…in pursuit of what makes life good.

Meet the Business: Poketo

January13

meet the business: poketo

I’m excited to share the latest addition to the Meet the Business series. Poketo is a boutique based in Los Angeles that specializes in “design-driven” wares. I would call it my own little heaven. I visited both the flagship and the newest location at the Line Hotel and knew I needed to know more about the couple behind the business.

Poketo was founded by a husband-and-wife team, Angie Myung and Ted Vadakan. It first opened its doors in June 2012 and has since collaborated with many major brands and artists to create one of a kind goods only available through Poketo. Without further ado let’s “meet the business”.

meet the business: poketo

Please tell me a bit about yourselves and your backgrounds.

Angie is the Creative Director of Poketo and comes from a background in graphic design. Ted is the CEO and comes from a background in film.

The name, Poketo, came from Angie’s Korean grandmother’s mispronunciation of pocket. What an authentic way to name a business. Can you share a bit of what inspired you to start Poketo?

We were living in San Francisco at the time and had so many artist friends that we thought why not have an art show? We collaborated with a local artist on a line of vinyl wallets, which sold out the night of the opening. It spiraled from there and the rest is history!

meet the business: poketo
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meet the business: poketo

What has been the most rewarding part of running this business?

Interacting with the local creative community and being able to support emerging artists and designers.

Can you share with us a significant roadblock or growing pain that you have experienced along the way? How did you get past it?

For the first few years, we were operating Poketo entirely by ourselves. We now have nearly twenty employees and counting. There is a lot of letting go involved when handing off responsibilities as a business owner, and a lot of trust to be built, but we are lucky to have an amazing team that keeps getting stronger.

Do you have any words of wisdom for someone just getting their start?

Don’t give up! It’s a long road and the rewards can be few and far between, but in the end it’s worth it.

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You have had the opportunity to collaborate with some very big names, Target and Nike to name a few. How did you approach these collaborations while staying authentic to the Poketo brand?

Part of the beauty of the Poketo brand is how versatile it is. We can go from making limited-edition, handmade art objects with a local artist to collaborating on an exclusive line with a mega retailer such as Target without losing any integrity. Because we define the brand, we decide what is authentic for Poketo.

Running a business can be all consuming, what do you do as a couple and individually to escape work?

We own a small business! We work 24/7! No, just kidding. We have two shih tzus at home, so whenever we can we spend time with them. We also try to get out of the city for a night or two here and there, be it a weekend to jaunt to Big Sur or camping in Joshua Tree.

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A huge thank go to Angie and Ted for sharing some of their story with us. You can shop Poketo online and follow their Instagram to get sneak peeks into the store.

Portrait of Angie and Ted by Kourtney Jackson.

2015 Words of Intention

January06

SIP_calendar_january

Every year at this time, I start feeling a rejuvenation to check-in on my life and attempt to improve the spots I feel are the weakest. I’ve moved past doing the whole resolution thing, because I never seem to keep sight of those things. Last year, I resolved to run a race every month and read a book every month. The running thing only lasted through January 1st when I ran a 10K. Ha! The book thing didn’t exactly work out either. I am a really slow reader and often magazines or knitting seem to get in my way of books. Oh well!

Reflecting back on 2014, I see that it was a year filled with ups and downs. It was a tremendous year of growth for me, but at the time not exactly easy to deal with:

1. I took and left a couple of jobs (one I was let go from, phew!) that weren’t good fits for my career direction. It was a challenge to recognize that despite positives to a job, it’s important to keep your eyes on the true path you want to take.

2. I finally realized my dream of starting this blog. That has been something that has been a tremendous source of happiness for me. Every time I put together a post, I feel like I am taking a step in the right direction. Rediscovering my love of photography has been such an important aspect of my growth. Without that, I don’t think I would feel like I have grown as a creative.

3. I ended a long term relationship. That was the biggest personal challenge; learning to be on my own again; dealing with the fear of not meeting someone else; and pushing myself to move forward when, frankly, at times all I wanted to do was crawl into bed and binge on Netflix and ice cream. I love the freedom of being single and I am eager for 2015 to challenge me in new exciting ways.

So for 2015, I challenge myself to a few intentions:

Push myself to grow as a creative.

Make my mental and physical health a top priority.

Work on not procrastinating.

Share more of my actual creative work with the world.

Go on more adventures.

To help keep these intentions in mind, I am going to create graphics each month with a key word to use as a sort of mantra. This month it is “breathe.” I hope to use this word to remind me to take time out of each day to take a few breaths, let go of anxiety and reflect on my state of being. It is also a mantra for getting active again. Last year, I lost sight of how important it is to stay physically active. When I run, I can feel the stress just melting away and without that outlet, I keep it all inside. It manifests itself in poor health, poor choices, and a general laziness towards taking care of myself.

I’m hopeful this year will bring more ups than downs, more happiness than sadness, but all I can do is focus on living my life to the best of my ability and keep my own personal growth in the forefront of my mind. I recently read this post, and I feel Victoria summed up exactly what I wanted to say when she said “here’s to us all living the lives we want and bringing about the changes we’d like with the most patience and love we can muster for ourselves and others along the way.”

Feel free to download this image to use for your own reminder. I already have it saved as my wall paper on my computer. I’ll do a similar one for next month. What word do you think I should use? What are your intentions or resolutions for the year?

DIY Sparkly Typographic Gift Tags

December16

DIY Sparkly Typographic Gift Tags

I signed up for this awesome gift exchange called the Goody Goody Gift Swap. It’s a simple concept but a great one none the less. All the participants are paired up to send gifts to each other. Who doesn’t love getting a gift from another fellow creative? I was lucky enough to be paired with Nole of Oh So Beautiful Paper. I happen to look at her blog on a fairly regular for inspiration in my graphic design work, so I was thrilled, and then a little panicked. I better make it good! I wanted to design something a little special to send along with the gift, so I came up with this super simple DIY sparkly typographic gift tag. Nole said she can’t resist anything sparkly so I knew I needed to make it gold!

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Tools:
x-acto knife
1/32″-1/16″ thick plywood
printed letter stencils
gold spray paint
ruler
piece of scrap cardboard or paper
newspaper for spray painting
tape
small hole punch or awl
6″ of twine
cutting mat or surface to cut on

DIY Sparkly Typographic Gift Tags
DIY Sparkly Typographic Gift Tags

Directions
1. Download and print sheets of letter outlines. Cut out desired letter(s).
2. Gently tape paper to piece of wood.
3. Cut out letter using x-acto knife, being careful to not press down too hard. Go over cuts several times until letter is released easily from wood.
4. Clean up edges carefully with x-acto and punch hole in top.

DIY Sparkly Typographic Gift Tags
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5. Lay out newspaper for spray painting (in a well-ventilated area) and use scrap paper to cover part of the letter that you don’t want painted.
6. Holding can about 6″ away, spray letter. Do multiple lights coats allowing each layer to dry to the touch (about 30 seconds) before next application.
7. After dry, thread hole with twine and tie a knot at the top.
8. Affix to present or hang on tree.

DIY Sparkly Typographic Gift Tags
DIY Sparkly Typographic Gift Tags
DIY Sparkly Typographic Gift Tags

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