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Celebrating Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month: TikTok's Visionary Voices

Written By: Adrienne Kelekolio

May marks the celebration of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month, a time to honor the rich cultural heritage, contributions, and achievements of these diverse communities. This year, in a commendable move, TikTok has unveiled its Visionary Voices list, spotlighting 15 AANHPI creators, businesses, and industry disruptors who have made significant cultural impacts on the platform and beyond.

Asian-Owned Brands You Should Know


For AANHPI month, we wanted to highlight three Asian-owned brands that are killing it in The Preppy Family


We had the pleasure of meeting these incredible brands, so make sure to show some love and give these episodes a listen this weekend!


Mikaella Go and Tony Yu from Vessi


We chatted with two of Vessi’s co-founders Mikaella Go and Tony Yu about their vegan and waterproof shoe brand and how it scaled into a nine-figure brand. They honed in on a common customer pain point: dealing with unpredictable weather and having footwear that could protect them against the elements. 


Listen to Mikaella and Tony’s podcast episode here about building customized experiences using AI and the growth channels they are exploring.


Eric Ji Sun Wu from Sobo Foods


Eric is no stranger to The Preppy Family. He grew Gainful, a personalized nutrition start-up to 8 figures before starting comfort food brand Sobo Foods.


His plant-based dumplings cater to health-conscious consumers who want access to comfort foods with a higher nutritional value.


Listen to Eric’s podcast episode here about creating a quality product that resonates well with customer needs.


Emily Chan from Omsom


Omsom’s Marketing Director, Emily Chan, shared how the CPG brand had grown since 2020 thanks to its authentic brand story and explosive sauce flavors.


She shared that 90% of its growth at the time had been due to organic channels like TikTok, Instagram, and its blog.


Listen to Emily’s podcast episode here about creating content that resonates and tips for increasing your AOV.


 

Beyond entertainment, many of the honorees have utilized TikTok as a platform for advocacy and social change. By raising awareness about important issues such as racial justice, mental health, and environmental sustainability, these creators have sparked meaningful conversations and inspired action among their followers.


@zbtheclimateoptimist

@zbtheclimateoptimist is a climate activist, influencer, CEO, and writer. Her content focuses on climate hope, optimism, humor, and action items. After unexpectedly establishing a career as an online sustainability educator and influencer her junior year at Vanderbilt University, Zahra decided to jump head first into the waters of entrepreneurship and authorship. Using positivity and hope, she educates us on how to care for our planet, delivers critical updates, and reminds us of those earthly wins we need to manage our climate anxiety.


@crutches_and_spice

@crutches_and_spice is an intersectional disability advocate who discusses how systems actively exclude and marginalize disabled people from institutions such as education and the workforce. Using wit and sharp insight, she reminds us that we all must remember and uplift disabled people, or our radical politics aren't that radical.


@genzforchange

@genzforchange is a coalition of digital activists who use guerilla tactics to stop political entities from spreading malignant policies. They have flooded Starbucks with 88,000 fake job applications in solidarity with Starbucks Workers United. @genzforchange also crashed Texas Right to Life's website in response to Texas's new, invasive anti-abortion law. And they're just getting started.


@Kahlilgreene

@Kahlilgreene is a digital American history creator who focuses on the hidden history of American injustices committed by various American institutions throughout America's short history in "Hidden History." He also runs more modern cultural commentary pointing out instances of columbusing with his series, "How Everything on This App Originated with Black People.


@paperbacks_and_frybread

@paperbacks_and_frybread is an indigenous bookseller who aims to help people decolonize their thought processes, starting with their bookshelves. She offers educators thoughtful suggestions on books highlighting marginalized kids' experiences, promotes BIPOC authors, and runs the "Decolonize Your Bookshelf Book Club." Offering levity and wit, @paperbacks_and_frybread helps spotlight often overlooked perspectives.


 

In the spirit of celebration and solidarity, let us continue to support and uplift AANHPI creators, businesses, and community leaders, not just during Heritage Month, but year-round. Together, we can foster a more inclusive and equitable world where every voice is heard and valued.


Thank You For Reading!

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