Courtesy of Avre
May kicks off the 31 days of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month! We're here to support our fellow AAPI communities and especially the powerful ladies who are running businesses and blazing new trails for all women. There are so many strong AAPI women to support—whether you're wanting cute, sustainable clothing or some hot spice blends for dinners at home. Take a few moments to support these small businesses this month and beyond.
As you do your shopping, consider supporting some of these businesses that are owned and operated by AAPI ladies.
Sana Javeri Kadri founded Diaspora Co. in 2017 with the goal of creating more equity in the spice trade, especially for farmers in India who made next to nothing for their labor. Kadri personally visited some small farms and now works directly with farmers to cut out the middle man and increase their pay. She sells a wide variety of specialty spices, including cumin, coriander, and turmeric.
Feel good about the shoes on your feet—both literally and figuratively. Taiwanese sisters Julie and Connie Kuo started AVRE in 2021 as a way to promote sustainability as well as women empowerment. The shoes are manufactured using recycled plastic—about 8 to 10 bottles. 10% of proceeds from the shop also go towards women and environmental charities.
Fly by Jing
If you’re looking for a little extra “oomph” for your dishes, look no further than Fly by Jing. Started by culinary expert Jing Gao, the Sichuan seasonings and sauces from Fly by Jing will add some heat to whatever dish you’re eating. The name is inspired by Gao’s own experiences as an Asian American woman. “Fly” refers to hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Chengdu that attract flies and “Jing” is a reclamation of her name, which she had changed to “Jenny” for most of her life.
Nguyen Coffee Supply
Sahra Nguyen, a first-generation Vietnamese American set out a goal—bring Vietnamese coffee beans directly to the U.S. with a focus on transparency and sustainability. Vietnam is one of the top producers of the robusta bean, which packs a whole lot of caffeine, but Nguyen noticed no one ever acknowledged this.
Through Nguyen Coffee Supply, she aims to raise awareness about the often-overlooked Vietnamese coffee bean, as well as showcase the farmers who are harvesting your morning fuel.
Amanda Stewart started designing and screen printing cute t-shirts for her kids as a fun hobby, but when her friends started asking her to make their children clothes—she knew she had a winner on her hands. In 2015, she started Mochi Kids—an environmentally-friendly kids’ clothing shop featuring her hand-screen printed shirts. Who doesn’t want to dress their kids in an adorable spam or kimchi shirt?
Whenever Chitra Agrawal went back to India—she always made sure to grab varieties of achaar—an Indian pickle. But whenever she craved the sweet and spicy pickle back home in Brooklyn, she was disappointed by the lack of flavor and resemblance to the achaar in India.
So—Agrawal decided she was going to make it herself. She started Brooklyn Delhi where she sells her achaar, as well as a unique line of condiments like curry ketchup, curry mustard, and mango chutney.
If you’re looking to recreate authentic Asian dishes at home, look no further than Omsom. Sisters Vanessa and Kim Pham sell ready-to-use packages containing premixed Asian sauces and spices that can help season flavorful meals in 30 minutes or less. The Vietnamese-American sisters sell spices that pack a punch—and they'll let you know it.
Described as “proud, loud Asian flavors” these aren’t the diluted versions they sell at chain restaurants.