15 AANHPI Kickstarter Creators to Watch in 2024

Celebrating AANHPI Month with Kickstarter: Showcasing 15 Trailblazing Creators

15 AANHPI Kickstarter Creators to Watch in 2024

Honoring Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Creativity and Innovation

Kickstarter is a platform that empowers creators of all backgrounds to share their innovative ideas with the world. It offers creative independence and financial support from an engaged community, helping entrepreneurs turn their visions into reality.

In celebration of AANHPI Month and the 15th Anniversary of Kickstarter, we are proud to present a new series called “Kickstarter 15,” where we'll showcase 15 Kickstarter creators from the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities. These creators are making waves in their respective fields and pushing the boundaries of creativity in unique and innovative ways.

This list is in no particular order.

#1: Kym Estrada

Kym Estrada, the innovative founder of San & Wolves Bakeshop, is revolutionizing the baking world with her unique blend of Filipino heritage and vegan principles. San & Wolves Bakeshop offers a delectable array of vegan Filipino baked goods that pay homage to traditional flavors while promoting plant-based living. Kym’s Kickstarter campaign garnered significant support with $72,322 pledged from 682 supportive backers, allowing her to expand her business and reach a wider audience. Her commitment to sustainability and cultural preservation has made her a standout creator, inspiring others to explore and embrace veganism without compromising on the rich culinary traditions of the Philippines. Give them a follow on Instagram, and you won't regret it.

#2: Jenny Woo

Jenny Woo, the creator of "52 Essential Conversations," has made a significant impact with her innovative card game designed to foster emotional intelligence and meaningful conversations. Her Kickstarter project, which focuses on enhancing communication skills through engaging and thought-provoking prompts, has resonated with backers and educators alike.

After successfully launching her project on Kickstarter and fulfilling rewards to backers, Jenny took her new product to Amazon. In 2023, Jenny achieved remarkable success by generating over $1.71 million in revenue through Amazon, showcasing the widespread appeal and effectiveness of her EQ card games. This success underscores her dedication to promoting emotional intelligence and positive interactions in both personal and educational settings.

#3: Rie fu

Rie fu is a multifaceted artist celebrating 20 years of musical and visual creativity. Known for her soothing voice and heartfelt lyrics, Rie fu has captivated audiences worldwide with her unique blend of folk, pop, and rock influences. Her Kickstarter project, "Rie fu 20th Anniversary Album & Book," commemorates two decades of her artistic journey and raised ¥4,551,804. The project features a special album and a beautifully crafted book that delves into her inspirations, experiences, and the evolution of her artistry. Rie fu’s dedication to her craft and her ability to seamlessly integrate music with visual art make her a standout creator in the AANHPI community, inspiring fans and fellow artists alike.

#4 & 5: Alyx & Vivian

Alyx and Vivian, the dynamic duo behind The Boba Plug, have created a unique space where people can come together over their love of boba tea. Their Kickstarter project, "The Boba Plug: A Place to Connect," successfully funded a welcoming community hub that offers a diverse range of boba tea flavors and fosters social connections. With a focus on inclusivity and community building, Alyx and Vivian have designed The Boba Plug to be more than just a café—it's a vibrant gathering place where individuals can meet, share stories, and form lasting friendships. Their innovative approach to blending cultural flavors with social engagement has made The Boba Plug a beloved destination and a testament to the power of community-driven projects.

#6: NP Alfaro

NP Alfaro, based in San Diego, is a talented indie comic book writer and creator of the Kickstarter project "Kontra: Against Evil Issue 1." With a degree in Anthropology from UC Riverside, NP Alfaro combines his academic background with his passion for science fiction and horror to craft compelling narratives. By day, he works in an office, but by night, he immerses himself in the world of writing. His love for video games and anime further enriches his storytelling, making "Kontra: Against Evil Issue 1" a unique and captivating comic that has resonated with a broad audience.

#7: Rebecca Vang

Rebecca Vang, the visionary behind CRUST Pie Co., has captured the hearts and taste buds of her community with her artisanal pies.  For over a decade, Vang made pies for family and friends when finally she decided to start CRUST Pie Company in 2022. In just a short time, CRUST has grown rapidly leading us to expand into their own production space.

Through her Kickstarter campaign, "CRUST Pie Co. Expansion Fund: More Flaky Pies!", Rebecca sought to expand her beloved bakery to meet growing demand. Her dedication to perfecting the art of pie-making, combined with a commitment to quality ingredients and innovative flavors, has made CRUST Pie Co. a local favorite.

#8: Nhung Dao Head

Nhung Dao Head, the visionary behind Mắm, is revolutionizing the culinary landscape by bringing authentic Vietnamese flavors to the heart of New York City.

Alongside partner Jerald Head, they started Mắm, a Vietnamese restaurant,  in 2020, driven by the hope to bring flavors of home to the Vietnamese community in New York during the pandemic. One dish in particular spoke to us: bún đậu mắm tôm (tofu noodle platter with fermented shrimp paste).

We started cooking bún đậu on weekend pop-ups and were blown away by the love from the community. Everyone who has waited for a table on Forsyth Street, enjoyed our homemade tofu, stayed back to chit-chat with us, tagged us on your photos on social media, spread the word to families and friends, or even just passed by and said “hi” was another reason to keep us going. 

