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Season 2 - Episode 5:

Creative Collaborations- Ted and Angie from Poketo

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Creative Collaborations- Ted and Angie from Poketo

Episode Summary

In this episode, we explore the dynamic relationship of 2 highly creative individuals, Ted Vadakan and Angie Myung, co-founders of Poketo. They share how they combined their creativity to grow their company from a small startup to a creative hub and online destination.

Episode Notes

This month, we're celebrating Valentine's Day by speaking to couples who inspire us by building strong partnerships - partners in life, partners in business, and partners in their community.

We sat down with Angie Myung and Ted Vadakan, a husband-and-wife team who have artfully mastered the feat of finding their tribe through their brand Poketo.

The name Poketo (pronounced "poh-keh-toe") stems from the mispronunciation of "pocket" by Angie's grandmother. It tied in perfectly with the first product ever created under Poketo: a series of artist wallets that fit right in your pocket—and Ted and Angie just loved the way it sounded.

Poketo has worked with brands and companies like Nike, MTV, Disney, Target, Nordstrom and MailChimp, museums like MOCA, the Guggenheim, the de Young, and SFMOMA, and has collaborated with over 200 international artists, creating exclusive products that reflect its philosophy of "Art for Your Every day."

Ted and Angie are a great example of two partners who set the tone for their business. Poketo is all about collaboration, community, and partnership - something that is ingrained in their personal lives and amazing love story.

They gave us a lot to keep in mind:

  • Find your community and keep them close
  • Play to the strengths of your partnership
  • Stop worrying so much about your business’ competition and instead, focus your energy on collaboration and staying ahead of the game





Damona Hoffman:        This is the I Make a Living podcast brought to you by FreshBooks, the number one cloud accounting solution for small business owners and their teams. I’m your host, Damona Hoffman, and I’m one of you, an entrepreneur who loves creating community. This month, we’re celebrating Valentine’s Day by speaking to couples who inspire us by building strong partnerships, who are partners in life, partners in business, and partners in their community. In the last few years, we’ve seen a huge push amongst marketing thought leaders for entrepreneurs to find their tribe or community of supporters, consumers, and peers. This stems from the social fulfillment step in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. All humans long for a group to belong to, and it’s a critical step in finding customers who will drive your business forward. That sounds kind of simple, right? Actually, it’s not. I sat down with Ted Vadakan and Angie Myung, a husband and wife team who have artfully mastered the feat of finding their tribe through their brand, Poketo.

Ted Vadakan:               We started Poketo in 2003, so we’re on our 16th year, and it’s a lifestyle brand, as well as retail shops, here in Los Angeles. Our whole ethos behind Poketo is art for every day, so it’s really bringing in art and design into everyday life, so everything from housewares, and apparel, and stationary, and accessories. When you come into the shop, it’s kind of like everything for your life, but it’s all about accessibility, and sort of elevated design, and really a very sort of joyful spirit, and very community-based brand that we’ve built over the years.

Damona Hoffman:        What was the original idea for Poketo? Because now you do so many different things within… It’s a brand. It’s a creative community. There’s products. What was the ignition point? Where did you begin?

Ted Vadakan:               I was working full time. Angie was back at school, and Poketo was really just a side project. We had a lot of friends who were visual artists, and the community there is really small. Whenever we’d go to these art shows, the original work would never really sell. We’d go to these shows of our friends. Work wasn’t selling. That’s when Angie and I thought, “Okay, let’s come up with a product.” We rented a space in San Francisco. It’s just a community space there. They would do all kinds of stuff. You can just rent it out for yoga classes, or meetings, or whatever. It was in the neighborhood, in The Mission District, and we rented it out for the weekend. Basically, the thought was, “Okay, let’s put a big art show together with all of our friends. Let’s have their original work on the walls. Let’s bring in musicians, and bands, and just make it this sort of weekend festival, and let’s launch this product.”

Ted Vadakan:               That very first product that we launched was an artist’s wallet, really simple, just a simple wallet covered with the artwork of the artists that we invited. We actually used Angie’s art school facilities at the time, so when she was at school, we just printed all the artwork out and these very limited additions, and we would stay up all night, like four or five in the morning, just printing it on the slowest inkjet printers, and cutting everything, and just getting everything prepared for the show. The idea was it’ll be this show, it’ll be a really awesome time to have our friends together, but let’s have something that people don’t have to spend a lot of money on but be able to collect something, take a piece of art from these people that were showcasing.

Angie Myung:               They completely sold out that night. It was amazing.

Damona Hoffman:        Worth all of that work?

Angie Myung:               Yeah.

