2021 holiday gift guide supporting Asian-owned businesses

A holiday gift guide supporting Asian and BIPOC businesses

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: Cold Tea Collective’s 2021 Holiday Gift Guide for supporting Asian-owned businesses is here! 

We are passionate about bringing visibility to Asian entrepreneurs and businesses. 

As allies, we also encourage you to support your local Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) owned businesses.

Whether you’re shopping for family, friends, colleagues, or yourself, this year’s gift guide has something for everyone.

Check out our 2021 holiday gift guide to add to your shopping (or wish) list this season and stay tuned to our social media channels for chances to win prizes from some of these awesome businesses.

Apothegeri

Inspired by her Filipino heritage and her father, Geri Coria is a Toronto small business owner carving out an inclusive scope for candle lovers.

Apothegeri candles are inspired by nostalgia, love, and food. From fresh pandesal to roasted chestnuts, the Holiday Homecoming 2021 collection will remind that special someone of home — a place of comfort and warmth.

The Sill

Speaking of warmth, a home is hardly a home without some house plants, whether that be you or someone you know.

Founded by Eliza Blank, The Sill helps connect people to plants and nature.

In an interview with Mochi Mag, Blank shared that her mother — originally from the Philippines — maintained a connection to her roots through gardening and tending to houseplants. This fueled her passion and interest in plants.

Check out their gift guides ranging from The Sill’s bestsellers, to host gifts, to the perfect pet-friendly plants.

POKETO

If you’re looking for the perfect stocking stuffer for a stationery lover, check out Poketo’s line of planners, journals, pens, and more.

Asian American husband-and-wife duo Angie Myung and Ted Vadakan pulled the name of their art store from Myung’s grandmother’s mispronunciation of the word “pocket.”

Poketo’s stationery is perfect for your work gift exchange, friends’ holiday dinner, or any other occasion where you want to give a memorable gift that’s also affordable.

OMSOM

“Om-sòm” is a Vietnamese phrase meaning noisy, rambunctious, and riotous.

Founded by first-generation Vietnamese American sisters Vanessa and Kim Pham, Omsom promises to bring proud, loud Asian flavours to American homes.

Spice up someone’s pantry with Omsom’s wide selection of starters. Each starter combines all the sauces, aromatics, seasonings, citruses, and oils — all into one pouch!

Check out The Omsom Flight, aka the perfect holiday gift, containing all six starter sauces.

NGUYEN COFFEE SUPPLY

This one’s for all the coffee aficionados.

Founded by first-generation Vietnamese American and daughter of refugees, Sahra Nguyen is on a mission to change the future of specialty coffee through diversity, inclusion, and sustainability.

Nguyen Coffee Supply is the first specialty Vietnamese coffee company in the United States importing via direct-trade, and roasting in Brooklyn, New York.

Looking for something bold and smooth, bold and strong, or light and fruity? Nguyen Coffee Supply has something for everyone’s palate.

Plus, you can’t go wrong with The Original Vietnamese Coffee Trio — coffee satisfaction guaranteed.

Paragon Tea Room

Coffee not your thing, then this tea is sure to please.

Ditch the coffee shop or cafe. Paragon has a wide range of stone milled hojicha and matcha tea powder and loose leaf tea that you can make right at home.

The founders, originally from Hong Kong, innovate with tradition and find new ways of integrating tea into modern life while embracing the longstanding practices of tea culture.

Be sure to check out Paragon’s Discover Tea sets to make your holiday tea shopping a little easier. These tea sets make the perfect afternoon tea (or “ha ng cha,” as one would say in Cantonese).

SABOBATAGE

Whether you like your tea hot or cold, try turning it into a little competition amongst friends as you play this game.

Sabobatage is the perfect gift for those who love bubble tea and board games.

Founded by Eric Chen, Sabobatage is the first boba card game in the US highlighting many inspirations from his unique take on Asian American roots.

This strategic tabletop game has players in a race to build drink sets of the traditional milk, tea, and toppings.

