Why did you guys start Poketo?
We started Poketo in 2003 and at the time we were basically seeing our artists friends finding it tough to sell original art because it was cost prohibitive and people like us couldn’t afford it. So we decided to have an art show and invite our friends to be apart of the show. Instead of just having art on the wall we created a product with their art on it, which was the wallet. It was something that people could walk away with from the show. Angie was in art school at the time at CCA and we used all their facilities, staying up all night making them. We had the show and it ended up being one of the awesome and magical nights in San Francisco. The wallets totally sold out and we went home that night knowing we had to do another one. That energy kicked off another series, and then another. But, we wanted to explore the idea of “art for you everyday” and we didn’t just want to make wallets. So we got into apparel, housewares, stationery, and all kinds of products that fit into our lives. We’ve been building on this idea of “art for your everyday” for the past 10 years online and now for the first time in the brick and mortar Poketo store.
What made you guys decide to open a store?
Opening a store has always been a dream of ours. Our current location was the first and only spot we ever looked at and it just felt right so we took it. We had been in the Arts District for the last 5 years and absolutely love the neighborhood. Everyone is so supportive and this area is only growing. Every year we’ve been able to establish ourselves more and more in LA and online. We’ve always wanted to do this and this time it just felt perfect so we moved our operation and opened up the front of the space as a store and a gallery.
I guess we are very traditional in that way, that we love the human contact and getting to meet people in person. We love having events and getting the community together and we’ve always wanted a permanent space where we can do whatever we wanted to so this is a great spot for it.
What do you think is unique about having your brand in Los Angeles?
There’s so much energy in LA it feels limitless. It’s so big and yet there’s a really strong sense of a community. People are really stoked about working together and doing things. Especially in the Arts District, there are so many creatives doing so many different things, it’s amazing being part of the growth and energy that is happening here.
How do you feel being open now for the past couple days?
It’s so exciting seeing so many people loving it. They come in and they immediately say “Wow, this space is amazing!” and how much they love everything about the store. They are so excited about it and I’m feeding off their energy.
When can people come by?
The Poketo Store is at 820 E. 3rd Street, Los Angeles, 90013. We are open 7 days a week Monday-Friday from 12-7pm Saturday and Sunday 11-7pm. So come on down!