5 Asian American moms who are making a difference on TikTok, Instagram and beyond

·10-min read
Credit: janeparkang, chrisellelim/TikTok; ohjoy/Instagram
Credit: janeparkang, chrisellelim/TikTok; ohjoy/Instagram

As we celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we want to spotlight the inspiring Asian American moms who have taken over platforms like TikTok and Instagram. Whether it’s launching child-inclusive workspaces for millennial and Gen Z moms or teaching their kids (and audience) about their family heritage, these super-talented mamas are educating in style — all while raising tiny humans in the process.

Here are five inspiring Asian American moms to follow on social media, who uplift all of us with their creativity, inspiration and cultural pride. They also let us in on the Asian American and Pacific Islander social media stars they follow when they’re looking for inspo of their own!

1. Chriselle Lim, @chrisellelim

Korean American fashion influencer Chriselle Lim has taken the world of haute couture to Instagram, TikTok and beyond. The mom of two balances fashion shoots in Dior and Fendi with raising daughters Chloe and Collette. She even helps us out with those tongue-twisty designer names. (As she tells daughter Chloe on TikTok, it’s not “Her-meez,” it’s “Ehr-mehz.”) While mixing mom life with high fashion might seem like a tough sell, Chriselle’s endearing and humorous approach has moms LOL’ing right into their (sometimes fake) Birkin bags. But it’s not just fashion that gets the spotlight on her platforms. We get to share in her mom’s Korean cooking tips, too. Not only that, but Chriselle is launching BümoWork, a kid-friendly workspace with educational resources, in Los Angeles this month, too!

How Chriselle helps her daughters connect with their Asian heritage — “Colette and Chloe are half-Korean, half-Taiwanese, and we are very, very much active in their lives when it comes to them learning about their culture. So they’re learning both languages, both Korean and Mandarin, and I think that’s obviously the first step, to communicate with both sets of grandparents. Then, we also have these photo albums of our families on both sides, and [Chloe is] always asking questions about her great-grandparents, my grandparents, and so we’re always showing photos of them because they are in Korea. We’re always telling stories and showing photos of myself because I lived in Korea for a bit growing up. We always try to tell her about her heritage and also learn the language and hopefully, once COVID is gone, we can actually take them to Asia.”

Chriselle follows these AAPI TikTokers

  • Jane Park, @janeparkang — “I just discovered her a few months ago, and I think her content is so funny and relatable to moms, and I love that she’s always integrating her Korean heritage and teaching her kids Korean. I love following her. She just makes my day.”

  • Tina Chen Craig, @tinachencraig — “She’s like an OG fashion influencer, probably one of the first. She had the blog Bag Snob, and I’ve been following her since, but she’s such an advocate for #StopAsianHate. She’s always speaking up and also calling out people, not afraid about using her platform. She just supports the community and does so much for the community. I really admire her for that.”

  • Ava Lee, @glowwithava — “When I think of Korean beauty, I think of her. She’s always teaching her followers about Korean beauty tricks and hacks and products and massage techniques, and I feel like I really learn a lot from her.”

  • Nava Rose, @the.navarose “When it comes to fashion, Nava Rose just has really cool, chic style. She takes vintage, thrifted things and makes them look super edgy and unique. I love following her.”

2. Joy Cho, @ohjoy

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When you think of vibrant pops of color, you think of lifestyle expert and designer Joy Cho and her Oh Joy! brand. The Los Angeles-based mom of daughters Ruby and Coco launched her design studio in 2005, and her company has grown exponentially ever since. The Thai American designer is also the author of six books and has created beautiful licensed products for brands including Target, Band-Aid, Keds and more.

How Joy helps her daughters connect with their Asian heritage — “My kids are half Thai-American and half Korean-American, so it’s been important to us that they know both sides as much as we’re able to teach them. We immerse them into foods, teach them words and phrases in both languages, and celebrate holidays and traditions of both countries. We want them to appreciate where they come from and be proud of their unique mix!”

Joy follows these AAPI Instagrammers

  • Sandy Ho, @sanssho — Sandy Ho “is a chef and food stylist, and is constantly inspiring with her culinary creations.”

  • Dabito, @dabito — Dabito “is a designer and artist who creates the most stunning spaces.”

  • Ann Shen, @anndanger — Ann Shen “is an illustrator and author whose work I just love!”

3. Jane Park, @janeparkang

Jane Park is a Korean-American mom of two who’s based in Seattle. A former TV journalist, Jane discovered TikTok at the height of the 2020 lockdown. Since then, she’s grown her platform from a creative outlet into a place where she can connect with her more than 3 million followers about parenthood and the complexities of raising Asian American children.

How Jane helps her kids connect with their Korean heritage — “I’d say we do all the typical things dual culture families do. We eat Korean food several times a week, we keep in regular contact via FaceTime with grandparents who live in California, and this year we officially started teaching our children Korean through online lessons and more frequent Korean usage at home. For New Year’s Day, we made Korean dumplings (mandu) for our traditional New Year’s meal, rice cake and dumpling soup. This year, we’ve also been focusing on not just what it means to be Korean American, but also part of the greater Asian American community.”

