Can you believe it, 2020? Perhaps “2020” is a sign of clarity. That inevitable feeling of not knowing what is to come or what to expect has become normal in the sixteen years since the birth of Poketo. In the business of retail change is constant. Nothing is formulaic and as scary as it may seem, it also keeps things interesting. Our 16 years has been a consistent effort to do what feels right grow naturally, and tackle projects and plans that excite us headfirst.
This year brought a record number of new Poketo's own products in areas that we’ve never explored before. Some highlights have been the much anticipated Poketo Home collection featuring bamboo plates, tea towels, and more. We also created wellness-based planners, the Self Planner and Creativity Journal, to help you prioritize your self-care must-dos. We also made a colorful line of socks! It's always so exciting to see you all love and share all the hard work we put into each collection. We look forward to sharing what we have in store for 2020.
In addition, we’ve also done many partnerships with some of the best in the industry to make artful products. We were thrilled to work with Beyond Yoga in athleisure wear, Casetify for phone cases, Corkcicle in drinkware, and Thousand in bicycle helmets. This year has solidified our communities that share Poketo's value of "Art Every Day".
The highlight of our 2019 has been the publication of Poketo's debut book, CREATIVE SPACES: People, Homes, and Studios to Inspire (Chronicle Books). Chronicle Books took a chance on us first-time authors to produce a beautiful book on Poketo's history and the creative community and friendships that surround us. The 272-page book is an in-depth tribute to independent artists and their entrepreneurial spirit, passions, inspirations, and desire to never be static.
Image: Ted & Angie on the road for the Creative Spaces Book Tour.
The launch of the book took us on an 9-city book tour through Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver, New York, Boston, Denver, Austin, and Seoul. We got to connect with creatives from each city and realized that all of us are yearning for community. The number one question we kept on getting was, "How did you build the community?" As we looked out in the crowd, it was obvious that this moment of being together, seeing each other, sharing stories, shaking hands, laughing... this is how the community is built. It's simple- it’s to be present, show up, and be open to new friendships and new ideas.
Images Left to Right: Ted in convo with CHIAOZZA, Tinker Watches in NYC / Ted making memories with the community!
Creativity is a process as it is a reward. It’s like climbing a mountain, one foot in front of the other, tirelessly moving along, stumbling and getting back up, taking in the vistas and victories in-between, and sliding down the descent, playing in lakes, valleys, and waterfalls, only to climb back up and do it all over again. The last 16 years have been all of this and more. From the challenges of learning and doing new things, we reap the rewards of putting in the hard work and taking the inherent risks of doing things we are unfamiliar with.
But the coolest part of the journey is to be doing it with all of you. Poketo would not be here without you, here with us. Because of your support, encouragement, and passion, you made 2019 a year Poketo will remember.
Cheers to 2020, cheers to you and cheers to our community of friends, family, and creatives that are here enjoying the ride, not just the destination.
Ted Vadakan, Co-Founder