With the Poketo for BREDA Collaboration gift packaging and timepiece slated to release December 03, 2018, we interviewed Co-Founder/Creative Director of Poketo, Angie Myung. Based out of Los Angeles, Poketo is a lifestyle brand born out of the desire to infuse the everyday with aesthetic intentionality. In this interview with Angie, we talk about everything from what an average day looks like to what’s in the future for Poketo.
What does an average day look like for you?
Angie: I'm the co-founder and Chief Creative Officer at Poketo but like everyone at Poketo, I wear many different hats. I identify and create all Poketo branded goods with our designers, namely stationery, accessories, and living goods. I also oversee all buying and manage the look and feel of the poketo.com site and marketing. I organize and curate our popular workshop program and work with like-minded brands, like Breda, and artists to create Poketo exclusive products.
On a personal side, I like to exercise at least a few times a week in the mornings. It’s the best time for me to get up earlier and start the day on the right foot. I like to cook and relax when I come home and try hard not to work but I usually fail and do a little bit of work answering emails./
Tell us about your journey, the beginnings of your career. How has that changed shape over the years?
Angie: I used to always say that we didn’t start Poketo, Poketo started us. It really was an accidental business. It's a side project turned business.
This month marks our 15th year of running this once-side-project called Poketo. When we first started Poketo, neither of us had any background in business or knew anyone who did. If someone had said we would someday own a company with 20 employees, five brick and mortar shops with events, art shows, workshops, and our own products carried in hundreds of stores internationally, I would have laughed. I never could have dreamed of this.
In 2003, when we started Poketo, my business partner and husband, Ted was working in film and video and I was a full-time student getting my second degree in graphic design. We were surrounded by starving artist friends with amazing work that never sold since all of their shows were attended by friends who were just as poor. We thought, what if we made something that was utilitarian, that all of us could afford, and that we could carry around with us instead of hanging on our walls.
So, we came up with the idea of making wallets with prints of our friends' artwork. One balmy night in October 2003, we threw an art/music show. We rented a small community gallery, put our friends’ work up on the walls and had wallets for sale. None of the artwork sold but all of the wallets sold out that night! I remember walking home to our tiny studio apartment across from Dolores Park in SF with butterflies in our stomachs. We were already so excited about the artists we could invite to be in our next series. We didn’t want to be pigeonholed in making wallets. So we started making apparel, housewares, and stationery and in 2012, we opened our first brick and mortar shop in Los Angeles.
"Small achievements and small victories are I think what drives every entrepreneur and business owner."
"We're really excited to be designing a watch with a brand that aligns with us in aesthetics and values."
How would you describe your design process? Do you have any standard set of principles when beginning to create a new Poketo Product?
Angie: I come up with an overall theme and colorways per season and from the theme, we try to think of products, and the designs. We apply the theme to our classic products and we think of new products that are unique and not currently in the marketplace. I work with our design team to try to come up with new products that are useful, fresh and beautiful and align with our ethos of "Art Every Day."
Do you find that your personal style directly translates into the aesthetic of the shop? What are the similarities/differences?
Angie: My personal style is simple, minimal, and comfortable. Our niece described my style as “cute enough to go out in but comfortable enough to nap” That pretty much sums it up. So yes, in a way my personal style does translate into Poketo aesthetics. Poketo is simple, clean, minimal, with a touch of fun yet sophisticated. It's a brand that designers get and associate with. Poketo is a lot more colorful and fun than my own style or our home though. I generally stick with black and white, with just a few hints of color.
What’s in the future for Poketo?
Angie: We’re in the last stages of finishing our upcoming book published by Chronicle which is due to come out Fall of 2019. It’s about our friends, artists, collaborators, and the spaces of people we admire. It is not an interiors book about the rich and famous living in unattainable homes. This book is a celebration of creatives, their work, their spaces, and their personal and professional philosophies.
We are excited to continue creating and designing products that are beautiful, unique, and useful, that bring joy and efficiency to your lives. We look forward to collaborating with more designers, brands, artists, makers, and creatives to bring art and design to people's lives through exhibitions and workshops.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your career?
Angie: Small achievements and small victories are I think what drives every entrepreneur and business owner. Thinking of a new product to design and coming up with cool new ideas with our designer—then seeing it materialize from just an idea to something tactile, and ultimately seeing customers’ comments about how they use and love the products that we make. And having a good time with our team members and having a hearty laughter even amidst piles of work and projects.
What does success mean to you?
Angie: Success in your personal life is just as important—or more important—than success in business. Often we equate success with how much money we make, but we all know that money doesn’t bring happiness. I think leading a successful life means having a balanced and happy life.
Book: Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera. Haruki Murakami's Norwegian Wood
Movie: When Harry Met Sally
City: Los Angeles and Seoul
Music: XX and anything by Beatles
Place to visit: We love to travel. Anywhere in the world.
Drink: I'm horribly allergic to alcohol. I like bars that serve hot tea!
Moment: Small everyday victories
Thing about the holidays: Getting together with family and much needed time off from the crazy holiday season.
“We're really excited to be designing a watch, which is something that we've never done before, especially with a brand that aligns with us in the aesthetics and values. It's a marriage of timeless design with fun and colorful graphics that Poketo is so known for,” says POKETO Co-Founder/Creative Director, Angie Myung.
The Poketo for BREDA Collaboration presents two holiday gift packaging designs along with a timepiece that explores primary color and the study of color energy. The Spectra watch is made of dark and cool hues with embossed minute markers that frame the playful yellow minute hand.
“We are so thankful for this collaboration with Poketo, with our shared love of design we’ve created a really unique and playful product. It was such a fun experience working with a brand and team we truly admire.” says BREDA Art Director, Kendall Falcon.
The Spectra watch, available in limited quantities online and at Poketo retail stores, includes the collaboration watch and features a unisex design, distinct Poketo graphics, and two holiday gift packaging options.