37 Lunar New Year Gift Ideas From AAPI-Owned Businesses to Celebrate the Year of the Tiger
There are so many amazing Asian-American and Pacific Islander-owned brands to buy from, especially small businesses -- from family-owned companies to self-made, entrepreneurial ventures -- that prioritize quality over quantity. Many AAPI-founded brands bring communities closer together, while simultaneously supporting non-profit organizations. Whether you're shopping for a Lunar New Year gift (celebrations officially start today, Feb. 1), a Valentine's Day gift or something new for yourself, there are several AAPI-founded brands with exceptional products to consider.
An immense range of different cultures make up the Asian-American and Pacific Islander community, and many talents from the community are represented in a variety of companies across categories, including fashion, makeup, skincare, food and lifestyle. ET has rounded up unique products that we think would make perfect gifts from a range of AAPI-owned lines for the loved ones in your life this Lunar New Year and beyond.
While not all AAPI cultures celebrate Lunar New Year, ET's gift guide can help you find the perfect present for any occasion, while supporting AAPI-owned businesses. Shopping from these AAPI-founded brands is a great opportunity to support business owners who have experienced financial setbacks due to the coronavirus pandemic and further persecution caused by the rise of violence against the AAPI community.
Whether you'll be discovering new lines or revisiting favorites, ET has gathered a list of AAPI-founded brands to shop now and always. And check back as we continue to add more to this growing list.
Alicia Tsai's company creates handmade, non-toxic scented candles that invoke memory. Their signature fragrances are inspired by locations all over the world from a secret garden in Taiwan to a vineyard in upstate New York.
No. 51 Secret Garden scented candle has a calming fragrance with notes of eucalyptus, geranium and sandalwood.
Allies of Skin
With degrees in biomedical and pharmaceutical science and international business, Singaporean founder Nicolas Travis created Allies of Skin to offer "sophisticated and smart" skincare formulations that "combine only effective, clinically-proven actives into biocompatible formulas," according to the brand's website.
This vitamin C serum packs a punch with its waterless, 35% vitamin C content formula to provide antioxidant protection to the skin, stated on the Dermstore website.
Korean-American founder Gina Nam, who comes from a family of jewelers, started her New York-based jewelry line to offer timeless, everyday pieces that are ethically made from the highest quality materials and that don't break the bank with prices ranging from $30 to $300. Until Feb. 14, AMYO is offering 15% off the brand's gift collections with the code VDAY15.
14k gold huggies encrusted with moissanite crystals.
Back Beat Co.
Philippines-born Isadora Alvarez founded L.A.-based sustainable fashion company Back Beat Co., known for its comfortable, laidback-style clothing. The brand uses fabrics that are either recycled or sustainably farmed.
Add this beach-inspired organic cotton sweater to your daily loungewear lineup.
Founded in 2020 by Hong Kong immigrant Clare Ngai, BONBONWHIMS features vibrant Y2K-inspired jewelry and accessory designs. Ngai also uses her social media platforms and her passion for fashion to raise awareness for BIPOC organizations.
This nostalgic necklace feature gorgeous CZ stones, a crystal-covered heart and an ode to one of many famous quotes from Carrie Bradshaw.
The Los Angeles-based designer's "lady clothes for cool girls" are inspired by her childhood travels to Shanghai and British Hong Kong. Mak's designs are produced in Shanghai and many are made from deadstock fabric.
A statement-making '80s-inspired ruffled blouse.
One of the original beauty gurus on YouTube, Vietnamese-American Michelle Phan's radiance-boosting makeup brand, Em Cosmetics, is a favorite among fans and influencers.
The bestselling Heaven's Glow Radiant Veil Blush is available in a new vintage rose hue. Apply it on the cheeks or eyes to add a touch of warm pink and soft gold.
Fly By Jing
Fly By Jing founded her namesake business back in 2018, and her mission is to celebrate tradition through her products. Fly By Jing's spice mixes, sauces and hot pot kits help empower and connect people through food.
This starter set is perfect for family get togethers and parties because it comes with nearly everything you'll need to start a delicious hot pot. It includes an electric hot pot, 2 silver chopsticks, 2 slotted spoons, and 2 fire hot pot bases.
Saima Chowdhury, born and raised in Bangladesh, launched Grey State to offer comfortable, versatile pieces with low environmental impact. The brand handles manufacturing in their solar-powered factory and uses upcycled fabrics. For every purchase, Grey State donates $1 to One Tree Planted.
We love the twist detail on the shoulders of this effortless dress, made with recycled cotton.
Kevin Lee and Kevin Chanthasiriphan founded immi to share their love for ramen with the world. Both founders grew up in Thailand and their ramen recipes pay tribute to the flavors they grew up enjoying.
Finally, you can rest easy knowing that you've finally found a delicious and filling plant-based chicken ramen.
Founded by Korean-American designer, mother and entrepreneur Ahyoung Kim Stobar, Joah Love has stylish, comfortable loungewear designs for adults and kids. Joah Love is also offering a few promotions: Buy 3 Masks and Get 1 Free Mesh Bag with code 1FREEBAG, Buy 5 Masks and Get 2 Free Mesh Bags with code 2FREEBAGS, Buy 5 and Get 20% Off with code BUYFIVE, as well as 30% Off Cashmere with code COZY.