Nhung’s commitment to quality and authenticity shines through in every dish, making Mắm a beloved destination for food enthusiasts and a testament to the rich culinary traditions of Vietnam.

#9: Tao Wong

Tao Wong, the creator behind "A Thousand Li: The First Step - Deluxe Collector's Edition," has captivated readers with his immersive storytelling in the wuxia and cultivation genres. His Kickstarter-funded project brought to life a deluxe edition of his popular series, featuring beautifully illustrated covers, high-quality printing, and exclusive bonus content. Wong's campaign not only met but exceeded its funding goals, showcasing the strong support and enthusiasm from his dedicated fan base. His work stands out for its intricate world-building and compelling characters, making him a trailblazer in the literary community. Through his successful Kickstarter campaign, Wong continues to expand the reach of wuxia literature, bringing this unique and fascinating genre to a broader audience.

#10: Lan Ho

Lan Ho founded Fat Miilk to make high-quality Vietnamese coffee more accessible by sourcing beans directly from Vietnamese farmers. Her dedication to sustainable practices and fair compensation for farmers ensures that every cup of Fat Miilk coffee is rich in flavor and tradition. Lan's Kickstarter campaign for Fat Miilk 2.0 showcased her commitment to innovation and excellence, introducing new flavors and blends while staying true to traditional Vietnamese coffee.

Her meticulous attention to detail and desire to build a community around Vietnamese coffee culture have earned her a loyal following. Through engaging storytelling and transparent communication, Lan has positioned Fat Miilk as a standout brand in the specialty coffee market. Her ability to blend tradition with innovation has brought her success on Kickstarter and elevated Fat Miilk as a leading brand in the industry.

#11: Lady Wong

Lady Wong Patisserie, an award-winning bakery in NYC, is known for bringing the rich and vibrant flavors of Southeast Asia to your doorstep. Located in New York City, Lady Wong's patisserie is famous for its delicious kueh, cakes, and other traditional Southeast Asian desserts. Through her successful Kickstarter campaign, she has expanded her reach, allowing dessert enthusiasts nationwide to enjoy her delectable creations.

Lady Wong's project not only met its funding goal but also exceeded expectations with $23,701 raised, reflecting the strong demand and appreciation for her unique culinary offerings. Her dedication to preserving and sharing Southeast Asian culinary traditions has resonated with backers.

#12: Yunong Jiang

Yunong Jiang, the creative mind behind yunonglive, has redefined multifunctional furniture with his Kickstarter campaign, Foldable Lander: Chair, Table/Ottoman. This innovative piece of furniture seamlessly transitions between a chair, table, and ottoman, offering versatility and convenience for small living spaces. Yunong’s design not only emphasizes functionality but also boasts a sleek, modern aesthetic that appeals to a wide range of users.

In 2023, his successful Kickstarter campaign raised $87,758 from 791 backers from around the world, demonstrating his ability to blend practicality with style that has mass appeal.

#13: Yami

Yami, the visionary behind 3Legged Coffee Brewery, is making a significant impact in the world of specialty coffee. With a passion for crafting unique and high-quality brews, 3Legged Coffee Brewery is renowned for its meticulous attention to detail, from selecting the finest coffee beans to perfecting the brewing process.

Yami's innovative approach goes beyond just serving great coffee. The project emphasizes sustainability and community engagement, ensuring that each cup of coffee contributes positively to the environment and local economies. By sourcing beans ethically and implementing eco-friendly practices, Yami is setting a new standard in the coffee industry.

Backers were drawn to the project's commitment to quality and sustainability, as well as Yami's dedication to creating a unique coffee experience.

#14: Carol Chen

Carol Chen, the creative mind behind Jing, has revolutionized hearing protection with her designer earplugs. As a Kickstarter creator, Carol successfully funded her project, showing a deep understanding of both functionality and aesthetics. Jing earplugs are not only practical, but also a stylish accessory that seamlessly integrates with the user’s lifestyle. Carol’s dedication to quality and design has received significant support from backers, raising awareness about the importance of hearing protection in everyday life.

Carol's journey began with a simple yet profound goal: to create earplugs that people would love to wear. She recognized the common reluctance to use traditional earplugs due to their unappealing and uncomfortable design. By combining sleek aesthetics with advanced acoustic technology, Carol has developed a product that stands out in the market.

Her Kickstarter campaign not only met its funding goal, but also highlighted the demand for innovative solutions in personal health and wellness. Carol Chen is undoubtedly a creator to watch as she continues to push the boundaries of design and functionality in the realm of hearing protection. Her success with Jing on Kickstarter is a testament to her vision and the community's support for practical, stylish innovations.

#15: Melissa Yi

Melissa Yi is a standout creator on Kickstarter, known for her captivating storytelling and engaging mysteries. Her latest project, "Red Rock Killer: Cozy YA Mystery in Exclusive Hardcover," has successfully captured the interest of backers with its intriguing plot and richly developed characters. This young adult mystery novel combines suspense with a cozy, inviting atmosphere, making it a perfect read for fans of the genre. Yi's unique ability to weave intricate narratives that keep readers on the edge of their seats has made her a creator to watch.