These 60 Asian American creatives are designing a better L.A.

Enhanced photo of artist Janel Foo.
Artist Janel Foo.
(Photos by Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times; illustration by Ross May / Los Angeles Times)
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With the recent rise of hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders during the COVID-19 pandemic, Los Angeles-based stained glass artist Janel Foo wanted to do something to help.

“I can tell you that I’ve never been more self-conscious about being Asian,” said Foo, who is Chinese American and has worried about the safety of her parents.

So Foo decided to auction off one of her stained-glass suncatchers on Instagram and donate the funds to Stop AAPI Hate, a San Francisco-based coalition that addresses anti-Asian hate and harassment.


Her idea escalated from there. “I thought it would be cool to get my Asian American and Pacific Islander friends involved,” she said. “Part of it was raising awareness about rising Asian hate, but I also wanted to amplify AAPI voices in our community.”

Enough is enough, says a growing number of creatives from the fashion industry, including designer Kimora Lee Simmons, stylist Jeanne Yang and designer Prabal Gurung.

May 13, 2020

Since creating the Create to Stop Hate Instagram account, Foo has auctioned off more than 70 items from Asian American artists including jewelry, ceramics, yarn-wrapped horseshoes, illustrations and fiber wall hangings. The auction has collected more than $12,000 so far, and Foo will continue this week with donations from clothing label Black Crane, San Francisco-based photographer Michael Jang and Los Angeles celebrity photographer Peter Yang.

“It has been so rewarding and fulfilling,” Foo said. “Yes, it’s time consuming and I’ve been ignoring my stained glass orders, but I feel like it is important.”

Inspired by Foo, we’ve compiled a list of Los Angeles-based Asian American and Pacific Islander creatives. As with our lists of Black, Latino and female-owned businesses, this is not meant to be definitive but a way to highlight some of the AAPI community in Los Angeles.

Aimee Thieu
Three-dimensional hand-cut paper art and sculpture.

Alyson Iwamoto
Whimsical ceramics and jewelry.


Baked Goods
Handmade kiln-formed glass home decor and accessories by Jennifer Namkoong.

Bash + Sass
Gender neutral clothing for children, created by founder Irene Lee and inspired by her own two kids.

Black Crane
Comfortable, size-inclusive clothing from designers Alexander Yamaguchi and Momo Suzuki.

Botanica Workshop
Organic underwear and loungewear from founder Misa Miyagawa.

Building Block
Minimal leather goods and accessories by Nancy and Kimberly Wu.


Caroline Suzuki
Greeting cards and giftware featuring hand-painted illustrations.

Cheery Human Studios
Bright and encouraging stationery, stickers and other paper goods by Kristina Yu.

Cindy Zell
Handmade sculptures using mindfully sourced natural materials.

Leather goods and accessories by industrial designer Christine Lau.

The Corgi Collective
Corgi butt accessories by Jason and Janel Foo.

Cyan Ceramics
Minimalist ceramics handmade in Los Angeles by Catherine Yan.


Decue Wue
Illustrations by Diyou Wu (known as DQ), named one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Art & Style, class of 2020.

Dez Einswell
Prints, planters, sculptures and housewares.

Dirty Eraser
Ink and watercolor works by Jo Situ Allen.

Dwinisa Perkel
Leather, metal and artworks by Perkel, who is originally from Indonesia.


Felicia Liang
The artist and illustrator, who specializes in colored pencil and digital illustrations, published “#100DAYSIANS,” an illustrated 100 Day Project about growing up Asian American.

Fine jewelry by Korean designer Jennifer Pak, meant to be worn every day.

Gliss Prints
Music-inspired wall art by Carrin Tanaka.

Hahn Jewelry
Sterling silver and gold-plated handmade artisan jewelry by Dhamee Hahn, inspired by Midcentury Modern design.

Han Cao
Hand embroidery on found paper.


Heo Ceramics
Graphic, hand-painted ceramics by Karen Tong.

Hey Moon Designs
Scarlet Penaloza hand-marbles, forms and assembles her jewelry and wall pieces at home in Los Angeles.

Irro Irro
Minimalist clothing and accessories, ethically made in L.A. by Japanese designer Marie Miao.

 Janel Foo with her stained glass suncatchers.
Janel Foo is photographed with stained glass suncatchers she made in her Highland Park studio.
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Janel Foo
Working alone in her detached one-car garage-turned studio, Foo assembles stained-glass suncatchers for custom orders.

Jen E Ceramics
Using her background in graphic design, Jen Kuroki crafts bold and colorful ceramics that will make you smile.


Jessica Chou

JuJu Made
Hats and bags, jewelry and ceramic accessories by Juliana Hung.

