Celebrate the start of the Year of the Dragon in East Long Beach on Saturday, Feb. 10 with Takumi Alley, a market celebrating artists within the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.
The market is generally held quarterly in the city of Anaheim, where co-founder Anabelle Brown lives. But since opening her new artisan donut shop, Moonbridge Doughnut Studio in East Long Beach with co-owner Kim Gros of Steel Craft, Long Beach is where she has spent most of her time.
Celebrating the Lunar New Year and opening of the donut shop seemed like the perfect opportunity to hold the year’s first Takumi Alley event in the Moonbridge parking lot on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“Our events often fall around holidays,” Brown said. “We leave it open to the artists to decide if they want to bring themed art or show new creations.”
Each event brings as many as 20 AAPI artists from Orange County to Los Angeles and beyond offering handcrafted art from stationary to accessories, illustrations, pins, and more, all in a variety of styles. Many the vendors who participate can also be found at events like Anime Expo and Designer Con.
The event will also have 818 String Quartet playing Studio Ghibli music, anime theme songs and more live during while market goers shop.
Before opening Moonbridge, Brown would hold pop-ups for her cookie business at Okayama Kobo bakery in Anaheim. There, she began to form a community with four other artists that also had pop-ups inside the bakery. Soon, they started planning pop-ups together.
“People really enjoyed it,” Brown said. “There’s a lot of regulars that frequent Okayama so it started to slowly build a community where they knew we had those pop-ups there.”
Brown, who has plenty of experience hosting events, was excited to showcase artists together and saw the potential to grow the market into something bigger. She spoke with Rocky Yoneyama, vice president of the Liason, the company that manages Okayama, who has become a mentor and partner in putting together the Takumi Alley events.
“Throughout the pandemic there was a push for being proud of your background and that appreciation of AAPI culture and being confident in that,” Brown said. “There definitely is room to grow, there’s the demand for it, there’s a waitlist for artists that want to be apart of it.”
Saturday will mark the first time Takumi Alley comes Long Beach, but Brown and Yoneyama hope the market can pop-up in multiple places around Southern California.
Moonbridge Doughnut Studio is at 6344 E. Spring Street.