11 AAPI-owned brands you need to know about, from healthy ramen and men’s skin care to sneaker cleaner

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May marks Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and to celebrate, In The Know by Yahoo recently hosted an event in New York City. Attendees sat down for a panel of AAPI changemakers reflecting on diversity, identity and navigating the pressure of others’ expectations. It was inspiring and insightful. And at the end of the night, guests received free swag bags and were entered to win grand prizes from some amazing AAPI-owned brands.

The truth is, there are a lot of incredible AAPI-owned brands out there, from food and home goods to beauty products and travel items. And we should support them every day — not just in May. If you’re ready to shop now though, these 11 AAPI-owned brands featured at In The Know by Yahoo’s event are a great place to start.


1. Tea Drops

Credit: Tea Drops

Tea Drops loose-leaf tea is single-serve drops, so you get a bold and flavorful brew fast. Because there’s no tea bag, it’s more sustainable; and because you don’t need a tea strainer, you can drink it anywhere. Try its Chai Spice Black Tea.

2. Omsom

Credit: Omsom

Omsom’s sauces never skimp on flavor or compromise on authenticity. Use them to kickstart your meal, whether you’re making noodles or grilling meats. Try the Vietnamese Lemongrass BBQ.

3. Fly By Jing

Credit: Fly By Jing

According to the brand’s website, Fly By Jing’s name refers to the hole-in-the-wall restaurants that are so popular in Chengdu, China, that they attract people like flies. (The founder’s name is Jing.) Its sauces, oils and vinaigrette will draw you in, but get the famous Sichuan Chili Crisp and put it on everything.

4. immi

Credit: immi

Immi’s founders (both named Kevin) created the first high-protein, low-carb and completely plant-based ramen that tastes like the real deal. According to the website, the goal was to help their families better manage their health conditions resulting from poor nutrition. The result is really good, yet healthier ramen. Try the Tom Yum “Shrimp” Flavor Ramen.


5. Cardon

Credit: Cardon

Cardon is a cactus-based Korean skin care brand that specifically targets men with simple black packaging, an easy ordering process and affordable prices. Of course, women can use it too, and they should — its products will make your skin feel incredibly soft, smooth and clear. Try everything, but Dark Circle Eye Rescue is a favorite. (P.S.: During May, Cardon donates 15% of net proceeds from Cardon Korean Innovations collection purchases to Gold House.)

6. Peach & Lily Original Glow Sheet Mask

Credit: Peach & Lily

Peach & Lily is a skin care brand that aims to make powerful active ingredients like retinol, vitamin C and exfoliating acids gentle enough for sensitive skin. All of its products are toxin-free, vegan, gluten-free and fragrance-free. You’ve probably heard about its Glass Skin Refining Serum, but don’t sleep on its Original Glow Sheet Mask.

7. Tower 28

Credit: Tower 28

Tower 28 is another clean beauty brand aimed at sensitive skin types. In fact, according to the brand’s website, it’s the first and only beauty brand to 100% follow the National Eczema Association’s Ingredient guidelines. However, in addition to skin care, it makes clean makeup. Try the Tower 28 ShineOn Lip Jelly.

Home & Style

8. Monos

Credit: Monos

Monos’ luggage is stylish yet functional and durable. Check out its Carry-On Pro for all weekend trips and beyond. It has a polycarbonate shell, a telescopic handle, a built-in TSA-approved lock, whisper-quiet wheels and vegan leather details. It also has a padded front pocket to stash your laptop, books and more.

9. Our Place

Credit: Our Place

You may know Our Place for its famous Always Pan. Since its initial launch in 2019, the brand has expanded its offerings and now has dinnerware, tableware, bakeware, kitchen tools and more. Check out the new oven-safe Always Pan 2.0 and the Night + Day Glasses.

10. Jason Markk

Credit: Jason Markk

Jason Markk makes effective, responsible shoe-cleaning products to help you care for your sneakers so they look good and last longer. Now, it also makes hat care products. Everything is safe on all materials, including leather, suede, nubuck, cotton and knits. Check out its Essential Kit.

11. Boy Smells

Credit: Boy Smells

Boy Smells launched in 2015 after the founders started experimenting with candle-making in their kitchen. “Boy Smells renews the personal care routine by creating rituals from the otherwise mundane experience,” its website reads. Maybe you’ve heard of its famous Kush candle, but its Best Buds Votive Set includes four mini candles of its most popular “kush” smells to fill your home.

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