SEEING IS BELIEVING: AAPI Visionary Entrepreneurs — Sean Ro & Kevin Wong

Sean Ro & Kevin Wong

Meet Sean Ro (he/him) & Kevin Wong (he/him)

Founders at Lunar


How did “Lunar” come to be?

In 2019, we were grabbing a late-night bite at our local Korean fried chicken joint when we noticed something odd about the menu. Despite a gamut of authentic menu items like garlic soy chicken, tteokbokki, and chikin-mu pickled radish, the drink menu was filled with Bud Lights and Rolling Rocks. From that day on, all we noticed were restaurants struggling to find the right beverage pairing for traditionally authentic foods.

With the goal in mind of creating a relatable drink for our community, we worked nights for over a year and a half while doing double duty at our day jobs. We started brewing out of our studio apartments in the city, and after countless hours learning how to brew, hundreds of recipe iterations, and trips to Asia to source the best ingredients, Lunar was born.


How does cultural heritage and personal identity influence your brand/business ideas?

Our Asian-American heritage and identities are the foundation of our brand. Expanding on our origin story, we are driven to build a national and international beverage mainstay in hopes that other Asian Americans like ourselves see a product that makes them feel seen. Our mission is to ultimately help empower everyone who feels a bit lost or stuck “in between” cultures to discover, love, and embrace themselves wholly.

Fruits represent many things to us - from memories of summer trips back home to reminders of how our parents would cut fruit for us to eat while doing homework. We were aiming to not only recreate those flavors for ourselves, but also to share these experiences with a wider audience.


How did the brand transform as you built it?

The brand started off as mostly a manifestation of what we wanted it to be—visually bolder, more unapologetic, more “I’ma do me.” However, as we built the business and the brand, we realized that in so much of the early stages of the consumer-facing brand, we see the founders. At times we found ourselves fighting between what we wanted to convey versus what the masses naturally felt and observed. Some of our early perceived qualities include being friendly, more personable, charming, and humble, all of which were really reflections of our qualities as founders. So, a big mindset shift we had was to lean into the existing, strong brand qualities instead of fighting it.

We also took an iterative approach to building the brand, so that also meant that about every 6 to 9 months as we added new touchpoints like new packaging, a new event setup, etc., we also touched and tweaked the “master brand”.

How does the product represent vision & values?

What stayed constant throughout the iterations and the evolution were a few things: a retro-inspired modern minimal look and feel with core Asian-inspired design elements. Our logo for instance, has been a constant with its “ren” or “ᄉ” replacing the “A” and embracing vertically as a core visual pattern with the use of a vertical ancient scroll-inspired form. Our primary neutral or base color of the off-white / cream, is also meant to mimic the faded colors of scrolls used in ancient Asia.

The above is something that ultimately accomplishes what we both wanted: to create a brand that’s approachable and relatable to all (not just Asian-Americans) but stays true to who it is in its Asian roots and heritage. We hope that our presence and (hopefully) continued success inspires other AAPI folks to feel empowered to proudly embrace their heritage as well.


What does community mean to you?

At the core of any success we have, and will further achieve, lies our community. It would not be a huge stretch, to say that our local and AAPI communities have been our secret to early success. The visceral and emotional reactions and responses we’ve gotten not only make us feel fulfilled and invigorated but also confirm that Lunar isn’t just a business or a brand, but something bigger. For example, our wonderful friends at Asian Cinevision—organizers of the oldest Asian American film festival, Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF)—proactively reached out to us during our pre-launch stage to partner with us!

We continue to donate a small portion of our sales to various AAPI non-profits including but not limited to: Hate is a Virus, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Welcome to Chinatown, and more.

Fashion Institute of Technology

AAPI Visionary Entrepreneurs

Sean Ro & Kevin Wong

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