First we did beauty, then we did sustainable and ethical Canadian fashion and now we’re making your home cozy with Asian-founded home goodies. Much like fashion produced in Asia, home goods made in Asian are often disregarded as unethical, poorly made and mass-produced. Like I’ve said before, this is to do with the exploitation of labour and just because something is Asian-made doesn’t mean it’s poorly made. Below are some of my fave brands founded by Asian folks that will spruce up any space.
Kilig Candle Co. – Sean Blishen. Kilig is the Tagalog word for the butterflies in your stomach and that’s what you get whenever you use Kilig Candle Co. products. They recently launched new products, a cleansing hand and body wash ($32), a nourishing hand and body lotion ($32), and two roller ball perfumes ($30). While I know that these products technically are better suited for my beauty round-up I wanted to include in home brands because I do pick out my hand wash by what I find to be aesthetic, efficient and delightful to use, both for me and guests.
Our Place – Shiza Shahid. The Always Pan from Our Place is the LOML. Truly. Prior to getting one of my own all my friends had to hear me wax poetic about wanting this pan, debating which colour I wanted and daydreaming of all the things I would make with it. I use it close to every single day and she truly makes me feel like I am a great cook.
Wing on Wo & Co. – Walter Eng. Manhattan’s oldest operating store in Chinatown, Wing on Wo & Co. has a five-generation long heritage known for their porcelain ware and cultural goods. They sell authentically Asian porcelain, including colourful and intricate tableware. I love their Spring Cabbage Sharing Bowls ($155 for a set of four) featuring soft pastels hues.
Neets – Anita Chung. Spruce up your walls with a Neets art print or original featuring whimsical designs meant to inspire and remember history. Looking for wearable and easy to gift art? Check out her Ikebana Furoshiki ($60) designed to look like a floral arrangement and can be used as gift wrap or as a fun accessory, such as a headscarf of even a tote!
Studio Fundamentals – May Ann Villanueva. I’m a ceramic bitch and I can never resist picking up a new ceramic whenever I’m at a craft fair. Studio Fundamentals is one of my faves with gorgeous handmade designs. Not to mention, May Ann Villanueva is all about cultivate community and also sells supplies and host workshops so you can be a ceramics wiz yourself.
WA MOGA 29 – Reiko Katayama. Into the look of florals but not so much the maintenance? Same here. You can add a gorgeous floral touch to your home with a WA MOGA 29 herbarium featuring dried or presreved plants from all over the world. They require no major care or natural light and can last anywhere between six months to a year.
Cultivate Tea – Jude Wang & Lynn Liu. If you’re a tea enthusiasts you cannot get to Cultivate Tea fast enough. With a selection of rare and exceptional quality teas, Cultivate practices direct trade and ethically sourcing straight from small farmers and foragers in China, Taiwan and Japan.
Freon Collective – Nancy Mac. If you’ve ever been browsing Etsy or Indigo for sustainable swaps, I’m sure you’ve seen Freon Collective, a low-waste brand that specializes in small-batch production in Toronto. They sell the softest face cloths and reusable rounds and they’re available in fun colourful prints.
Mala the Brand – Melody Lim. Candles are decor, end of discussion. Haha, I am being cheeky but I am also being serious. My apartment has various candles throughout and not only do they add a delicious scent to my home, but they’re also work as decor for every room and flat surface in my home. One of my fave brands, Mala, makes eco-friendly candles in to-die-for scents, like Chai (my personal fave) and Cereal (it smells just like Froot Loops!)
OHAI – Emily Leung. Your cannabis also deserves a nice home. Stash your stash like a goddamn adult with Ohai’s elevated cannabis essentials, with this box ($118) made with a gorgeous marble acrylic, two storage jars, a scraper tool and a spacious lid that doubles as a rolling tray.