#AerieREAL Changemaker, Bella Lam, is an entrepreneur and business owner. Her mission-driven business, Coconut Whisk, is a passion project that grew after she didn’t see vegan and gluten free baking mixes on the shelf, and it just kept growing! 

We caught up with Bella to talk about being an entrepreneur, AAPI representation, and so much more. Read the full interview below! 

1. What is the most exciting part of being an entrepreneur?

The most exciting part of being an entrepreneur is seeing your vision for your brand and company come to life through hard work and collaboration. There is no better feeling than sharing what you love with the world and growing with a team.

2. Why is it important to have representation in entrepreneurship within the Asian American community?

It’s incredibly important to have representation in business because “you can’t be, what you can’t see.” 

I never saw many women who looked like me at important tables, represented strongly in the media or running companies. So it’s my purpose to change that. I hope through my story, I get to inspire young adults to be PROUD of their unique stories and to always go after what they want. Not many people talk about this but being an entrepreneur is a privilege. My mom never was able to start her own business because she didn’t have the resources or capital. So to be in a position where I am able to be in business is powerful and surreal. I also want to inspire those in the Asian American community to take on “entrepreneurial” mindsets because even if you aren’t in business, you can still think like a leader and implement that mindset into your life.

3. Where do you see yourself and Coconut Whisk five years from now?

I see Coconut Whisk being a global brand that is recognized for advocacy, community initiatives and making positive impacts on the world. My goal is to help make plant-based treats more accessible and available. That can look like many things. We started as a company that offered better-for-you baking mixes that are vegan and gluten-free and now we just opened a cafe. So, it’s really a wild card but no matter what, we know that we will always be devoted to making people happy through good food.

4. Do you have any advice for women within Asian American community, and others, who are interested in entrepreneurship?  

To all the women in the Asian community who are interested in entrepreneurship, my advice would be to be bold and don’t be afraid to take action even if you are uncertain. There are resources and people who are waiting to amplify your dreams and goals, you just have to be the one to step up and claim your spot at the table. So, whatever makes your heart expand with excitement and joy, lean into that and take it one step at a time. 

Your dreams are possible. It all starts with YOU.

Watch the video to hear the full conversation! 

Aerie fam, how are you celebrating AAPI Heritage Month? Whether you’re connecting with your AAPI heritage, raising awareness about AAPI issues or educating yourself on AAPI cultures, let us know in the comments! Are you an entrepreneur? Are YOU making change in your community? Let us know that in the comments, too! We’d love to hear your story.  

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