In light of the recent hate crimes against Asian Americans throughout the United States and in our own home city of Atlanta, we wanted to highlight one of our brands that was created and is operated by Asian Americans, Poketo. This month, a portion of all Poketo sales will be donated to the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Civic Engagement Fund. We encourage everyone to look into how they can get involved and make a difference for the AAPI community
In 2003, Poketo was opened in downtown Los Angeles with the goal of creating a space that would support local artists. Since then, Poketo has done just that through the creation of a lifestyle brand that infuses design and art into everyday life. Here at Hawkins & Clover, we especially love their stationary and office items. Their Project Planners and Concept Planners are perfect for those of us who are visual and love to write out a plan to keep organized. Plus, the Minimalist Portfolio is perfect to keep your laptop, planner, pens, phone and any other goodies you might need, together while still maintaining a clean and collected look.
Aside from their stationary items, Poketo collaborates with artists to create everything from apparel and accessories to home goods and kids items. You can shop all their items on their website or you can visit one of there two LA based shops where you can also attend art exhibits, workshops and other exciting events. The best this is that everything that Poketo does is meant to support and foster their local creative community!
This month we were able to chat with Angie Myung, the Chief Creative Officer/Co-founder of Poketo to find out more about her creative endeavors.
On a Personal Note
H&C: What is a social cause that you care about?
Angie: Racial justice and equity. We are very concerned about the Asian hate crimes going on right now, especially against the helpless elderly.
H&C: What would you do if you won a million dollars?
Angie: When we’re safe to travel, we would go on an extended holiday. We love to travel and do it at least bi-annually. I can’t wait to get on an airplane and go somewhere far away.
H&C: What’s your craziest travel story?
Angie: So many, just being young and fearless, traveling alone all over South East Asia and China, staying at the cheapest hostels I can find, meeting fellow travelers, exchanging experiences and information. I once rode on a train that went from the southeastern tip of China all the way to Beijing, which took over 96 hours straight, luckily it was a sleeper train but I was elated once we got off.
H&C: Who’s your favorite comedian?
Angie: Dave Chapelle
H&C: Do you have any unique skills/talents?
Angie: I love cooking and trying new recipes every weekend and I’m super flexible.
H&C: Do you have any unique hobbies?
Angie: Um… I don’t think it’s very unique but when I’m not working, you can usually find me cooking and reading tons of books.
Down to Business
H&C: Tell us your “Origin Story” – What made you who you are today & how does that translate into your business?
Angie: Ted Vadakan, my boyfriend, now husband, started Poketo on a whim, for fun to support our struggling 20-something artist friends who couldn’t sell their work. We made some wallets and [used] their artwork [and added] their artist bio. We threw a party to celebrate and show their original artwork on the wall and the wallets sold out that night. We were having so much fun doing different series of artist wallets and then started to do stationery, housewares, apparel, and so forth. And the rest is history.
H&C: What inspired your brand name?
Angie: Since our first product was a wallet, I was thinking about my grandmother who raised me and how she mispronounced the word pocket as “poketo” so that’s where the name came from.
H&C: What is one thing you would want people to know about your brand?
Angie: We’re a small and passionate team. We create stationery, housewares, and accessories to infuse art into the everyday. [Also, it’s] pronounced “po-keh-toe”, not “poquito.” You can find out more about us at Poketo on Instagram, where we’re most active.
H&C: What are you most proud of in your business and in your personal life?
Angie: That a small independent creative company like us with no backing has lasted and thrived since 2003, almost 20 years. We’ve endured the financial meltdown of 2008 and the unprecedented pandemic. Being small and nimble and doing more with less has helped us survive. I thank and am so proud of our team for handling it with grace and hard work.
Here at H&C we believe that as human beings we are responsible for supporting and caring about the other human beings on this earth whether they look and act like us or not. This means we believe in giving back and we encourage all of our friends, family, and patrons to do the same.
As mentioned in the preface to this blog, a portion of all Poketo sales this month will be donated to the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Civic Engagement Fund. To shop all of our Poketo items, be sure to visit our website. Once again, we strongly encourage everyone to look into how they can get involved and make a difference for the AAPI community.