The Asian American community needs support now, more than ever. Here are several Asian American-owned businesses based in the Bay Area, from ice cream shops to clothing lines to subscription boxes, run by some fantastic, creative entrepreneurs. Many of these businesses are also women-owned, and support sustainable practices and local manufacturing, so show your community spirit and make some meaningful choices by checking them out.
1. Hoppi Box
Who doesn’t want the best for their baby? Hoppi Box is a baby toy subscription box service started by Jasmin Bhukkarat as she sought to find age-appropriate toys to support her baby daughter’s early development. Instead of spending your time sifting through all the choices on the market, Hoppi Box does the research for you with their expert advisors and delivers a selection of books and toys to your home four times a year. Each box is geared towards different developmental stages as your baby grows from 0-3 years old, and all the toys are eco-friendly, sustainable, and BPA free. Sign up on their website.
Judy Jou, co-founder of Elestory, has loved making clothes since she was little, and turned her passion into creating gorgeous special occasion clothing for women and girls. Elestory’s site is filled with gorgeous, flowy dresses and adorable accessories, all handmade in the USA, each one more covetable than the last. Don’t miss their Mommy and Me section, which features coordinating outfits for moms and little daughters – perfect for photo sessions or when your little girl wants to match mommy.
3. Bash + Sass
Bash + Sass, the creation of founder and creative director Irene Lee, brings a cool, minimalist, and playful spin to children’s clothing. The line of rompers, tops, bottoms, and dresses are aimed at ages 6 mos - 12 yrs old is designed to be gender neutral and made for comfortable playtime. The clothes are simply adorned with Bash + Sass’s signature monster characters that embody social values like confidence, patience, and optimism. It’ s charming and thoughtfully created line (the clothing is locally and sustainably made in CA) that your kids can have fun wearing.
Use the code REDTRILOVE for 15% off through 5/31/21.
4. Habbi Habbi
If you are trying to teach your little ones Mandarin Chinese or Spanish, Habbi Habbi’s innovative board books are a wonderful learning tool. Created by Hanna and Anne-Louise, two Bay Area moms, Habbi Habbi’s books come alive with the accompanying Reading Wand that plays words and music when the pages are tapped. Every inch of their books is tappable (text, illustrations, even white space), so kids feel like they're playing as they discover words, phrases, sound effects, or musical tunes. Their library of books covers themes like inclusion, worthiness, empathy, and self reliance, and is accessible to both native and non-native speakers.
Kira’s line of kids’ clothing, made from their signature supersoft organic cotton, has been praised for being both effortlessly cool and supremely comfortable. Created by owner and designer Christine Tang, the collection is made entirely in California and currently includes dresses, hoodies, shirts, and onesies printed with quirky hand illustrations of adorable things like boba cups, teddy bears, and poodles. You can order online or visit their San Francisco store, which also carries a wonderful selection of accessories, toys, stationery, and books, many of them by local designers.
1234 9th Ave.
SF, CA 94122
6. Antoine's Cookie Shop
Antoine Tang loved chocolate chip cookies so much, he started making them at home so he could have fresh baked cookies all the time. He started selling his cookies to friends and it turned into a full fledged business with storefronts in Campbell and San Mateo. All the cookies on the menu are developed by Antoine, with his personal favorites being the snickerdoodle and chocolate chip. Cookies and cream is the bestseller, while walnut chip is the creation of which he’s most proud. Drop in or order for pick up or delivery on their website.
220 2nd Ave.
San Mateo, CA
855 El Camino Real, Suite 15
Palo Alto, CA
Craftbox in Los Gatos was started by two friends who shared a love for crafting and wanted to create a fun and welcoming space for everyone to enjoy exploring their creativity. You can book a crafting session at the studio to make one of their signature projects, from jewelry to home decor, or order a kit to make it at home. There are also projects specifically for kids 12 and under, like string art and wall banners. This April, Craftbox is offering special pricing on bundles of in-store sessions and kits, so don’t miss out on this deal to exercise your creative muscles.
21 W. Main Street
Los Gatos, CA
8. Hello Shiso
Your kiddie’s hair accessory game will be the envy of all with hello shiso. Mimi Chang hand makes her adorable, playful collection of hair clips, hair ties, and hairbands from her Berkeley studio. Her whimsical designs have something for every kid’s taste, from fairies to dinosaurs to fruit. Before you get too jealous, there’s also a collection for grownups – or you can just borrow your kids’ accessories.
9. New Skool
San Francisco artist and graphic designer Nathan Tan combined his passion for art and his experience in the clothing industry into creating a clothing line for adults and kids. New Skool’s hoodies, tees, and other streetwear feature his SF-centric art, from the Sutro Tower to the Golden Gate Bridge. You can order from the website, or New Skool is carried at small family-owned boutiques in the Bay Area and beyond. Nathan also sells his original graffiti artwork at local art galleries under Nate1Design.
10. Joe's Ice Cream
Joe's Ice Cream, an classic old-fashioned ice cream parlor in San Francisco’s Richmond district, has been serving up delicious scoops of ice cream, burgers and fries since 1959. It was registered as an SF Legacy Business in 2017. Current owners Sean and Alice Kim are bringing a bit of Korean influence to the shop with ice cream flavors like dalgona coffee, black sesame, and red bean with mochi, and new dishes like the bulgogi burger, Seoul-Food salad with homemade dressing, and tokkochi fries (fried mochi) with homemade gochujang sauce. Go for the nostalgia but stay for the fun new tastes.
5420 Geary Blvd
Morningtide is the inspirational lifestyle shop every neighborhood needs, filled with a beautiful, thoughtfully curated selection of home items, ceramics, fashion, and kids’ toys. Owners Lisa Fontaine and Lisa Wong Jackson, who both have creative backgrounds, source most of their offerings from the local artisan community, and emphasize sustainable living and slow fashion in their philosophy. It's a lovely space to go to pick up the perfect gift, or something to treat yourself. They also host regular pop-ups to promote other small local entrepreneurs; check their website for upcoming events.
847 Cornell Ave
photos provided courtesy of respective businesses