We are pleased to bring you Mochi’s first annual Asian American Gift Guide, affectionately known as Mochi’s Favorite Things (as I inch toward my goal of becoming Asian American Oprah). Now, more than ever, the way we spend our dollars is a vote for the kind of world we want to live in. Supporting Asian American businesses is one simple way to tell the world that we are here and we matter. Here are 31 gifts from 31 brands founded and run by Asian Americans. Many give a nod to Asian cultures, and all are delightful to give and receive. 

– Jennifer Duann Fultz, Editor-in-Chief

Asian American Clothing Brands

The Zen Pants will bring both serenity and style to the yogis, athletes and fashionistas in your life. Paired with a T-shirt and sneakers or a crop top and heels, these pants are super versatile. The waistband is also adjustable and the gender-neutral sizing is simple (S/M or M/L), so it may be tempting to #treatyoself… or gift them to your significant other so you can “borrow” them!

— Sarah Jinee Park, Copy Chief

Use code INKYMOCHI for 20% off your order until 12/31/19!

Inspired by their own brothers and fathers, co-founders (and life partners!) Tanya Zhang and Wesley Kang have created dress shirts that fit slimmer body types without bunchy extra fabric, baggy arms, or expensive tailoring fees. Grab one for the Henry Golding or Chris Pang in your life!

I am severely obsessed with East Meets Dress and am planning a vow renewal for the express purpose of buying one of their qipaos. I wore my mother’s wedding qipao at my own wedding reception, which was super meaningful, but I can’t get over the modern styling and gorgeous details of the Marilyn Dress from East Meets Dress. EMD has beautiful gowns for Asian American brides or high schoolers going to prom who all want to celebrate their roots their way.

— Jennifer Duann Fultz, Editor-in-Chief

Mochi readers can use the code MOCHIHOLIDAY to take $25 off any EMD dresses until 12/25/19.

Rachel Park Designs creates made-to-order luxury ties, bow ties and wedding ties. Founder Rachel Park is also a triple-negative breast cancer survivor. During treatment, she used her sewing skills to create the ParkPuff™, a stylish, go-anywhere seat belt pillow for breast cancer patients worldwide.

 

Jewelry gifts for your bff

The Rise Collective designer Mei Elizabeth Tan wanted to tell the story of her family, who survived Cambodian concentration camps during the Khmer Rouge regime. The Signature Survivor Cuff is made from recycled brass munitions by Cambodian fair wage artisans. Every purchase provides a lifesaving essential — ranging from a year of school supplies to a month of nutrient rich meals — to a survivor or at-risk child of slavery.

It’s easy to build your own ring stack or arm party with Priscilla Ma’s simple, wearable and affordable sterling silver, gold-filled, and stainless steel jewelry.

Peggy Li’s jewelry has been featured in “Pretty Little Liars,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Jane the Virgin” and multiple seasons of “The Bachelorette.” Her designs are simple, delicate and feminine with a modern twist, perfect for work, date nights, and everyday wear. Read more about Peggy’s work or listen to Auntie’s podcast interview with her!

Mochi readers can get 20% off with code CEA20 expires 12/11/19, limit one per customer.

FMMTJ creates unisex jewelry inspired by “the darkness and light within us all.” Designs feature crystals and draw inspiration from different Asian handcrafts, symbols and myths.

Featured at the Cosmos New Year Market, Janet Akie Masamitsu creates sterling silver jewelry that are unique and modern, yet wearable and affordable. Some of her pieces feature cast silver origami shapes like cranes and shuriken, while others have classic shapes like stars and hearts.

 

As lip gloss has surged back into fashion, the ShineOn Lip Jelly from clean beauty brand Tower 28 is one of the most impressive formulations to hit the market this year — and this is coming from someone who has historically shunned lip gloss. This hydrating, non-sticky duo comes in two shade options, each including a permanent shade from the line and a brand new shade. Whether you’re looking for a hint of tint, some shimmer and sparkle, or a clear, glassy shine — or all three — there’s something for everyone.

— Tori Smith, Beauty Editor

Love Pretty specializes in lashes designed for people with small, petite, or Asian eyes who love handcrafted, no-fuss, easy-to-apply, comfort-first but also glamorous lashes.

Jolii Cosmetics founder Sasha Suresh has created a boutique line of vegan, cruelty-free and paraben-free lip products and highlighters. Made in Italy, these beauty products will help you look and feel great.

Founder Charlotte Cho seeks to infuse her products and company with “jeong,” the deep and emotional connection she feels for family and her home away from home in Seoul. Their products are vegan and cruelty-free and made without parabens, artificial colors and synthetic fragrances.

These Peach and Lily sheet masks are the caviar of sheet masks. Everything from the packaging to the ingredients to the mask fit has been thoughtfully designed and considered. You won’t find any synthetic fragrances, synthetic dyes, alcohol, parabens, sulfates, mineral oil or formaldehyde in these masks, and they adhere comfortably to your face without sliding or leaving you with that dreaded bunching around the edges caused by excess material. The smooth and nourishing (not sticky!) serum is the perfect antidote to arid winter air and late-night holiday parties — ’tis the season to give the gift of glow.

