As AAPI Heritage Month comes to end we are thankful for Topo Design’s genuine support and partnership with us as an Asian women-owned self-funded business. Both companies are Colorado-founded and birthed from a place of purpose, passion, and intentionality; products to support people’s lives, experiences, and optimize individuals to live up to their fullest potential. Born and raised in Colorado, it is in our nature that we gravitate towards an outdoor life that embraces nurturing our environment, while enjoying the gifts from our beautiful earth.
Who are we?
Twin sisters, business partners, and best friends; we are the founders of Two Cranes Botanicals, Susun Chung and Hanna Yi.
Two Cranes’ mission is to bring uncompromised, transparent, clean, and sustainable hemp based products to consumers while drawing from ancient Korean wisdom to promote health from the inside out. We found the benefits of CBD on our own time—one of us suffered medical burnout from corporate life and had a near-total adrenal failure, the other hormonal imbalances from postpartum, and we both battled anxiety—but we arrived at the same conclusion: the CBD market is full of dirty and dead oil packaged like a golden ticket to a promised land and we wanted to provide the real deal. Our desire is to help those who experience the same struggles and give access to legitimate and trustworthy remedies. Two Cranes was born out of necessity to provide healing for our community facing burnout, pain, anxiety and other mental health struggles.
Fun Fact: After registering our company name in 2017, we were surprised to discover our grandfather’s first business in Korea was named Two Cranes (E-hahk). Coincidence, we think not!
Why Two Cranes?
In the Asian culture, cranes have long symbolized purity, longevity and cleanliness, which accurately represents what we stand for. We have combined both our Colorado and Korean roots to provide holistic products grounded in ancient Korean herbal hanbang medicine and scientific research.
Hemp has been used in our culture for thousands of years. We want to celebrate and invite others to experience the beauty and healing wisdom from the roots of our heritage which is also inclusive of CBD.
What’s your story?
Our story doesn’t begin with us. It begins with our family.
Our father immigrated to America in 1967 after the Immigration Act of 1965, which abolished the National Origins Formula that banned Asians from entering the country from 1920-1965. He withdrew his acceptance to medical school in Korea and renounced his inheritance to pursue life in a land promising greater freedom and opportunities. He fell in love with America and the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and earned his US citizenship.
The challenges he faced are too many to count. They included language and cultural barriers, racism, lack of knowledge around systems, financial literacy in the US, no family support system or network outside his immediate colleagues and teachers.
While many students were able to find fun summer jobs during college, our father couldn’t even get hired to scoop ice cream. Even with an undergraduate degree his options were limited to working in corn fields, meat packing, metal factories, fish factories, and bricklaying, often at a lower wage. When he was eventually hired for an engineering position after receiving his Master’s degree, he was given 50% of the salary of that of his colleagues who were less qualified.
It has been both inspiring and heartbreaking to hear the stories from our father’s past and present that have impacted and shaped our own experiences that have led us to where we are today.
We are deeply saddened by the hate crimes towards our AAPI community, and saddened to say that we and our community experiences much of the racism our father experienced when he first immigrated all those years ago. Just recently, at the age of 84, he was threatened to be killed while fishing, and our elderly mother is afraid to step outside her home. To some this may be an overreaction, but in light of the recent hate crimes committed all over the country, we cannot ignore the racism that is prevalent today.
Awareness is the first step to change. We are grateful to have truly supportive partners like Topo Designs to stand with us against tha hate towards the AAPI community. Topo Designs has teamed up with us to create a limited edition Topo Designs x Two Cranes Accessory Bag where 100% of the proceeds will be going to victims of Asian hate crimes and their medical costs. We invite you to join us in the fight against AAPI hate. Celebrate with us the accomplishments and contributions of the diverse cultures within the Asian American community.
View this resource guide that can help you get more educated, take action, donate, and more. anti-asianviolenceresources.carrd.co
How can people support Two Cranes and other outdoor Asian-owned businesses?
Some ways you can help to support and follow us on our journey is through our social channels, send a friend this blog link, head to our website and join our newsletter, purchase a Topo Designs x Two Cranes Accessory Bag or try one of our products!
For other outdoor businesses you can support, head here.AAPI Heritage Month ends May 31st. We hope you’ll join us in lifting up and supporting our AAPI community year-round.
Photography by Richie Graham and Esther Choi.