With Ted Vadakan and Angie Myung of Poketo
It’s hard to step inside Poketo and not instantly feel like a more optimistic version of yourself – with its minimal, functional and colorful home and lifestyle goods, you might even feel something like a creative in a candy store.
Ted Vadakan and Angie Myung are the founders and the force behind Poketo, the project they started 17 years ago, which has now become more than just a physical shop but an important anchor in the LA creative community.
Ahead of Valentine’s Day, we sat down with Ted and Angie to chat more about how they balance and sustain their personal and creative partnership – and how this time in quarantine has allowed them to focus and reset, so they can continue pushing boundaries in all that they do.
What makes your creative partnership “work?” In what ways are you similar to one another and in what ways do you complement one another?
Angie and I are each very different. Ted generally sees the "glass half full" and Angie is generally "glass half empty." Having those different perspectives and approach to whatever we tackle has given us more ways of seeing.
What do you admire most about one or another?
Angie is a sponge. Last year she read close to 50 books! I love how curious she is about other peoples’ lives and ways of thinking, living, and being.
Ted is the most generous, calm, understanding, loving, and caring person I know – not just to me but to other people. He's a force of positivity and love.
On that note, can you share more about what it’s been like living and working together as business partners this year? In a time when work and home life are increasingly getting blurred, how have your routines changed?
We started Poketo together in 2003 at the same time we started dating. We have lived and worked together since day one, what's not to love about building something together with the person you love? It's easy to get caught up in all things business and growth, but it's just as important to focus on health, love, family, and friends. This past year has allowed us to reset and focus on everything that brings joy to our life and to try not to sweat the small stuff.
What inspired you to write Creative Spaces? What was the process of creating this book like?
Our first book Creative Spaces: People, Homes, and Studios To Inspire combines our own history and years of friendships in our community. The book highlights designers, musicians, architects, and creatives of all disciplines that have been part of Poketo.
Making that book is something we will never forget and a celebration of our creative community. We traveled city to city and sat down with different individuals and in doing so, learned so much about what drives them and how similar or different their approach is to our own.
Seeing how they live, their philosophies on life and on business...that was a light bulb moment for us. Living a creative life, there is no formula, there is no wrong or right. That limitlessness and sense of possibility is inspiring.
Is there a project that came out of this time in quarantine that you’re particularly proud of?
Poketo is a living, breathing brand – we want to support people and causes that do good in the world. We’re incredibly proud of our face mask collaboration with Meals, which had proceeds directly benefiting CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort), the non-profit that played a major role in early COVID-19 testing efforts in California and beyond.
What are the ways in which you’re staying connected to your LA creative community?
Even in tough times, we still design and create new products and continue to be an anchor in Los Angeles. It's scary with all the uncertainty, but we want to continue to be contributing to our creative community. We want to make and try new things and it's important to stay inspired and be a support for our community and other small businesses. Together, we are all stronger.
Visit Poketo to see the latest goods available in store, curated by the duo themselves.