— Tori Smith, Beauty Editor

 

Gifts for Stationery Lovers

Passion Planner was the only thing that stood between me and a total meltdown while I was pregnant and teaching, so now I have a superstitious attachment to keeping my row of yearly colored planners consistent. I admit to underutilizing many of the intentionally-designed features such as the Passion Roadmap, motivational quotes and challenges, and weekly/daily focuses, but I do appreciate the reminder to think about “Good Things That Happened” every week. They have calendar year, academic year, and undated versions, with Sunday or Monday starts, and three different sizes. And they just had a successful Kickstarter campaign to bring the Passion Planner Daily to life!

— Jennifer Duann Fultz, Editor-in-Chief

Janine Kwoh’s handmade letterpress cards are smart, funny and honest. She has snappy greetings for traditional occasions, as well as cards expressing gratitude for chosen families, celebrating the LGBTQ community, and normalizing grief. Kwohtations also has stickers, art prints and other giftable accessories.

Created by Aileen Xu, the Lavendaire Artist of Life Workbook is a 192-page workbook and journal with questions and exercises designed to guide you through self-discovery, exploration and fulfillment.

For the stationery monster in your life, Wonton in a Million offers a treasure trove of often punny, always adorable stickers, washi tape, pins, pens, and other dim-sum themed products. Order online or buy at Michaels stores, Pearl River Mart, and the Museum of Chinese in America.

Boba, to me, has become synonymous with friendship, catching up, and a sense of community. When all the cousins are in town for the holidays, we meet up for late nights of boba. When friends visit, it’s my duty to introduce them to the best boba joint in town. This adorable pin by a Seattle-based artist is the perfect gift for your favorite boba buddy, to remind them that in between boba dates, you’re still thinking of them. Cathy’s shop also has a wide variety of whimsically illustrated cards, stickers and prints.

— Melody Ip, Managing Editor

2 Bros and a Bard overdelivers on their tagline, “Handcrafted nerdy wood and bronze art.” From hand-tooled chopsticks to bookmarks and keychains, nothing is exempt from their puntastic nerdom. They sell mostly at fan conventions, but you can also purchase select products online.

Perfect for the plant mamas and rock hounds in your life, these cute little planters will add a touch of nature to your office or apartment. You can also get crystal photo or name tag holders for your next dinner party (or wedding!).

Inspired by her desire to make her home and the world a safer place for her children, Blueland founder Sarah Paiji Yoo created cleaning products that come in tablet form and bypass the waste of single-use product packaging. Fill the reusable bottles with water, drop in a tablet, and get cleaning!

Bawdy Bookworms offers Pleasure Pairings, curated books that pair sexy romance books with erotic accessories (batteries always included). The Lick It Till Ice Cream Box features a funny, steamy romance with Chinese Canadian characters that is #ownvoices. Founder Thien-Kim Lam hopes to encourage more women to discover fun, steamy books and take charge of their sexual pleasure. Treat yourself, a friend or a partner!

Mochi readers can save 10% off their order with code MOCHI (good through 12/31/19)

Channel your inner Sasha Tran with this gourmet baking kit that comes with everything you need. (And none of the leftover bulk ingredients you don’t!) If you’re in Brooklyn, you can also check out Kitsby’s dessert bar.

YouTube workout star (and former Mochi staffer) Cassey Ho has created a vast fitness empire including her signature PIIT28 and POP Pilates exercise programs, as well as her own line of activewear, fitness planners and yoga mats. Give a loved one the gift of fitness — or better yet, make a plan to complete Cassey’s workouts together!

This card set might actually make your stoic Chinese parents shed a tear, or at least open up a bit emotionally. Designed to spark meaningful conversations, the bilingual cards ask thoughtful questions and suggest actions that foster connections between parents and children. If your family doesn’t speak Chinese, you can request other languages on their website.

The Ahlgren Collage was born out of Melissa Ahlgren’s passion for design and the natural world. As a result, her tea towels feature vibrantly colored patterns found in nature: teal geometric spikes of urchins, watercolored poppies, the cheerful cross section of watermelon radishes, and an ombre shower of turquoise raindrops onto golden tulips. The towels are perfect for adding a splash of color to the kitchen, either as decoration or to clean up spills. Also check out the Ahlgren Collage’s throw pillows. In addition to using eco-friendly materials and production methods, Melissa donates 10% of all sales to Conservation International.

— Melody Ip, Managing Editor

Mochi readers can use the code MOCHIHOLIDAY to take 15% off any purchase. The code is effective 12/1/19 and ends 12/25/19.

 

Gifts for Kids

Habbi Habbi’s starter set includes an interactive wand that will get your kids excited about learning a second or perhaps even a third language. You can either choose Spanish or Mandarin. A perfect gift for those who are already in an immersion program at school, as well as those who need a fun introduction to a new language. Start them young!

— Ivy Payne, Fashion Editor

Written, illustrated and self-published by Asian Americans, “A World of Princesses Coloring Book” and picture book “Pepper Zhang: Artist Extraordinaire” bring diversity and representation to the world of kid lit. Author Jerry Zhang wanted stories featuring main characters who looked like his daughters, and illustrator Trisha Hautea has brought those characters to life. 

Mochi readers can use the code Pepper19 to get $5 off on orders over $25.

For the new or expectant moms in your life, Happy Our provides bamboo “softwear” in timeless, gender-neutral colors and silhouettes. All products are ethically made in California and — most importantly — machine washable!

— Yvonne Su, Copy Editor