FYI — friendships will be ruined.

VESSI

Rain or shine (or snow), Vessi sneakers are the perfect gift for the city commuter!

In 2018, Asian Canadian co-founders Mikaella Go, Andy Wang, and Tony Yu launched the world’s first 100% waterproof knit shoe.

In an interview with Daily Hive Venture, Go shared that Vancouver has played a massive role in the development of Vessi — it rains so much there and everyone understands the need for a waterproof shoe.

Check out Vessi’s iconic best-selling Cityscape sneaker, wearable for any season.

MADE IN CHINATOWN

Support New York City’s Chinatown businesses by gifting Made in Chinatown merch.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, Jennifer Lee and Vic Tam launched Welcome to Chinatown, a grassroots initiative to support New York City’s Chinatown businesses.

This led to the launch of their merch line: Made in Chinatown, a disruptive nod to the stereotype that “Made in China” products are perceived to be cheap.

In response to coronavirus-fueled racism against the AAPI community, it is one of the several ongoing efforts to support Chinatowns in large cities across the United States.

Check out their Chinatown Picks featuring their customers’ favourite items!

P.S. All proceeds from the Welcome to Chinatown collection help fund overhead costs and community initiatives.

Read more: How TikTok Creators are helping NYC Chinatowns

SUPPORTING BIPOC BUSINESSES

Supporting Asian-owned businesses is important, but so too is our role as allies for other BIPOC communities.

As a media platform that lives and works on occupied and stolen including the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh), xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), we have a responsibility to reconsider how to use our economic resources.

Check out these Indigenous and Black-owned businesses and do your own research to see who’s in your own neighbourhood.

RAVEN READS

Founded by Nicole McLaren, Raven Reads is an Indigenous subscription box that features award-winning content and literature.

Raven Reads focuses on raising awareness of the collective histories of Indigenous communities, lived experiences, and supporting Indigenous authors and entrepreneurs.

Reconciliation means different things to different people. Raven Reads hopes to educate others about the devastating impact residential schools had on Indigenous people in Canada.

Check out their current collections and subscription options for both adults and kids.

Read more: Resources to commemorate the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

WILDCRAFT

Another Indigenous-owned product on our shopping list comes from Wildcraft, a small-batch skincare brand designed with fresh and organic ingredients.

The brand’s founder, Laura Whitaker, is a Haudenosaunee and member of the Mohawk nation from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory.

Choose from their holiday gift sets and remind the special someone in your life about the importance of self care.

YUKON SOAPS COMPANY

Self care indulgences continue with Yukon Soaps Company, handcrafted with care and infused with the spirit of the Yukon.

Owner Joella Hogan comes from a long line of strong, vibrant, indigenous women. Through her line of handcrafted soaps, she works to embody elements of each of the special talents shared by her family and community.

Check out the bestselling Essential Soap Bars, including Yukon Wild Rose, Yukon Pure, and Yukon Gin & Tonic.

GOODEE

If you’re not soaking in suds at home, the perfect housewarming gift this holiday season can be found at GOODEE.

GOODEE is a leading Black-owned and curated marketplace offering essential homewares and lifestyle products for better living.

Byron and Dexter Peart are the twin brothers behind GOODEE. They aim to use the GOODEE platform to share the stories of the creators, artisans, and entrepreneurs that inspire them.

Discover products from a wide range of makers and brands.

YOWIE

Also gathering products from a variety of creators is YOWIE.

YOWIE is a Black-owned home and life shop focused on curating small collections from friends, independent artists, and designers.

From Philadelphia, Founder Shannon Maldonado aims to democratize design and give creatives and makers a platform.

Check out their collections ranging from home decor, to paper and art, to tableware.


Wherever you are celebrating this year, we hope our curated holiday gift guide for supporting Asian-owned and other Black and Indigenous businesses sparks inspiration.

And remember, any time of the year is a good time to support BIPOC businesses near you.

From our Cold Tea Collective family to yours, Happy Holidays!


Feature image by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

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