Since 2003, Angie Myung and Ted Vadakan have run Poketo with the goal of making ‘art for your everyday’ accessible to everyone. They have fostered relationships with artists that led to custom designed wallets, T-shirts, mugs and more, all sold from the Poketo website. Then their inventory expanded to include jewelry, handbags, tech cases, stationary, and a myriad of lifestyle items.READ MORE: 3 Teens Killed In Pasadena Crash
In recent months the Poketo team has been busy readying their first brick and mortar location. The space that houses their store, offices, and a gallery is now filled with bright colors and inspiring ideas. Myung and Vadakan celebrated the official opening of the Poketo store on July 19th with a packed house of their Arts District neighbors, artists, designers, and friends. Myung shared her thoughts about opening the Poketo Store.
Why open a store now?
Having a store and gallery of our own to carry unique goods that we carry online as well as having exclusive one-of-a-kind pieces and also hold art shows and other happenings has been a dream of ours for a long time. It’s something that we’ve always wanted to do but never had the time to actually go out looking for a space. When the space blocks from our former studio opened up, in our beloved Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles, we knew it felt right and just jumped on it. It was the first and the only space that we looked at.
Why did you choose this neighborhood for your first store?
We had been in the Arts District since 2007. We love this quiet, arty area that was a bit hidden. The neighborhood has a neighborly feel with so much love and support. There is no shop like ours in all of downtown and we just grew to love this area so much that we wanted to be here. I guess it’s our “pioneering spirit” so to speak.
How did the design for the space develop?
It was really my partner, Ted’s vision and direction. We wanted the space to be really clean and modern but didn’t like the coldness of white drywall. So we kept everything clean, modern, yet warm with light plywood. Our products are so full of color that we knew that the products would add color to the space. All the displays were custom made for us. We wanted our space to imbue the sense of Poketo, not just our products and we wanted the space to be flexible so all our fixtures are easily moveable for when we have shows and events.
What are some of your favorite new products you will be carrying?
So many. We’re carrying many one-off-pieces, and exclusives with many jewelry designers, but the space will also be a showroom for custom furniture by Eric Trine and other makers. The customers that have come in have already shown so much interest in the furniture.
What types of events do you hope to have at the store?
Obviously art shows, pop-up shops with different designers and brands, and there will be Los Angeles I’m Yours Part 2 that we’re curating with Bobby Solomon and Kyle Fitzpatrick of Fox is Black and along with Eric Trine. We’re also having workshops with other friends and makers on how-to’s, for example, Emily Ho of Kitchn will be teaching a workshop on how to make homemade sodas in August. So many happenings. You’ll find out all by following us on Facebook and Twitter.
Story and photos by Julie Wolfson, a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. She covers travel, lifestyle, art, pop culture, cocktails and food for Cool Hunting and several other media outlets. Most days you’ll find her out and about in Southern California and around the world tracking down stories about talented people doing amazing things.