by Sabine Waldeck
April 29th, 2021

As the amount of Instagram stories being posted about Asian hate come and go, now is not the time to pat yourself on the back and move on. It is time to support the AAPI community, and one way of doing so is to shop small AAPI businesses.

Shopping small businesses is an effective way to support any community. When you support small under-represented business owners, you are in turn helping that community as a whole as your money trickles down from one person to a larger group.

The spread of racist propaganda over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic has led Asian owned businesses to witness a decrease in customers. In order to combat the effects hate has had on members of the AAPI community, purchasing from their businesses is a good way to show solidarity and uplift their work.

While the following list is not exhaustive, when searched, many articles sharing small businesses show lists of larger, more mainstream BIPOC-owned businesses. The following list attempts to provide some Asian-owned businesses that are often overlooked in mainstream media.

Wasabi Denim sells beautiful paintings with stitching details. You can either choose from one of the pre-made paintings or order your own custom pieces. For a little extra spice to your wardrobe, Wasabi Denim also sells jeans with paintings on them. The company is owned by Lexi Leap, based in Boston.

This company is based on Etsy and sells masks. While the pandemic hopefully comes to a close soon, it is still instrumental that everyone wears masks. Roomination is run by Nancy Lam, who makes her masks in fun designs, from strawberries to Harry Potter to traditional Japanese patterns. These masks are a great way to freshen up your collection.

This beautiful crystal Etsy store features items like water bottles, pendants, wine stoppers, and much more. If you have been thinking of buying a Gua Sha tool for your facials, it is best to do so from an Asian-owned business. DalaranStore has many options of Gua Sha made from different types of crystals. Its crystal design studio is owned by entrepreneur Millie and her friends, who are based in China.

Calling all skincare lovers--this business is for you! Sunday Glow quality face masks that enhance and nurture your skin. They sell pre-made as well as personalized mask sets from top skincare brands in Korea. @CelineGlow on TikTok is the founder of the company. On her platform, she walks through many of her own skincare tips and business experiences.

V’s Cakes is an amazing place to visit whenever you need something sweet. This business makes beautiful and delicious cakes, among other treats. Based in south Florida. This company is founded by Van Huynh-Leap, who is the mother of previously mentioned Lexi Leap, the founder of Wasabi Denim. If you want to support the family, grab a painting and treat yourself to a cake!

This is a jewellery business on Etsy filled with unique designs. Most pieces are made out of crystals or polymer clay. “Each charm is handcrafted and hand painted. So that each piece has its own unique charm,” wrote the owner, Lisa, on her Etsy site.

Although not quite as small as the previous businesses mentioned in this list, Spotted By Humphrey is a great stop for all things pet-related. If you’re looking to branch out from PetSmart and Petco and try something more unique, visit Spotted By Humphrey.

Lastly, we have the biggest business of the bunch, with 36K followers on Instagram. Named after its founder, Julia Vaughn sells beautiful jewellery of high quality. The beauty and versatility of these products are eye-catching and a great fit for your wardrobe.