Asian jewelry brand creates Welcome to Chinatown capsule to uplift AAPI community

Asian jewelry brand creates Welcome to Chinatown capsule to uplift AAPI community

To celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in May, AAPI-owned SUBLIMA Jewelry partnered with Welcome to Chinatown, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that addresses the critical needs of the Manhattan Chinatown community and its entrepreneurs.

Kelly Bit, founder and designer at New York-based SUBLIMA, designed and hand-carved a new, and 100% of net proceeds in May will be donated to Welcome to Chinatown.

Chinatown remains one of the last working class neighborhoods south of Central Park, a legacy defined and supported by its microcosm of small businesses. Proceeds from the ring will help fund Welcome to Chinatown’s work driving immediate revenue and urgent relief for these businesses and preservation of the community through storytelling, such as the 78 Mulberry fire fundraiser, Longevity Fund for small business relief and Meet Chinatown small business directory.

The ring, inspired by the iconic Welcome to Chinatown electric dragon sign on Canal Street, honors Chinatown’s past while looking forward to its future, with a blend of old- and new-school motifs. The Chinese dragon traditionally symbolizes strength, prosperity, and excellence—poignant in the wake of rising anti-Asian discrimination and violence—while the structured signet shape and geometric dragon scales create a modern aesthetic, representing Chinatown’s evolution. It’s a talisman that celebrates what Chinatown has meant for New York historically—creating and safeguarding the community—and now—multigenerational efforts to preserve culture and evolve Chinatown’s businesses and services to ensure longevity.

About SUBLIMA Jewelry

SUBLIMA Jewelry is a brand of artful and sustainable jewelry handmade in New York by Chinese American founder and designer Kelly Bit. Kelly’s hand makes the jewelry by carving wax prototypes and casting the pieces into recycled brass and recycled sterling silver. The jewelry evokes the sublime and subliminal, drawing inspiration from well-loved objects in our every day to visceral memories, and many of the pieces celebrate Asian heritage and culture.

At the heart of SUBLIMA is giving back: Since the onset of the pandemic in 2020, SUBLIMA has more than $60,000 to nonprofits supporting NYC’s Chinatowns, racial justice, and food security.

SUBLIMA Jewelry can be found online at sublimajewelry.com and at West Elm Broadway in Manhattan, where Kelly pops up monthly as part of West Elm’s local artist’s program. SUBLIMA has also been featured in AsAmNews, BuzzFeed A*Pop,  and in this year’s General Motors Superbowl Commercial—Kelly made the Dr. Evil ring worn by Mike Myers in his reprisal of the role.

Kelly started SUBLIMA in 2017 after eight years in financial news journalism at Bloomberg News in New York, where she reported on the hedge fund industry. Before that, she graduated from Yale University, where she majored in English.

How SUBLIMA Supports Chinatown

At the height of the pandemic in 2020, SUBLIMA donated more than $31,000 to five Chinatown organizations (Welcome to Chinatown, Send Chinatown Love, Think! Chinatown, Heart of Dinner, and Chinese American Planning Council) to support Chinatown’s merchants, feeding residents and safeguarding communities at risk from decreased foot traffic, gentrification and rising anti-Asian racism.

In 2021, SUBLIMA donated $25,000 to five nonprofits supporting the Asian American and Chinatown communities (Asian American Federation, Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, Asian Americans for Equality, Think! Chinatown, and Immigrant Social Services) to support underserved children, the homeless and those in need of affordable housing, restaurants, businesses and residents of Chinatown, patients in need of affordable healthcare and smaller nonprofits serving the New York Asian American community.

Earlier this year, SUBLIMA partnered with Run for Chinatown, an organization and running community that fundraises for New York Chinatown’s residents and businesses, by making the Run for Chinatown x SUBLIMA 跑 “Run” Pendant Necklace. 100% of its net proceeds are donated monthly to A Place For Kids, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 1971, which provides quality cultural enrichment through low-cost after-school programming for children of new immigrants and low-income families in lower Manhattan.⁠

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