Juniper + Fir
Textiles, macrame and fiber art by Echo Park artist Maya Slininger.

Kat & Roger
Artists Kat Hutter and Roger Lee, the son of Koreatown founder Hi Duk Lee, blend their talents in painting (Hutter) and ceramics (Lee) to create graphic handmade functional artworks.

Knotwork LA
Ceramics by Linda Hsiao, inspired by the natural world: rocks, trees, mountains and sand (think bird pitchers).


Kristen Liu-Wong
Paintings, illustrations, zines and prints.

Leaf and Spine
This tiny store specializes in plants that are hard to find. “We wanted to form a specialty in plants that are really unique,” says owner Dustin Bulaon, who is a collector.

Lupa Bags
Handcrafted leather goods by Ojai-based Katrina Espiritu.

Handcrafted fiber art, yarn-wrapped horseshoes and colorful pom-pom jewelry by Cindy Tung.

Merci Milo
Ethically made goods for children from around the world.


Designer Lisa Hsieh started the small-batch clothing business in 2015 when she was pregnant with her son and couldn’t find flattering clothing for pregnancy and beyond.

Mirena Kim
Handmade modern ceramics, including vessels, platters, bowls and cups.

Screen prints by Darrin Pattanumotana.

Object-Matter O-M
Graphic, curvilinear ceramics, blankets and tote bags by Highland Park-based artist Carrie Lau.

Oh Joy!
Founder and creative director Joy Cho’s lifestyle brand offers whimsical products, spanning bandages to soft soap, as well as regular editorial content online.


Ozma of California
Designer Heidi Baker’s clothing line, which is made in L.A., focuses on nature and sustainability.

Pawena Thimaporn
Handcrafted and boldly painted ceramics, thrown in Thimaporn’s Woodland Hills studio.

Peter Yang
The Los Angeles photographer is known for his celebrity portraits, from Barack Obama to JJ Watt.

Founded in 2003 by husband-and-wife team Ted Vadakan and Angie Myung, the design accessories and housewares brand has grown from a small startup into a mainstay of the Los Angeles creative community.

Raina J. Lee
The Mount Washington artist experiments with wheel and slab-built forms in alternative firings, textures and forms. On occasion, she hosts sales in her backyard treehouse art gallery.


Handmade ceramics and dinnerware by Tina Huang made from recycled colored clay.

Ryan Young
The photographer most recently documented a candlelight vigil honoring the victims of anti-Asian hate crimes for the New York Times.

Rare and exotic plants in handcrafted ceramics.

Scout Regalia
L.A.-based designers Makoto Mizutani and Benjamin Ludd bring a relaxed yet modern look to their products: stylish picnic tables, sturdy raised-bed garden kits for apartment dwellers and colorful stainless-steel wall hooks for indoors and out.

The Sill
Eliza Blank’s popular boutique carries houseplants, planters and gifts.


Clean and approachable Korean skincare, paraben-free, founded by Susie Yoon.

Here are the stories of three Asian Americans who have dealt with racism all their lives and are now determined to speak up.

March 26, 2021

Sonja Rasula
Rasula’s Unique Markets usually sets up shop in L.A. three times a year, drawing upward of 5,000 shoppers. She recently launched Care Package, a quarterly subscription service that introduces customers to items they’d typically find at a Unique event.

String Theory
Handmade, one-of-a-kind subversive cross-stitched pieces, stitched by Barbara Sueko McGuire.

Sundae School
The unisex smoke wear label has expanded into branded cannabis.

Direct to consumer gender-neutral/unisex scooters, hats and masks designed by parents.


Handmade soaps of favorite Asian goods — dumplings, fortune cookies and more — by Monica Chen.

Things Between
Hand-dyed clothing by Jessica Lee.

Tome Ceramics
Stoneware and porcelain vessels by Carla Tome, inspired by the landscape and architecture of Los Angeles.

Tower 28
Clean, vegan and cruelty-free beauty products designed for sensitive skin, founded by Amy Huang Liu.

Handcrafted incense, spiritual toolkits and workshops.


Whimsical ceramicware handmade in West Adams by painter and ceramist Hana Ward.

Wee Monster
A line of children’s clothing with a “spunky spin,” spearheaded by two sisters.

The Wicked Boheme
Inspired by travel, Anh Nguyen works with artisans to bring sustainable handmade home decor — wicker furnishings, textiles and fragrances — to the home.

Wyldbnch Plants
Pop Annemarie Chan’s shop in the downtown Arts District features indoor plants, planters, gifts and potting services.

Yuki Buttons
Minimalist clothing, handmade to order in Chino Hills.