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Hate crimes against Asian Americans have increased by 150 percent across the U.S. since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism. While it’s easy to feel powerless in a relentless cycle of bad news, there are ways you can make a tangible difference by supporting those who need it most right now.
One powerful way you can show up and support the Asian community is with your spending power — because where you choose to give your money goes a long way. Knowing where to donate to support the Asian American community is a good place to start, so is shopping Asian-owned small businesses. You’re not only empowering the creatives behind those brands, but you’re playing a part in redistributing wealth to those communities.
“Etsy has always believed in showcasing, celebrating and uplifting the talents of diverse creatives,” Etsy’s Trend Expert Dayna Isom Johnson told In The Know. “We are proud to spotlight these incredible makers in our community across our marketing channels, from our social media pages to our blog, The Etsy Journal.”
Etsy CEO Josh Silverman also recently announced in a blog post that the company would pledge donations totaling $500,000 to the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council and Asian Americans Advancing Justice in support of the broader AAPI community.
Below are a handful of Asian-owned Etsy shops to support right now and beyond.
1. Sian Zeng
London-based designer Sian Zeng was awarded the 2019 Etsy Design Awards Grand Prize for her interactive magnetic wallpaper that combines hand-drawn illustrations with inventive magnetic lining. The result is a creation that’s perfect for imaginative storytellers and playful minds. Choose from designs like the award-winning magnetic dino wallpaper, magnetic jungle wallpaper and magnetic woodlands paper. There are classic, non-magnetic wallpaper styles, too, like this clematis wallpaper and this summer tropical bloom pattern.
2. Wakako Senda
Based in Okayama, Japan, Wakako Senda specializes in modern handmade Japanese ceramics. Her shop was featured on Etsy’s blog in 2017. “My inspiration comes from cooking,” Senda said in the blog post. “Not just from my own cooking, but also from food that my mother, grandmother, and aunts have cooked for me.” Wakako described her pieces as “functional and beautiful,” and with ceramics like this gray katakuchi bowl and this teacup, it’s easy to see why.
3. W.B. Thamm
Described as a haberdashery, NYC-based W.B. Thamm designs “playful, classic and yet contemporary” ties, bow ties and pocket squares from mostly locally sourced fabrics. Choose from playful prints like this abstract black, mauve and pink pebble printed skinny tie and this honey mustard herringbone bow tie.
Sustainably made in Vancouver, Canada, Scandinazn was a 2020 Etsy Design Awards finalist. The shop name is a ship of two words: “Scandinavian + Asian = Scandinazn,” according to the brand’s Etsy page. The colorful shop designs reclaimed leather jewelry from secondhand clothing and leather scraps, like these starry mustard and white earrings and these rainbow confetti donut clip-on earrings.
The brainchild of creator Fai Oda, Studio Cosette is a Tokyo-based shop that specializes in “perfectly imperfect minimalist jewelry.” In an interview on Etsy’s blog, Oda described how her passion as a jewelry designer was sealed on her wedding day when she wore a pair of her deceased mother’s earrings. “I realized how powerful jewelry can be to represent someone who is no longer with you,” Oda said in the blog. “I was very moved because I felt like my mom was really close to me, even though she wasn’t there.” Choose from minimalist jewelry like these Giza studs, which are designed with opal and 14-karat gold, or this Adelphe ring made with onyx and 14-karat yellow gold.
Brooklyn-based creative Rino Minami is the designer behind TOKYN Candles, an Etsy shop that’s bringing eye-catching hand-poured candles to the platform. “I’ve always been really into scents and scent memory,” Minami explained in a feature on Etsy’s blog. Many of the scents, including Anjōu Fig Tree and Ginza Rose Japonica, are reminiscent of the sights and smells of Minami’s native Japan.
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