Made with a breathable, lightweight French terry, you won't want to take off these comfortable and stylish tie-dye joggers.
Ji Won Choi
Choi was a favorite on Making the Cut for her innovative take on streetwear. The Korean-American designer, who has collaborated with Adidas Originals, creates pieces inspired by her Korean roots and global professional experience in New York City, Paris and Milan.
We love the contrast stitching on this top.
Husband and wife duo Yang Pei and Stephanie Li started the fashion brand that focuses on minimalist style trends. The brand, based in both Hong Kong and Los Angeles, also values sustainability and uses vegan leather and fabric made from recycled plastic. For a limited time, JW Pei is also offering 30% off on its best sellers. The brand currently has a site-wide sale, and you can take an extra 10% off your purchase with code WS10.
The color of this shoulder bag makes it a perfect statement piece for any outfit.
Kim Shui is a Chinese-American fashion designer, who started her career as an economics major. Shui's designs and career are driven by her motivation to help women feel more confident, which is why so many of the designer's clothes feature vibrant colors and bold patterns.
Tie-dye, a hoodie and a soft velvet all in one design? Could you want anything more from a crop top? Seriously, the tie-dye pattern combined with the velvet fabric makes this hoodie truly unique.
Vivian Lee founded Kinflyte to solve some age-old issues many women face: back problems and enduring uncomfortable bras. Kinflyte is a size-inclusive company that offers sizes from XXS to 6XL and A-cups to K-cups. Plus, the company uses sustainable practices to craft its products. The company also features a blog that covers helpful articles.
These leggings will get you through your toughest reps. Apart from the pockets of the sweat-wicking fabric, our favorite feature on this leggings is the built-in lumbar support.
South-Asian entrepreneur Deepica Mutyala launched Live Tinted in 2019 with the now cult beauty favorite, the Huestick, which can be used as eyeshadow, lipstick, blush and color corrector.
The award-winning, multi-purpose Huestick can be used on the eyes, lips and cheeks. It can also be applied to even out dark circles and dark spots.
Korean native Jooyeon Song co-founded ManiMe when she was looking for a faster, easier alternative to hours-long salon manicures. ManiMe offers custom-fit gel stick-ons that can be self-applied or removed whenever.
The Staycation nail art features pinks, mauves and some light brown to accent the design. Like all of ManiMe's gel manicure kits, Staycation includes a mani sheet with 15 stick-on gel nails, a nail file and a prep pad that doesn't require a UV light.
Founded by sisters Michel and Amazonka Choigaalaa in 2015, Michel&Amazonka is a Mongolian fashion line and atelier that offers ready-to-wear and couture wares, combining European style and Mongolian traditions.
Michel&Amazonka's womenswear collection features statement-making designs, including the beautiful, bold details on the Freestyler Dress. The brand's website states they are currently working on shipping to the U.S.
Co-founded by Ken Gordon and Christopher Wong, Mochidoki is a New York-based artisanal mochi ice cream company that offers "imaginative and refined Japanese-inspired desserts."
This vegan-friendly mochi ice cream has everything you could ever want in a decedent dessert: chocolate and hazelnut.
As a Hawai'i native, Manaola Yap founded Manaola Hawai'i to share the rich indigenous Hawaiian cultures with the world. Through his years of research, Manaola's namesake company, which designs clothing and accessories, serves to protect Indigenous Hawaiian practices and strengthen individuals' connections with their ancestral Hawaiian values.
This luxury hand bag is sturdy and fashionable, so you can travel on your holidays and day trips in style.
The clothing and lifestyle brand was founded in 2012 in Shanghai by Faye Wong. Neiwai is all about freedom and letting its customers express themselves and their style through the brand's ultra-comfortable underwear, bras, loungewear and activewear. Celebrate Lunar New Year with 25% off sitewide with the code: CNY25.
The Barely Zero Wireless Bra is a Neiwai bestseller. It comfortably fits anyone who wears a band size between 31.5"-40” and an A-DD cup.
Nguyen Coffee Supply
The Brooklyn-based coffee company, founded by Sahra Nguyen, a first generation Vietnamese American, partners with Mr. Ton, a fourth generation farmer, to bring organic green coffee beans grown in Vietnam to the U.S.
This set includes a bag of coffee (ground or whole beans) and a Phin Filter -- the best way to brew Vietnamese coffee. Choose a bag of Loyalty, Moxy and Truegrit coffee. Currently, you can pre-order the kit and expect it to ship out the first week of February.
The owner of NOTTE Jewelry, Jessica Tse, transformed her passion for jewelry and accessories into a business. Now her jewelry designs help support non-profit organizations, such as Heart of Dinner.
These Polly Pocket-inspired hoop earrings are a part of NOTTE's Smile for Charity jewelry collection, so they support a good cause. Half the proceeds from these heart-shaped earrings goes to Heart of Dinner, which is a nonprofit organization dedicated to feeding elderly Asian-Americans.
