Asia Society | tiny sponge Passage Magazine Feature!
The Asia Society has always been an amazing supporter of small businesses and unfortunately due to the pandemic all of the wonderful annual in person events have been cancelled. But never fear, the team came up with an amazing way to showcase groups that usually participate in Asia Fest. They paired us up members of the Asia Society Teen Council and created an online magazine interviewing local vendors, restaurants and providing DIY craft and drink recipes.
Check out the entire ezine here! And of course, our tiny sponge spotlight is featured below, written by the talented Van Nguyen.
Tiny Sponge, Adding New Flavors to Your Child’s Next Tea Party
By Van Nguyen
“For many Asian Americans, the portrayal of Asian American identity in the media has been a common focus of conversation. However, cultural representation is not limited to the screen. We also see parts of our identity in everyday objects such as brooms, decor, and cookery. One place we haven’t seen much diversity in is our children’s toys. In the realm of kitchen playsets, in particular, there is no shortage of pizza slices, hamburgers, and roasted chicken.
Tiny Sponge has set out to add new flavors to your child’s next tea party. Rebecca is the creator of this passion project-turned-business, which features an array of different Chinese food sets as well as children’s books.
Like every parent, Rebecca wanted the best for her son. Most importantly, she wanted him to be exposed to his cultural roots. She and her family visited Taiwan regularly, and while abroad, she would pick up unique toys at night markets and local stores. With every new toy or book, she knew that she wanted to see these products back at home.
Her entrepreneurial spirit growing, she began researching different products to feature on her new site. With her son and his cousins acting as toy testers, she came to find what products worked best. After a year of testing and drop shipping (ordering from the producer and shipping directly to the consumer), she finally decided to invest in inventory and made Tiny Sponge her new full-time business.
Rebecca first joined the Asia Society for AsiaFest 2019, displaying a feast of toy sets. She says that when most people see her products they’re amazed not just by the quality and cuteness, but also by the fact that they see themselves in the little har gow dumplings or youtiao breadsticks. She hopes to expand her menu to incorporate more flavors from around the world so that everyone can play with their favorite foods.
Rebecca wanted her son to grow up with the idea that there is more to life than just pizza and hamburgers. Exposing children to new cultures and perspectives at an early age helps build a mentality of acceptance and open-mindedness. With a more connected world, there is a need for global citizens — starting young with children’s toys is a great way to foster that open mindset.”