Ted Vadakan:               Well, that was the idea was because all these things were… They were all handmade, and we wanted them to be limited edition, and each of these pieces, too, we really wanted to promote the artists. The product would actually have a biography card of the artist inside and how to find them online, and it really sort of connected the people that were buying this thing to the artist. After that first show, we just did another series with new artists and did the same thing. We would have a big party. Everyone would come, and to the same effect, it would sell out, and we would just be like, “Wow, that, that was, again, amazing.”

Ted Vadakan:               We started to just knock on our favorite stores’ doors around that time in San Francisco just to see. We’d go into some of our favorite shops and just show the buyers like, “Hey, this is what we’re doing.” Maybe it was just being naive at the time and not knowing the proper channels, but we would always meet the buyer in the shop, and they would be like, “Wow, this is amazing.”

Angie Myung:               Or, sometimes, the customers will be right there, I mean, the people who are shopping and they’ll be like, “Oh, my God, this is amazing,” and the buyer’s standing right there, and then they would want to buy it right there and then, and the buyer was like, “Okay, I’ll take 30.”

Ted Vadakan:               Shortly after we started Poketo in San Francisco, we actually moved down to Los Angeles. Around that time, it was just one of those things. It was like we had been in SF for about seven years, good sort of seven-year itch.

Damona Hoffman:        [crosstalk 00:00:05:33].

Ted Vadakan:               Yeah. I wanted a change. A lot of our friends were moving away, and I have family in Southern California, and we just thought, “Okay, let’s make a move and do this.” When we moved down to LA, we actually lived with my parents first in Long Beach, and so we-

Damona Hoffman:        How is that for you, Angie?

Angie Myung:               They’re so generous. Basically, we moved into one small room, and we had our computers there, and we were working out of there. All of our stock was just in the one room on the shelf. Then, we were living there for a year, and by the end, the boxes were lining up in the hallway. We had taken over their dining room and their office. We had goods in the garage. We even filled up the van that was parked outside with boxes. I mean, it was crazy, monster mess.

Damona Hoffman:        So, at this point, you’ve left your other career, and this is now becoming your full-time job.

Ted Vadakan:               Well, actually no, it was one of those things where, even though we left San Francisco, Angie was just finishing school, and so that was a good reason to go, too, and I remember Angie thinking, “Oh, my gosh, now I have to go find a job.”

Angie Myung:               Yeah.

Damona Hoffman:        Now that I’m done with school, I actually have to do something with this degree.

Angie Myung:               Exactly. If we’re going to move to LA, I was like, “I’m going to have to look for a graphic design job in LA.” Tyler was like, “Actually, why not just focus on Poketo?” I was like, “Like that’s going to go somewhere.”

Damona Hoffman:        Why are you feeling at this point like it’s a pipe dream?

Angie Myung:               No, of course, I mean, because it was just a side thing. Yeah, we had some shops carrying our products in San Francisco, a few handful maybe.

Damona Hoffman:        Is it because you weren’t making the income from it yet that you thought would sustain you?

Angie Myung:               Oh, no, not at all. Yeah. I mean, we were like… When we got an order online, one order, we’d be so excited. We’re like, “Oh, my God, this is amazing.” Sometimes, we had a fax machine, and sometimes, a store would actually fax in our order, and we’d come home to see the fax. I’m like, “God.” That was such a great day, but it wasn’t enough to cover anything.

Ted Vadakan:               That’s when Angie… That’s when we decided, okay, let’s try to focus-

Angie Myung:               Well, I didn’t have a job, and I wasn’t going to school, so I naturally just focused all my energy on Poketo. Yeah.

Ted Vadakan:               Yeah. Then, I was still actually working freelance, and so I would travel back and forth between SF and LA maybe a couple times a month and just do freelance work. That allowed us to feel a little bit less stress knowing that I had…

Damona Hoffman:        You had some income coming in.

Ted Vadakan:               … a freelance job, some income coming in. We can still work on Poketo. Even though Angie was working on that more full time, I would still be very involved, and I think that what the turning point was really was-

Angie Myung:               After a year, we actually moved out. We bought our first place in Echo Park.

Damona Hoffman:        Is this because Poketo is doing so well at this point or just because your parents are like, “Get these boxes out of here?”

Angie Myung:               Well, both.

Damona Hoffman:        Both. Yes, and.

Angie Myung:               Yeah, we were going out of their place, but they never said anything negative whatsoever. They never even winced or looked at us like… I mean, they were so generous up until the very last moment when we said, “Hey, guess what? We found a place. We’re going to move out,” and they were so happy.

Damona Hoffman:        You could see all of that tension that they had been hiding.

Angie Myung:               His dad was doing a victory dance. I mean, it was so funny. We were moving. We moved out. I was completely focused on Poketo, and the business was doing really, really well.

