Kwok wanted to create a fashion clothing line that resonated with those who have found this last year to be emotionally challenging. Kwok wanted the line to represent both metal health and self-care. Each piece of item she has created is a self-reminder to “Take Care” of yourself. With her project being centered around self-care, Kwok donates 10% of all purchases to Mental Health America as a statement for what her company represents. If you want to get your hands on these excellent pieces, be sure to follow the Instagram posts as the launches sell out fast!
As both founders Vanessa and Kim Pham state on their website, OM SÒM is a Vietnamese phrase meaning noisy, rambunctious, riotous. Most often used by parents (hint: ours) to scold unruly, raucous children in the back of the car. Vanessa and Kim Pham’s use of Asian flavors and cuisine is the embodiment of this phrase. Loud and in your face culinary dishes. Omsom through both its seasonings and starters which are inspired by Thai, Vietnamese, and Filipino cuisine—make a statement to celebrate a future, they write, “that doesn’t have to be rooted solely in nostalgia and tradition.”
4. Mason Dixie
Omson may cover our love for Asian cuisine, but Mason Dixie satisfies our sweet tooth cravings. Ayeshah Abuelhiga is both the founder and CEO of Mason Dixie. Ayeshah is a second-generation Asian American that states she draws inspiration for her baked goods from growing up watching her parents serve “quality comfort food at their small carry-out restaurant and convenience store.” She started her baked goods company with a pop-up in Washington, D.C., which was a smash hit. Unfortunately the pop-up shops had to close down during the pandemic, but never fear you’ll find her Southern-inspired buttermilk biscuits, scones, cinnamon rolls, and sticky buns in major retailers such as Whole Foods and Costco.
Julie Kuo and Connie Kuo are Taiwanese-born sisters that started AVRE to offer sustainable footwear that empowered women across the globe. Each shoe they have crafted, like the Momentum White and Grey Sneaker, is made of recycled materials. Their line of sneakers is also created with knitted fibers from recycled P.E.T plastic. The knitted fiber they use came from 8 to 10 water bottles. Today, AVRE is one of the leaders in the AAPI community who are devoted to taking initiative. Together, they are standing strong against unlawful acts of hate and violence in the Asian-American community.
We hope that this list gives you some new ideas of businesses you can support this AAPI Heritage Month. Supporting Asian owned businesses is critical to helping those most affected by COVID-19 recover, but is in no-way a cure-all to the descrimination that many Asian-Americans face, which has been amplified by COVID-19. Real change comes with conversation and education, and starts with you.