Co-founded by sisters Vanessa and Kim Pham, Omsom brings the Vietnamese flavors the sisters grew up with to kitchens around the world.
This bundle allows you to try some of Omsom's best selling East Asian and South Asian sauces to season your go-to dishes.
With a mission to connect people with one another through food, South-Asian business owner Shiza Shahid founded the cookware company, Our Place. The company uses ethical labor and ethical materials to craft its products. Our Place is currently gifting a free Spruce Streamer with every purchase of the Perfect Pot or the celeb-fave Always Pan.
The Always Pan is such a versatile kitchen tool. Plus, it's a perfect match for the Spruce Steamer.
The Vietnamese-American designer launched his line in 2018. The Fashion Institute of Technology alumnus received the LVMH Graduate Prize in 2014. Do is known for his modern, sleek tailored designs.
Pair this chic wool sweater with a pair of olive slacks, and you have a functional and stylish outfit for the office. By the way, the Convertible Virgin Wool Sweater can be worn as a typical length sweater or a longline sweater.
Born and raised in South Korea, the London-based designer launched her own label in 2014 and quickly won over celebrities and the fashion industry. The Central Saint Martins alum is known for bringing a unique spin to the most fashionable trends.
These boots are the perfect piece that will pull a vintage look together. While the Leah Boots aren't vintage themselves, the aged-wood detailing on the heels give off that rustic aesthetic.
The Chinese-American designer's work is inspired by Chinese grandmothers in New York, where she was born and raised. Liang started her brand after graduating from Parsons in 2013. Among the fashion set, Liang's designs are the epitome of downtown cool.
This dress is the perfect culmination between a button-down shirt-dress and a midi evening dress. The Tulle gives the button-down portion of the dress an elegant and unique structure.
Known for its feminine lace dresses, London-based Self-Portrait is a go-to line for the fashion crowd. Malaysian designer Han Chong, a graduate of the prestigious Central Saint Martins, founded the label in 2013.
The floral lace overlay on this dress is so intricate -- it makes the dress feel even more lavish.
Co-founded by Coral Chung and Wendy Wen, Chinese-American businesswomen and Stanford business school alumnae, Senreve offers Italian leather bags that combine style and function.
This bestseller is the perfect size for all your essentials with seven interior pockets and a tablet sleeve. It can be worn as a backpack, crossbody, satchel or tote.
If you love K-beauty, Soko Glam founder Charlotte Cho is the one to listen to. Cho founded the expansive Korean beauty online retailer with her husband in 2012. She is also an author and has her own skincare line, Then I Met You.
Neogen is one of the most popular skincare brands in South Korea, and if you're going to try one product from the line it has to be their essence. According to Soko Glam, the Real Ferment Micro Essence has more than 93% naturally fermented ingredients that help boost moisture and plumpness to the skin.
Created by artist and life coach Tina Chow Rudolf, Strange Bird makes skincare for the body, mind and spirit. The founder uses ingredients that combine ancient Chinese beauty traditions with flower and crystal essences.
Formulated with hyaluronic acid, camellia oil and jojoba oil, this rose quartz-infused moisturizer is said to help retain moisture, soothe dry skin and promote self-love, as described on the Strange Bird website.
Founded by Eliza Blank in 2012, The Sill helps plant owners of all levels explore their passion for gardening. The brand helps individuals explore their interests in the biological world one plant at a time. In addition to its online store, The Sill also has physical storefronts in NYC, Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco.
The snake plant is a beautiful succulent plant that's perfect for beginner plant parents or anyone who doesn't have a lot of time to care for a fussy plant.
Those Seen Dancing
Designer Keari Shibuya founded the brand from Honolulu, Hawai'i, to create more glamorous swimwear. Because of the founder's degree and background in environmental science, Those Seen Dancing takes on an eco-friendly approach to creating its products.
Splash into spring in this floral print bikini top with sexy center cut-out.
Founder Amy Liu's personal experience with eczema inspired her to create a beauty company for people with sensitive skin that doesn't feel so clinical. After all, nobody wants to feel like they're going to the doctor's office when they're browsing the beauty aisles for a foundation.
Although it's still cold out, tinted sunscreen is a year-round beauty necessity.
Us Two Tea
Maggie Xue started Us Two Tea to help connect Asian-Americans through tea created by the AAPI community. Xue notes, "Tea is at the heart of Asian culture and it has always been a part of my life. Yet the tea brands we know and love are not Asian."
The aromatic Manhattan Black tea in this pack is a tea variety exclusive to Taiwan. The tea bags are environmentally-friendly, so you can focus on enjoying your delicious and biodegradable tea.
The knitwear brand's name means "everyone" in Cantonese. Founded by Phyllis Chan and Suzzie Chung, YanYan's fun, whimsical pieces are inspired by the designers' lives in New York and Hong Kong along with their heritage. They use materials sourced from all over the world and are knitted in China.
We're obsessed with the vintage-inspired look of this adorable rose knit top.
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