If you didn't know, I'm Taiwanese and American! 🇹🇼 🇺🇸
Taiwan is a small country located to the southwest of Japan, to the east of China, and to the north of the Philippines. It's known for its delicious food and ultra friendly people. We have pride parades every year in the capital city of Taipei, and we elected the first female president in East Asia. Taiwan also has the moniker of "Silicon Valley of the East." If you're reading this gift guide from a smartphone or a laptop, its semiconductor chips were likely made in Taiwan.
Do you love bubble tea, also known as boba? It's originally from Taiwan. We practically have a boba tea shop on every street!
In celebration of my motherland, I've put together a gift guide of Taiwanese and Taiwanese-American small businesses, all located in the USA.
Building Block is a design studio based in Los Angeles and was founded by sisters Nancy Wu, previously a Nike shoe designer, and Kimberly Wu, previously a Honda concept car designer. Established in 2011, the studio offers simple yet stunning leather bags and accessories that are designed with intention. Looking for a timeless bag? Head over to Building Block.
Hello! I’m a jewelry designer and maker based in Oakland, California. I’m also an introvert, which is why I make jewelry specifically for soft-spoken folks with strong backbones. Our society often overlooks and undervalues introverts, but we lead such fascinating inner lives. The world needs more individuals like you.
Offer: Use code TAIWAN20 for 20% off Ready to Ship items. Bonus - Holiday Jewelry Sets are marked 20% off, no code needed. Limited quantities available. Offers expire at midnight of 12/15/2020.
Knotwork LA is built on a desire to create beautiful, useful things. Business owner Linda Hsiao is a freelance industrial designer with a passion for all things ceramic and wood. Each Knotwork LA object is made by hand, from porcelain catchall trays to silky smooth wooden rattles. If you’re still searching for a gift for the coffee lover in your life, Linda offers carefully crafted, one-of-a-kind mugs.
Formosa Chocolates produces luxury chocolates with Belgian techniques in the San Francisco Bay Area. Chocolatier and owner Kimberly Yang not only loves chocolate, but is also passionate about the nuanced chemistry that sets luxury chocolate apart. Fun fact - Formosa Chocolates is named after Taiwan, which was given the moniker “Ilha Formosa (beautiful island)” by Portuguese sailors in the mid-1500s.
Offer: Use code GIFTY10 for 10% off purchases over $50, code expires 12/22/20.
Taiwan Bento is a casual lunch spot in Uptown Oakland and is the brainchild of Stacy Tang, a tech worker-turned restaurateur. They offer mouth-watering popcorn chicken, beef noodle soup, and gua boa (Taiwanese sandwich). Their bentos are served with entrees like minced braised pork, Taiwanese sausage, and spicy tofu with shiitake mushrooms. Don't forget to top off your meal with their bubble tea!
Free Flow Botanicals
Patty Liu is a San Francisco native with a passion for holistic beauty and wellness. As a certified Clinical Herbalist, Holistic Beauty coach, and Reiki Practitioner, Patty started Free Flow Botanicals to help women live their best lives. She offers skincare products, holistic beauty classes, and more. Can’t find the perfect gift for a skin care junkie? I recommend Free Flow Botanicals’s gemstone massage tools!
Offer: Free US shipping on orders over $75.
The Wax Apple
The Wax Apple is about home. It’s about comfort. It’s all the things Juliana Hung remembers from spending time with her grandmother in the Taiwanese countryside. An industrial designer by day, Juliana thoughtfully curates a selection of Taiwanese objects such as rattan stools, embroidered linen clothing, traditional footwear, and shell ginger woven baskets. Each object is an inextricable part of Taiwanese culture and life.
And last but not least, writer Charles Yu. He is the author of four books and recently won the 2020 National Book Award for his novel, Interior Chinatown. The National Book Award is the highest honor for literary work written by US citizens. He has also written for tv shows like Westworld, and his fiction and nonfiction have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Atlantic, and The Wall Street Journal. Shopping for a bookworm? Look no further.
And that's a wrap! I hope you enjoyed my Taiwanese Small Biz Gift Guide. Every purchase you make matters. Thank you for consciously choosing to shop small and to buy from BIPOC businesses this holiday season.