Ted Vadakan:               We met more artists, actually. That’s what was incredible. There was so much collaborative energy in LA and still to this day, so much collaborative energy, and also so much manufacturing in Los Angeles. You can kind of just about make anything here. It was right around that time that we then started to look into other things that we could fold into Poketo and really have that be that concept that we’re thinking about, art every day. The next step was T-shirts, and so we started to do artist T-shirts, and from there, it went to stationary.

Ted Vadakan:               Year by year, as we were growing what we were doing with Poketo, we just started to add more things to the catalog, I guess, in some ways, so went from wallets, to apparel, to stationary, and then we started to think, “Okay, well, let’s do housewares,” and really, all these things, all these decisions, were just more based on like, “Oh, that would be so cool to do. We don’t have any cool plates, any cool artists plates. How can we make it?” Angie would just put on her research hat and just try to find a manufacturer that would be able to do low runs of all these things.

Damona Hoffman:        So, you’re trying out… As you’re innovating and developing new products, you’re just doing sample runs of each of those products to figure out if they are going to work or not. Were there any big misses?

Ted Vadakan:               I mean, I think there were always things. For example, when we started to go… Angie was talking about that first trade show that we went to visit, and I think it was a friend of ours who was just like, “Hey, you should go check on trade shows.” We were like, “What are trade shows?” We had no idea what that was, right?

Angie Myung:               Yeah.

Ted Vadakan:               They’re like, “Okay, well, there’s a trade show. There’s one in Vegas. It’s a really huge show, and you should check it out.” So, we went to go to that, and it was giant, all the major brands, and so on, and so forth.

Damona Hoffman:        Was that intimidating?

Angie Myung:               Yeah.

Ted Vadakan:               I thought it was very intimidating, but there was also… What was cool was that there was a smaller, indie, independent section of the show.

Damona Hoffman:        I see.

Ted Vadakan:               I think we just hit at that time on this idea or this product that really was just different. I think the concept that we had with bringing in artists, and collaboration, and community was really different, and so when we did that show, all the retail stores that would come through, they absolutely loved it, and it was just yet another sort of validation.

Damona Hoffman:        I know you’re really big into collaboration. You have collaborations with a lot of those big brands that probably intimidated you way back when, now you’re working with. You’re working with Target. You’re working with MoMA. Nordstrom, you have a partnership coming up. What advice do you have for anyone that’s looking to break into the big leagues and begin those collaborations, partnerships, and conversations?

Angie Myung:               Well, I mean, it took us… We’ve been in business for 16 years. I think just being around the block, and people knowing about us, and the people in those huge brands knowing about us and liking what we make. I think that’s the only thing, unless you have like huge representation, or if you have a bunch of sales reps going around the country and knocking on doors, and we don’t have any of that. It’s just basically people knocking on our doors, the big brands knocking on our doors and asking to collaborate.

Damona Hoffman:        What do you think that is-

Ted Vadakan:               I think what that is is, I mean, we just put our head down, worked hard, and we really loved what we were doing. I get so much energy just being around people, and that was the biggest thing for Poketo. It was just all about people. It’s family and friends, and that’s the DNA of Poketo, and so we got so much energy from that, and I think it was… There’s never been this sort of strategic planning or a specific goal that we were trying to aim for. It was just like, “We love what we’re doing. Let’s just continue what we’re doing, and let’s see where it goes.”

Ted Vadakan:               I think, for us, it was always one of those things where we’re just like that. We have very much a DIY ethic, and we want to do everything ourselves. We were involved in every aspect of Poketo from day one to now. I think it was one of those things where we were just doing, and we loved what we’re doing. Fortunately, we had people that also loved what we were doing. It was just this kind of natural snowball effect. As you start to get out there, and even in just the natural relationship of Poketo with the artist community, a rising tide lifts all boats. As we’re promoting these artists, and they’re promoting us, you’re just getting more and more exposure.

Ted Vadakan:               I think that was also a big thing as well, too. You’re really, truly building a community that everyone is being lifted. I think that that, in a sense, kind of catches the attention of some of these bigger brands that we have worked with, whether it’s Target, or Nordstrom, or all these amazing companies that we would have never thought to have ever dreamt of working with.

Damona Hoffman:        But they come to you because you’re casting a wide net, and you’re creating… It’s an umbrella for all of these artists, like you said. I’m so glad you said the part about a rising tide lifts all boats because, so many times people in business, you think it has to be cut throat, you have to beat your competitor. It seems to not be your philosophy at all, that it’s more about finding collaborations than it is about finding competitors to beat.

Angie Myung:               Yeah, I mean we didn’t really find any competitors that were doing what we were doing.

