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              A little girl in a knit scarf, hat and vest

              Behind the Brand

              Brands We Love for AAPI Heritage Month

              May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage month. We caught up with the founders of a few of our favorite AAPI-owned brands on how they're planning to celebrate this month and beyond.

              Melissa Mash and Deepa Gandhi, Dagne Dover

              “One of the best ways we can honor the AAPI community year-round is to teach young people about our heritage and struggles in order to build empathy, understanding, and respect. I love reading books like “Hannah Is My Name” or “The Name Jar” to my son, so that he can understand what it’s like to be an AAPI immigrant child coming to America. My hope is that books like these help to build perspective and interest in the AAPI experience, and build gratitude for the dedication and sacrifice his grandparents and our ancestors made in order for us to live the lives that we live today. Dagne Dover is also being promoted by Tiktok as an AAPI-founded brand! As an AAPI family, I think taking a real pause and feeling appreciation and gratitude is the best way we can celebrate AAPI Heritage Month.”
              Woman from behind holding a child and carrying a lavender tote over her shoulderWoman from behind holding a child and carrying a lavender tote over her shoulder

              Alex Gizela, Cabbages & Kings

              "For AAPI, Cabbages & Kings will continue to support our artisan makers in Vietnam and help spread the word of supporting our Asian communities via our social media outlets. We will also continue to have children of Asian descent (as well as all other parts of the world) in our advertising campaigns to promote our belief in diversity and unity of this world.

              My family and I are very much immersed in celebrating the many different traditions of our heritage; such as the Chinese New Year and the mid-Autumn festival: eating moon cakes, giving hungbao (red envelopes) and watching the lion dance (which my father and brothers perform in every year!) It is an ongoing teaching and sharing of our heritage with our kids that takes on many facets."

              Child wearing a knit hat, striped sweater and blue pantsChild wearing a knit hat, striped sweater and blue pants

              Emme Parsons, Emme Parsons

              "I was adopted from South Korea when I was a baby and grew up in ten different states. A few years ago I did 23 and Me and discovered that I was half Korean and a quarter Japanese. In 2016, I was also reconnected with my birth mother and family in Korea through Holt, the adoption agency which has been a very surreal experience. Becoming a mother myself was a huge inspiration for starting my own business. During my maternity leave, I decided to launch my line of footwear, Emme Parsons, to be a good role model for my son to never be afraid to follow his dreams.

              We recently moved to Florida and we’re planning to celebrate AAPI with a visit the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens which have been highly recommended."

              A woman's legs in red leather sandalsA woman's legs in red leather sandals

              Pam Corbett, Sea & Grass

              "Everything about Sea & Grass celebrates Thai culture. When we started, we knew that we wanted to give back to the same community where the seagrass bags are made. For me, a successful business means giving back to the community, so The Areeya Scholarship Fund came to life. I was blessed to have parents who were able to send me to school and support my dreams. I wanted to pass this blessing on to other Thai girls. I wanted my children to see how gifts can be passed and celebrate culture and hope through generosity.

              As a family, we’ll celebrate AAPI with some yummy Thai food. I finally learned how to make spicy larb (a famous Thai dish) to perfection. My mom would be proud, and I can’t wait to share it with her when it’s safe to travel again."
              Two children holding hands in neutral clothing with seagrass pursesTwo children holding hands in neutral clothing with seagrass purses