“It was an accidental business,” Ted Vadakan and Angie Myung told us of starting Poketo, an online shop that now has a storefront in the Los Angeles Arts District.
It began with an art show in San Francisco that highlighted some of their friends who hadn’t been selling any original work. The product of choice for the event was a vinyl wallet—they were custom-designed by each artist featured, yet simple enough to be stuck in your back pocket or handbag to be used on a daily basis. “Art for your everyday is our philosophy,” Ted explained.
On that evening in 2003, every wallet sold out, and the pair began dreaming of opening a brick-and-morter shop. For the past ten years they worked to establish their online presence before settling into their Arts District space. They first had to determine how to expand the concept of everyday art beyond just one product.
Ted and Angie began in the simplest way that they could—they sought out other things and designers that they loved, that aligned with their lifestyle and aesthetic.
“Accessibility is key,” Ted told us of the shop and products they carry, “We want to feature high art and quality design that is also affordable.”
In-store and online they carry their original vinyl wallets in addition to apparel, accessories and a wide variety of home goods. It’s the type of store (and website) that you should enter either knowing exactly what you’d like to buy, or commit to spending at least a few hours combing through the selection.
Neatly organized on one table is a collection of enamel, leather and woven jewelry. It’s all perfectly arranged, but some of the delicate pieces may be overlooked if you’re passing by too quickly. The same goes for their book selection and kitchenware (we were immediately sold on the mason jar tumblers yet overlooked the Japanese ceramic cookware).
Only open since June, Ted and Angie’s space is still constantly evolving. New products are flowing in, furniture is being rearranged and they’re working to add a few more events to their store calendar. If you’re in the Los Angeles area, keep an eye out for interesting launches and celebrations held there!
Photos by Collin Hughes