After BMI’m Vaccinated (my most recent yarn color) went viral, my business got in front of a lot more eyes than it normally does. With that heightened visibility comes a lot of things - business from sales, supportive comments, new followers -- and the opportunity for feedback. With this increased visibility, I received feedback from some members of the Asian American Pacific Island (AAPI) community that using the business name “Ramen Needles” is a form of cultural appropriation.
Upon hearing the feedback, I felt a lot of things: surprise, concern, dismay, embarrassment. But what I never felt was denial. I’m not in the business of denying people when they tell me that something I’ve done has hurt them, and I’m definitely not interested in debating (especially with other white people!) about whether or not the name is cultural appropriation. If the folks most impacted say that it is, that’s the community I’m going to listen to.
I have worked hard to dismantle white supremacy in myself and in my work, but even with that work, I still have more to learn. Anti-racism is a lifelong, ongoing commitment. I’m sorry for not knowing better until it was pointed out to me, and I apologize to those who have been hurt or felt misled by this name. I also thank the folks who felt comfortable enough to come forward with their feedback - I know that can be a difficult thing to do in and of itself, so I appreciate your trust in me.
With that background, I am announcing today that Ramen Needles is getting a new name. I’m happy to make the change if it means saving anyone the pain and harm that can come from engaging with cultural appropriation.
I’ll hopefully be announcing a new name soon, so stay tuned for that announcement. I continue to welcome feedback that will make this company safer and more inclusive.