Women-owned brands to shop AAPI Month 2021 and beyond

This AAPI Month 2021, show support by shopping brands owned and operated by Asian-American women

Pepper and Kulfi Beauty
(Image credit: Pepper/Kulfi Beauty)

May marks AAPI Month 2021, a month recognizing and celebrating Asian-American and Pacific Islander heritage, history and culture. With violence and racism against Asian-American citizens horrifyingly on the rise throughout the country, it's more important than ever to honor the many contributions of our fellow Americans today and always. 

One of the easiest ways to show your support is by frequenting some fabulous businesses helmed by women of Asian descent. From sleek bras to CBD snacks, skincare products to spicy sauces, here are a few women-made goodies to stock up on throughout AAPI Month and beyond. 

Six brands to shop this AAPI Month 2021

1. Pepper

"As a Chinese-American, I grew up wanting nothing more than to be accepted by society as American. This included learning to diminish my own beauty and envying ‘Western’ beauty ideals such as bigger eyes—bigger everything, " says Jaclyn Fu, CEO and co-founder of Pepper bra brand.

"I went through puberty hearing 'small chested' used as an insult...Pepper was born from the pain, and eventually the love, that I have for my own body and learning how to celebrate it exactly as it is."

Fu's Pepper brand features bras specifically made for small-chested women (A, AA, and B cups), with shallow, no-gap cups, confidence-boosting details like lace and mesh, and styles in both wired and wire-free silhouettes. 

2. Potli

For California girls Felicity Chen and Christine Yi, the inspiration behind Potli—their CBD-focused cooking and lifestyle brand—was actually their Asian immigrant mothers, who regularly used plant-based medicine but wouldn't exactly reach for CBD and cannabis in their everyday lives.

Potli is moving cannabinoids from the fringe to the fridge with high-quality CBD condiments and pantry staples like apple cider vinegar, raw honey, chili oil, and more. Yummy tasting and yummy feeling—win-win!

3. Kulfi Beauty

"Kulfi Beauty puts the South Asian community at the forefront: our skin tones, undertones, and skin concerns are all taken into consideration when formulating and developing our products," says brand founder Priyanka Ganjoo. "My hope is that Kulfi Beauty encourages other South Asians to cast off shackles of self-doubt and step into the protagonist roles of their own lives."

You can do just that by sporting bold makeup looks using Kulfi's best eyeliners. Each liner pencil is creamy, color-packed and, best of all, cruelty-free. These eyes were made to turn heads!

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4. Fur

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Once the whispers of bikini season start, we stock up on all things Fur. The haircare and grooming brand, co-founded by Lillian Tun, features everything you need for your smoothest summer ever, including stubble cream, ingrown concentrate and body scrubs. Beach, here we come. 

5. Chunks

Claw clips, colorful barrettes, and all manners of statement hair accessories were just some of our favorite 90s beauty trends. You'll find all those and more at Chunks, an accessories brand founded by Tiffany Ju that is made proudly and sustainably in China. 

On its website, the brand publicizes its Chinese connections "because it’s time to end the shame about WHERE companies produce and emphasize HOW companies produce. We are proud to have such high quality partners in China and believe in representing our manufacturing openly because there are so many incorrect assumptions about it." 

6. Diaspora Spice Co. 

Mumbai-born, Oakland-based Sana Javeri Kadri is working to make the Indian spice trade more ethical with her company, Diaspora Spice Co. Kadri cuts out the middleman by collaborating directly with and fairly paying farmers in her native India, importing their gorgeous turmeric, chilies and other spices here to the states. 

Christina Izzo

Christina Izzo is the Deputy Editor of My Imperfect Life. 

More generally, she is a writer-editor covering food and drink, travel, lifestyle and culture in New York City. She was previously the Features Editor at Rachael Ray In Season and Reveal, as well as the Food & Drink Editor and chief restaurant critic at Time Out New York

When she’s not doing all that, she can probably be found eating cheese somewhere.