Like all good things, we started at art school, where founder Angie Myung created a series of artist wallets that fit right in your pocket. That series was so successful, she and her husband, Ted Vadakan, were inspired to found Poketo in 2003. We’re named in honor of that amazing little wallet, and Angie’s Korean grandmother’s mispronunciation of the word “pocket”: Poh-keh-toe.
Since then, we’ve grown into a creative hub, online destination, and friendly neighborhood shop in Santa Monica. We’ve worked with brands like Nike, MTV, Disney, and MailChimp, and museums like MOCA, the Guggenheim, the de Young, and SFMOMA. We’ve collaborated with over 200 international artists to create exclusive products that reflect our philosophy: Art for Your Every Day.
But community and fun are still at the heart of all we do. Our creations are inspired by our friends, by color, shape, and pure joy, with our founders’ story at their heart. When you bring home Poketo, you bring home a playful and personal spirit that instills a sense of wonder in your everyday.
We believe in the magic of small moments–and we want that for you. We make products that fuse bold intentionality with daily practicality to help you cultivate a more creative lifestyle. So whether you’re planning your company’s next big project, or heading out to brunch with your besties, our products give you permission to play, dream, and discover the unexpected!
Come to us when you need a creative haven. A space for ideas and inklings, with no rules and no limits except your own imagination.
Let your creative flag fly with Poketo!
Where We’ve Been
Little Wallet, Big Idea
Poketo’s first product, a pocket-sized artist wallet, launched in San Francisco. After late nights at Angie’s art school, printing each wallet in the series, the wallet debuted at an art show. The series sold out, and Poketo was born.
Moving to LA
Poketo moved to LA, where our presence grew online and in the community as favorite shops reached out, hoping to carry our products. Eventually, Angie and Ted ventured into tees, bags, and housewares, experimenting with what “art for every day” could mean. We were still a two-person team, doing everything from designing to picking, packing, and shipping.
Look, Mom! We’re in THE New York Times!”
Poketo’s big break came in 2006 with a full-page spread in the NYT Sunday Magazine. We were invited to create Poketo artist series collection in collaboration with artists in Australia, Spain, Scotland, and Japan.
Soon after, we outgrew the home office and moved to new digs in downtown LA. We hired our first full-time staff and Poketo HQ became the new place for our art shows and events.
Dreams Do Come True
The good times kept rolling, with invitations to collaborate on merchandise with some of our favorite bands. Poketo also appeared on the cover page of the LA Times Business section.
In 2010, Target gave the green light for a dream collaboration–creating a 52-piece accessory collection that was sold in over 1700 Target stores across the US and Canada.
We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Office
We were getting big! Too big for our loft office, in fact. Poketo’s new HQ–in the then-quiet LA Arts District–became our retail store, workshop, event space, and gallery. We continued to receive national and international press from Wall Paper, Monocle, and NYT, as well as being featured in advertising campaigns by American Express and Toyota.
Calling All Artists
We wanted to get our local community involved in bringing more art to their every day. So we launched a creative workshops program!
Since 2013, hundreds of workshops have taught thousands of attendees everything from Kimchi making (led by Angie’s mom) to calligraphy to lighting design, all taught by our community of designers and entrepreneurs. Thank you to Lotta Jansdottur, Hrishikesh Hirway, Adi Goodrich, Emily Katz, Brendan Ravenhill, Lorien Stern, Chiaozza, Sonoko Sakai, Éva Goicochea of Maude, Monica Khemsurov of Sight Unseen, and all those who attended!
All about Community
Community is the question behind the Poketo equation. As we continued to expand, we searched for ways to connect with artists, creatives, fun-lovers, and joy-seekers, and bring the Poketo community closer together.
We opened our second retail location in the Line Hotel in Koreatown, where we transformed the lobby with gallery installations and hosted conversations with different artists to nurture creativity and connection.
We also popped up in 8 national Nordstrom flagships across the country, followed by even more pop ups with big brands and independent artists alike.
We were able to open 4 more retail locations, fostering the Poketo spirit across sprawling Los Angeles and beyond. And in 2018, we were thrilled to receive the Edge Award for positive community impact from the Los Angeles Design Festival.
A Page from the Poketo Book
Ted and Angie published their debut book, Creative Spaces: People, Homes, and Studios to Inspire, with Chronicle Books. With stunning photography, intimate profiles, and unexpected takeaways, the book celebrates an eclectic mix of creatives, their work, and the spaces that inspire them.
The LA Times even featured Ted and Angie’s home and their own creative living in LA.
Community Is Everything
2020 shook the world as the global pandemic hit. The small but mighty Poketo team rolled up their sleeves to fulfill, pack, and ship all your online orders.
It was a year of change to say the least. Luckily, we were able to pivot quickly, allowing us to forge a sustainable path forward. In July 2020, we were thrilled to reopen our shops in Little Tokyo and DTLA, welcoming our customers back in real life.
Like so many individuals and businesses, we wouldn’t have survived that year without our community and your outpouring of support. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you!
Where We’re Going
Poketo met its perfect match and, in 2022, became part of the Pattern Brands family. The same values that built Poketo still drive us today, but now we’re surrounded by sister brands who share our commitment to community and to creating spaces that are more joyful, beautiful, and functional.
So what’s next? Our aim has always been to inspire; to bring art and joy into everyday life; and to uplift our community. Rest assured that we march on, seizing the magic of small moments, and helping you do the same.
“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” –Andy Warhol