Jane follows these AAPI TikTokers

  • Nick Cho, @yourkoreandad — “You’ve all heard of him! He’s the lovable father figure who makes POV-style videos that get millions of hearts and tearful duets. I try to channel him whenever I take my kids on an impromptu grocery store run. Nick’s just a wonderful person, and he’s become an invaluable mentor to me on this journey.”

  • Janette Ok, @inmyseams — “I will be so happy if she ever notices me! I love Janette’s fashion content. She gives such ingenious tips, and I just love all of her fabulous looks.

  • Kevin Wilson, @crossculturechristian — “Kevin is an immensely gifted storyteller. He’s a youth pastor who challenges traditional notions of Christianity through compassionate storytelling, typically all while he’s brewing a cup of chai. So good!”

4. Amy Tan, @amytangerine

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Small-business owner, proud mama and hand-lettering enthusiast, Amy Tan is the founder of Amy Tangerine, a brand fully committed to providing creatives with the tools and space to see the bright, shiny side of life. In her day-to-day, Amy makes sweet online content as well as top-end products designed to promote a colorful, positive message. Amy released her book, Craft A Life You Love, in 2018, and has a podcast of the same name. She has taught workshops all over the world, filmed tons of YouTube videos and consulted with brands including American Crafts, Avery, Amazon and more. The Los Angeles-based mom of son Jack and daughter Juniper lives with the intention of building a sense of fun, positive energy and putting valuable resources out in the world for everyone to use. She loves any excuse to celebrate and spread happiness. You can meet Amy at the intersection of creativity, passion and purpose.

How Amy helps her kids connect with their Chinese heritage — “My dad and mom were both born and raised in India (we are all Chinese) and immigrated to the US in 1970. Because my dad felt like he didn’t really fit in anywhere, his hope was for me to be assimilated and Americanized. He and my mom worked really hard and saved up for 10 years before having me. I was born in the northern suburbs of Chicago and was lucky enough to have my maternal grandparents nearby to help raise me. They didn’t speak English, but they loved their first grandchild with so much heart. And food.

“When I was pregnant with Jack, my husband and I found a home where my mom could live in the guesthouse. It’s been amazing having her close by. She speaks five languages and is working on teaching Jack Mandarin and Hakka Chinese. It’s funny because up until last year, Jack really didn’t know he was mixed-race. We are blessed to live in a very diverse and open-minded community. He started Spanish immersion a few years ago and thought that he was half Spanish. Now that he’s 7, he asks a lot of questions that are clever and curious in nature. My hope is to lead with kindness and love always. It’s disheartening to know hatred and racism still play such a big role in the news. With Jack and Juniper being mixed-race, I hope they don’t have to endure many of the same hurdles and heartaches that I did. I fully embrace the role of helping them be empathetic and kind humans, knowing that brighter days are ahead for the collective good.”

Amy follows these AAPI Instagrammers

  • Joy Cho, @ohjoy — “I love Oh Joy’s honesty and openness.”

  • Sam Ushiro, @aww.sam — Sam “is so creative and inspiring, and it’s been fun watching her bloom into being a new mom!”

  • Amy Kim, @homeyohmy Amy “has a boy just a few months older than Juniper, and it’s been fun to see her style and take on motherhood.”

5. Veena Crownholm, @veenacrownholm

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Veena Crownholm, a mom of two who recently traded the palm trees and beaches of Los Angeles for the mountains of Boulder, Colorado, has got wellness and lifestyle down to a positively optimistic science. The Chinese-Indian mom has served as Miss California, covered the red carpet and contributed helpful tips on local morning shows as well as The Doctors. From holiday gift ideas to fun activities for young kids, the mom sons Eddie and Max knows how to keep the kiddos entertained and parents inspired.

How Veena helps her kids connect with their Chinese-Indian heritage — “One of the ways we help Eddie connect to his Chinese and Indian culture is through the holidays. Holidays like Chinese New Year and Holi are big days for us. I have taught him how our family celebrates these days and pass down the traditions I grew up with. Food is another way. We shop at the respective grocery stores, cook the food, and I pass down our family recipes and the history behind them. Eddie is currently taking Hindi lessons with my dad to continue building that connection to my Indian heritage.”

Veena follows these AAPI Instagrammers

  • Remi Ishizuka, @rrayyme — “Remi inspires me to embrace and be proud of my Asian heritage. I love her authentic and genuine nature in sharing her life, good and bad.”

  • Arushi Garg, @thesnazzymom — “Arushi is a trailblazing Indian mama who I have loved becoming friends with on IG. I love seeing her share our Indian culture with the world.”

  • Joy Cho, @ohjoy — “Joy Cho is AMAZING! The most genuine and kind and crafty mama I know.”

(Editor’s note: Responses have been edited for length and clarity.)

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If you enjoyed this story, check out how Chriselle Lim is changing the way millennial and Gen Z moms work!

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