1. Hi Nice to meet you, Angie/Ted - can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Angie Myung, and I'm a co-founder and Chief Creative. Ted and I founded Poketo in 2003, so this would be our 18th year of running this small business. We have our online shop, our products are carried by many shops around the globe and we have 2 shops in Downtown Los Angeles.
2. What inspired you to create the company?
It really was an accidental business. We never wrote a business plan as it was never meant to be a business, but just a fun project for us in the beginning.
What started Poketo was a single product line, Artist Wallets, we asked some of our talented friends who were struggling artists to create original artworks that would be turned into vinyl wallets, and that kickstarted everything. We didn't want to be pigeonholed into making wallets so we ventured out to making stationery, housewares, tees, socks, combs, bags, organizers, and more.
3. Where does the name “POKETO’ come from?
Since our first product was a wallet, I thought of the word, pocket, but I didn't want to call it that. So on a long road trip, I thought of my grandmother who raised me and how she mispronounced with her Korean accent, calling it pocket, "Poketo." We liked how it sounded and so the name stuck.
4. What inspires you in your design process?
We want our products to be well designed, well made with good functionality but not boring. I really do believe that good products should consider not only functionality but beauty. We always strive to provide an experience that brings joy.
A well-designed planner or notebooks with nice paper and a smooth pen will motivate someone to write in them and plan out their day, week, month, and years to come. Our tabletop collection should encourage people to cook and have a nice meal and perhaps take them for picnics and camping with friends and family. All of our paper goods are made of tree-free or recycled paper and our bamboo tabletop is made from organic bamboo with no plastic or melamine and is completely biodegradable. We also think about the accessibility of our products so we consider all the aspects of the above when making the products.
5. What’s a piece of advice you would give to fellow art creators?
Doing art and having a business is a lonely road. So try to find a partner to do it with you, if that's not feasible, try to find a community of like-minded people to share ideas and struggles with and open yourself for honest feedback.
Small and big failures are always learning lessons, and being diligent and working hard will pay off in the end. Be nice to people. No one wants to work with people who aren't nice.
6. What would you say Poketo’s Brand Mission is? How are you applying it to your day to day operations?
Our brand mission from day 1 has been "art every day" and I believe everything we've made and carried thus far has been that. We sell functional products that are beautiful that can bring more joy whether that's our planner, notebook, pens, or plates, cups, mugs, combs, folios, or even nail polish. We've kept that motto in everything we've made and continue to make.
7. What is your favorite product on your website right now?
Spectrum Planner, this is our number 1 best seller. It completely transforms your space and brings the spectrum of colors instantly.
As with all of our planners, they are open-dated so you can fill in your own dates and never waste any paper and
Concept Planners provide ample space and checklists. They work great together, Concept Planner for your whole life, and Project Planners for project planning.
Our tabletop and textiles are what I use at home daily, and take to picnics, and camping. I love seeing all my friends bring them to picnics and camping too. They're fun, easy to care for, and good for the environment.
Hexagon Placemats are perfect as they can easily be wiped away and protect your table from any spills and stains.
I'm really into these new Double Wall Groovy Cups and Mugs. They're made from Borosilicate glass and double-walled, so keeps the cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot without hurting your hand.
Especially after what we've been through last year, we know that every little moment of happiness can't be taken for granted.
8. Talk to us about your branding, if you could describe the aesthetic in three words what would it be?Colorful, Fun, Minimalist without being boring and cold. 9. What are some of your favorite brands to follow along with?We surround our house with friends' work that we admire or things that we've collected through our travels. We admire what our friends are doing and working on. 10. What’s next for POKETO?
Just keep doing what we're doing, bringing new beauty to your life whether it's for work or living.