May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and it’s a good reminder to support more Asian-owned businesses now and all year long. You might not know that many popular home brands were founded by AAPI makers, DIYers and business entrepreneurs. We’ve rounded up our favorite companies to shop, from furniture to houseplants to party supplies. Take a peek at our picks below and start supporting more AAPI home brands.
The Sill is one of our favorite go-to sites for ordering gifts and surprise deliveries. Instead of flower bouquets, The Sill specializes in houseplants, from ferns to fiddle leaf figs. Founded in 2012 by Eliza Blank, the brand makes houseplants approachable for non-gardeners and plant newbies. And the company makes houseplants cool with gorgeous, modern planters in tons of customizable colors and shapes.
What started as a small ironing board manufacturer in Japan more than 100 years ago has evolved into a massive line of homewares focused on making “life at home simpler, tidier and better.” In 2014, Yamazaki opened a US office in New York and big retailers such as West Elm and Amazon have noticed. The modern, minimal products range from a banana stand to rolling storage carts, and everything is as practical as it is chic.
Oakland-based designer Melanie Abrantes is shaking up the often male-dominated world of woodworking with a line of home goods made from both hardwood and cork. The half-Portuguese and half-Filipino woodworker merges elements from both cultures to create stunning, minimal modern pieces, from vases to candlesticks to planters. She also sells a line of wood carving tools if you’re inspired to learn more about the trade.
Co-founder and co-CEO Shiza Shahid has seen record growth in Our Place. And you’ve probably seen the Instagram and YouTube ads for the Always Pan. The company is focused on ethically built, stylish cookware, and it’s also great if you’re short on space as the brand is centered around just one multipurpose pan. The Always Pan has earned stellar reviews online for its truly non-stick magic. Recently, the company has expanded to dinnerware and glassware, too.
If you’re looking for ways to cut down on your carbon footprint, Blueland is a great place to start. Co-founder and CEO Sarah Paiji Yoo is on a mission to eliminate single-use plastics at home — especially with cleaning products. The brand’s line of soaps, sprays and detergents all start with a reusable bottle and tiny tablets that are surprisingly affordable to refill. What’s great about Blueland is that all products even surface cleaners are made with plant-friendly, non-toxic ingredients.
Founded in LA by best friends Grace Lee and Monica Ashauer, Birdy Grey started as a site for affordable-yet-stylish bridesmaid’s dresses, but it has evolved into a one-stop shop for all things wedding parties and showers. And the brand just launched a new monogram shop with dozens of designs and colors for gifts under $50!
You might already be familiar with Roar + Rabbit from shopping the West Elm collaboration. Mitzie Wong is one half of the design duo based in Philadelphia who create modern furniture with a touch of whimsy. The pieces also feature practical design, from swivel chairs to modular sofas that can be reconfigured in multiple ways.
Eco-friendly skincare brand Pink Moon has expanded to include bath and body as well as home decor and wellness accessories. CEO and founder Lin Chen only partners with fellow women-owned businesses and brands that prioritize sustainability and philanthropy. Her intention — and the intention with Pink Moon — is to “empower women” and “encourage genuine self-love.”
Black and Korean-American Tariq Dixon is the co-founder and curator behind TRNK. The high-end, contemporary furniture and decor brand is intended to feel “collected, not decorated” with unique statement pieces for every room.
Located in Charlotte, N.C., Filipino-American Roxy Te is at the helm of her family’s 40-year-old furniture company now known as Society Social. She specializes in rattan and grasscloth furniture, but the company has exploded to include all kinds of colorful decor, from throws to table linens.
Wing on Wo & Co.
Wing on Wo & Co. is the oldest family-run business in NYC’s Chinatown. And it might even be the oldest shop period. Currently, it’s run by fifth-generation owner Mei Lum. Even though the company is nearing its 100th anniversary, it still specializes in the same handpainted porcelain items, from tiny ginger jars to full tea sets.
Alex Zhou founded Yami in 2013 when he lived in the Midwest and had to drive over two hours to the nearest Asian grocery store for his favorite foods from home. Today, Yami is one of the largest online marketplaces for Asian goods, from home decor to beauty products to popular Asian snacks.
Susana Saeliu founded Pluto in 2018 on a quest for a better night’s sleep. The pillow brand is unlike any other bedding shopping experience because it’s completely customizable. You answer a series of questions and details about your sleeping habits and preferences, and then a tailor-made, just-for-you pillow is delivered to your door. There are over 35 design variations for every kind of sleeper!
Brooklyn-based designer Priyanka Batra is behind the online paper goods studio My Darlin’, and it is one of our favorite places to stock up on greeting cards and stationery. She also has a series of custom address stamps that would make a great gift for newlyweds.
Originally founded by Edward and Judy Kwon, their daughter Jennifer Kwon now runs Calpak, and the organization and travel brand just keeps getting better and better. Calpak has products to wrangle all kinds of things, from bags for shoes to this insanely nifty flat case that folds out like an accordion and creates storage bins to keep backseat essentials easily within reach. Genius.
Steph Hon has revolutionized the world of travel toiletries with Cadence. These clever honeycomb-shaped jars are magnetic so they stick together for the most efficient toiletries bag we’ve ever seen. The materials and business practices are sustainable, too, so it’s a win-win-win because these little capsules are incredibly chic with tons of different labels that would make any organizer so happy.
Founded by Jiake Liu and Terry Lin in 2018, Outer takes outdoor furniture seriously. The modern, minimal outdoor seating is ergonomic, weather-resistant and backed by a 10-year warranty. There’s also a collection of gorgeous teak wood furniture, and we love this bug-repelling outdoor throw for summer.
Friends Eunice Byun and Dave Nguyen founded Material to create an intersection of form, function and Asian traditions in the kitchen. These pieces are built to last and to be at the center of every family gathering. The company’s cutting boards are both sturdy for prep work and elegant for serveware.