Poketo is a really cool retailer whose story begins inside the art scene of San Francisco. According to their site, founders Ted & Angie curated shows for many friends, but no one could afford the pieces on display. So the two decided to create limited edition wallets from the artists, so that “everyone could have a bit of the art.”
Today, the business has expanded into tees, stationery and kitchenware, too. Hundreds of artists collaborate with Poketo to create unique indie pieces.
Read on to meet the founders of Poketo.
ModCloth: How did you two meet?
Angie: We knew each other through mutual friends in San Francisco. San Francisco is a small city (only seven miles from one end to the other), so if you’re in a certain circle of people, you know everyone pretty soon. We officially met when I started taking a class where Ted worked. He took a sabbatical and traveled for about a year; and soon after he came back from Asia, I ran into him at a bar where our friend’s band was playing. Since then, I think we’ve spent every waking minute with each other.
MC: Do you each have different roles in the company, or do you both sort of do everything?
Angie: We do the creative direction together: everything from picking the artists & artwork to organizing art shows and events at our space to throwing shows internationally. Ted does anything that has to do with organization and numbers, and I do everything that involves design and research. Our studio is made up of three other amazingly hard-working and talented people. We brainstorm all kinds of crazy ideas and then try to find the best ways to make those ideas come true.
[Ted & Angie: the founders of Poketo]
MC: How do you choose the artists whose work you want to print?
Angie: This is the question that we get asked the most. This is also the easiest and hardest thing for us. We get dozens of inquiries daily from amazing artists from all over the world. Just today, we got e-mails from artists in NY, LA, Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Bogota, Osaka, and Moscow. The hardest thing is to choose the work that we want to put out. We have to love everything we put out. That’s about the only way I know how to answer this question.
MC: Do you give the artists any guidelines at all?
Angie: Rarely. We generally give artists free reign. We think that’s what makes Poketo so eclectic and different.
MC: Can any artist reading this interview contact you, or how does that process work?
Angie: The best way is for them to send a link to their online portfolio. Due to the number of inquiries that we receive, we cannot email everyone back. But if we like what you do, you can count on hearing back from us.
MC: What have been some of your favorite or most popular items?
Angie: Wallets were our first item and really launched our business without us even meaning for them to. Our shirts are extremely popular as well as our plates, mugs (newest houseware item) and our stationery. We really believe in “Art for your Everyday” as our motto.
MC: Where do you find inspiration- for your work or life in general?
Angie: Hmm.. Travel, food, friends, books, magazines, architecture, music, films, people that we meet, walks around our neighborhood with our dog, and from each other.