Entrepreneurs have to overcome a number of hurdles and roadblocks in order to create a successful business, the hardest part being business scaling and having the right ideas to create products that make a difference and offer something completely out of the box. This is where Asian Americans founders have been drawing on their background and experiences to execute their visions.
Asian American entrepreneurs own 1.9 million businesses in the United States. The growth of these entrepreneurs has been phenomenal with a growth rate of more than 20% in the last decade or so against a mere 2% increase in overall new business setups in the country. On average, each business owned by an Asian American generates more than $350,000 in sales with a combined sales revenue of $708 billion. Asian American entrepreneurs continue to represent an emerging group of American society and culture. Let’s look at 3 Asian American entrepreneurs bringing the best of their Asian roots to the American culture and creating something unique!
The Taiwanese American entrepreneur is the founder of a luxury mask brand called Maskela. Carol founded the company after she was turned away from a private club for wearing a disposable facemask. After returning home, she starting working on turning one of her own designer dresses into a face mask. That was the point from where it all started and has since grown to become the brand Maskela is today. The former Miss San Francisco already had a fashion brand that sold in more than 300 stores across Los Angeles, an MMA brand based in Hong Kong which was worn by a number of international fighters, a uniform factory in China, and a clothing rental company based in Singapore which was also featured in Crazy Rich Asians and provided the wardrobe for the casting of the movie. So, Maskela felt like the natural next step!
Ann McFerran is the founder and CEO of a beauty brand specializing in eyeliners and eyelashes called Glamnetic. She immigrated to the United States from Thailand at the age of 7 with her family and settled in Manteca, California. She received her Bachelors of Science in Psychobiology from the University College, Los Angeles. Soon after graduating, McFerran discovered that expressing creativity through art and design is where her real passion lies and so she went on to become a highly successful artist! However, she still sensed a gap in her expression that grew into an ardent desire to create a community for collaboration with likeminded creative individuals. And that’s how she discovered the huge need of magnetic lashes in the beauty market and decided to create a product line that simplified one’s beauty routine with an innovative solution that can be used by everyone, every day. Glamnetic was born after Ann was able to learn and master all the skills required to build and scale a brand successfully and the company now has a 7-figure monthly revenue.
Founder and creative director of Akashi Kama, a fashion and lifestyle brand, Alec Nakashima is a fifth generation Japanese-American based in California’s Bay Area. American streetwear, traditional Japanese clothing, and modern aesthetics have inspired him to create the company and its product line that fuse the two cultures together. The immensely talented fashion entrepreneur was working in Silicon Valley prior to the founding of the brand. He took a trip to Japan to gain some inspiration and ideas for something that would truly help him unpack his identity.
The idea he was looking for was on the lines of heritage, fashion, originality and the fusion of American and Asian cultures, and that’s where he found his inspiration – from the traditional work wear of Japanese agrarian workers. He experimented with the design through a lot of trial and errors and found a way to mix in American streetwear to create the unique Noragi Jackets. These jackets have now become the face and identity of Akashi Kama. The brand and its story have also been featured on a number of fashion magazine such as GQ, Valet Magazine and Gear Patrol.
Entrepreneurship is all about discovering ideas, experimenting with creativity and transforming discovery into solutions and genuine products that clearly stand out in any industry. Entrepreneurs themselves are self-driven individuals with a sense of innovation and passion that drives them towards new products and services carefully through ideas.