Celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander Month — Get to Know These Inspiring Women-Owned AAPI Businesses

VienneMilano
5 min readMay 24, 2023

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The month of May is Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month and we are highlighting 11 amazing female-owned businesses. Most of these extraordinary women are “first” in their families. They are breaking down walls and paving the way for their future generation of women. We are thrilled to introduce them and their innovative businesses.

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Connie Chi is a film and television studio head and founder of The Chi Group. She is an award-winning PR agency working with inspirational talents in television, film, and fashion.

Q: What does Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month mean to you?

A: AAPI Heritage Month is where we celebrate our heritage while supporting the AAPI community. It’s also an opportunity to highlight other AAPI- founded businesses that are doing great things in their respective industries.

Judy Tan is a self-taught, fearless entrepreneur with a passion for health and wellness. She is an award-winning product leader based in San Francisco. She founded Purely Botanical Infused Elixir on the foundation of bridging cultures with what has been lost.

Q: Why did you start your business?

A: Growing up, I watched my grandmother infuse fresh plums and seasonal fruits in rice vinegar sweetened with honey. We drank a lot of fruit, herb, and root infusions that are nourishing and healing for our body and mind. Inspired by the memories of my grandmother’s recipes, Purely started in my own kitchen, and then perfected with a modern approach to meet our consumers’ needs today — organic ingredients, low sugar, vegan, gluten-free, and locally sourced. My passion and purpose for Purely started with one thing: open up a cultural experience through connection, unity and joy.

Coffee roasting brought both of her parents together. Her maternal grandfather was a roaster in Vietnam and coincidentally, so was her father. Her father and mother met, married and moved their growing family to the U.S in the late 1980s. Papa Tang brought over his coffee expertise and opened his first shop in Anaheim, CA. After spending 12 years in the tech industry as a Director of Product Development for a networking hardware company, Amy Tang left her corporate life to pursue her family roasting legacy. In 2017, Amy started Sir Owlverick’s to make the smoothest coffee possible, regardless of light, medium or dark roast.

Q: Why did you start your business?

A: I conceptualized the word “Owlverick” as a combination of two symbolic animals: a thoughtful Owl and a passionate and driven Maverick horse. The company motto is “ Think like an Owl, Move like a Maverick”. It is a reminder to stay driven to achieve lofty goals, but also to be thoughtful along the way. Sir Owlverick’s coffee and beverages are all crafted in-house in Anaheim with the utmost attention to detail to provide classic, smooth-tasting coffee. All of the Certified Organic coffees are meticulously curated and carefully sourced myself. For example, the ultra popular “Ninety-Nines” has notes of milk chocolate, caramel apple and vanilla and is sourced from an all women’s Colombian Co-op farm. The top-selling “Saigon Nights,” a rich dark roast robusta blend that is my interpretation of the taste profile of my father’s favorite coffee.

In 2022, Sir Owlverick’s was heavily involved in partnering, raising money and creating awareness for non-profit causes. Some being California Love Drop and Kure It Cancer Research. Me and my team also launched creative collab products with the NHL Anaheim Ducks, Brewery X and Anaheim Fall Festival.

A true global beauty expert, Natasha Moor grew up in Hong Kong of Indian descent. In Spring 2022, she moved to LA where her company is based and immediately served as the lead makeup artist for four designers for LA Fashion Week. She then began her career as a wedding makeup artist. Her clients would fly her all around the world to do their makeup for their wedding celebrations. When she wanted products and formulas that she couldn’t find, she started to make her own. Now, at just 33 years old, she helms Natasha Moor Cosmetics, which began to launch in North America in 2021. And yes, she still does weddings from India to Bali to Singapore to Mexico to New York City!

Q: What does Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month mean to you?

A: I began my career as a makeup artist, traveling extensively and working with clients from all over the world. My upbringing was strongly influenced by my Indian heritage, as well as my father’s career in Hong Kong and my mother’s birthplace in the Philippines. Growing up, I was fortunate to have family members spread across the globe. I was always so excited to visit and learn about their lives-and my work has taken me to countries. for work, I have been to Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, India, Europe, Africa, UAE, USA, Australia and the United Kingdom. I developed a deep appreciation and understanding of the diverse cultures and communities across Asia and around the world.

Since moving to Los Angeles, I’m always amazed at how I meet people from diverse Asian cultures here every day. Contributing to the landscape and tapestry of the United States in every profession, every industry and in every creative form from beauty and fashion to movies and music. After so many years of working behind the scenes, I’m delighted to see our culture recognized for how hard we have worked for centuries to play our role in building the American Dream for us and for the country as a whole. It’s our time to shine.

Q. Why did you start your business?

A. As a business executive and a mother of three young kids, I struggled with various minor symptoms of sleep, migraines, energy and brain fog… symptoms were minor but uncomfortable. I was recommended over 5 different life-long drugs. Instead, I looked for an alternative natural approach to healing and I found TCM. As people are more stressed and their bodies go through a lot of tolls in the modern day, I believe a we need a more holistic medicine approach to wellness. So I founded Redmint to serve this purpose.

A great way to celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander month is to support these (and other) AAPI woman-owned businesses. We hope these ladies were inspiring to read and give you that little “oomph” when it comes to bringing your dreams to life knowing that if they can overcome their challenges, you can too.

Originally published at https://sassmagazine.com on May 24, 2023.

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