Damona Hoffman:        True.

Angie Myung:               So, yeah.

Ted Vadakan:               But I think, also, too, we’re just not those people.

Angie Myung:               Yeah.

Ted Vadakan:               You know what I mean? I don’t really know how to be a jerk.

Angie Myung:               Yeah.

Ted Vadakan:               We want people to treat us as we would love to be treated. I think bringing in that personality and sort of us into this brand, I really feel like Poketo is a lot about sort of me and Ang.

Angie Myung:               I mean, there’s really no way for you to prevent anyone from copying what you’re doing. You just have to run faster. That’s always my philosophy. Why waste energy on being mad at people that are copying you? You just have to run faster, and you just have to innovate faster, and you just have to keep going.

Ted Vadakan:               Something that we always remember, and something that we continue to think about to this day is just keeping that forward momentum, and always being open to change, and trying new things, and that keeps the brand fresh, but then it also keeps things really interesting for us personally as well, too.

Damona Hoffman:        Ted and Angie are great example of two partners who set the tone for their business. Poketo is all about collaboration, community, and partnership, something that is ingrained in their personal lives and their amazing love story.

Angie Myung:               We were living in San Francisco at the time, and it’s a small city that you kind of get to know each other, everyone, basically. If you don’t know them, then you’ll meet them really soon because it’s maybe two-degree separation at the most. I remember first seeing Ted at a New Year’s party. He was DJing at the party and-

Damona Hoffman:        Very artistic of you.

Angie Myung:               That was the first time I remember seeing him. He has a very unforgettable presence, and he was wearing this neck tie and a cute outfit, and he was DJing. That’s what I remember.

Damona Hoffman:        Ted, do you remember the moment when you first met Angie?

Ted Vadakan:               I do, actually. That night… Okay, so Angie is describing it as like, “Uh,” and nothing for her, but I remember seeing Angie thinking, “Wow, she looks like an angel,” and she really did. She was just kind of walking through the room, and I had noticed her right away.

Damona Hoffman:        Did you bridge the creative collaboration first or the romantic collaboration?

Ted Vadakan:               Well, really quick… That night, we didn’t meet. We just saw each other. [crosstalk 00:18:31]. Okay.

Damona Hoffman:        Wow, that’s powerful.

Angie Myung:               Then, we would see each other at work here and there. The funniest story is he went away for a year. He took a sabbatical, and then I took over his job. Then, when he came back, we ran into each other at a bar where our friend’s band was playing, and we talked, and he actually gave me a ride home that night along with other friends. Then, we started hanging out. Then, one day, he came over to my house. He was like, “Hey, guess what? I got my job back.” I was like, “Guess what? I got fired today.”

Damona Hoffman:        Oh, no.

Angie Myung:               They basically fired me and gave him his old job back.

Damona Hoffman:        Oh, no.

Angie Myung:               Basically, I got fired, and I was like, “That’s fine. Whatever.” I was going to leave anyway because I was going to go back to school to study graphic design, so I told him that that day that he took my job away. I was like, “Okay, well you’re going to buy me dinner.”

Damona Hoffman:        That was music to his ears. What did you think when you heard that, Ted?

Ted Vadakan:               I mean, you can just be so excited. I mean, if you heard something like that, that’s like a perfect tune.

Angie Myung:               But you know what the funny thing is? Every time we hung out, he always brought his brother along, so I just thought we were just all friends and hanging out together all the time.

Ted Vadakan:               Well, it’s just because I am-

Angie Myung:               You were living with your brother.

Ted Vadakan:               No, no, no. I was shy, and I never really knew… I’m just like that. I was always self-doubting, like, “Does this person like me?” or, “Do I like them?” I think it was just that. I was thinking-

Angie Myung:               At a point, I actually thought, “Is he trying to set me up with his brother?”

Damona Hoffman:        That’s really bad game. As a dating coach, I could say, if she thinks-

Ted Vadakan:               Horrible game.

Damona Hoffman:        … you’re trying to set you up with your brother, then things have gone terribly wrong, but eventually you turned it around.

Ted Vadakan:               Eventually, I guess we kind of turned it around, but it was definitely an Angie thing. I think-

Damona Hoffman:        Which came first, the creative collaboration or the relationship?

Angie Myung:               It’s started with the relationship.

Ted Vadakan:               Our relationship. Our relationship came first.

Angie Myung:               I think we both wanted to do something, like a business or something.

Damona Hoffman:        As a dating coach, I’m already impressed that they moved past a situationship into a healthy relationship, but on top of that, they turned their passion into a thriving business. Whether romantic or professional, it seems that successful partnerships stem from understanding the strengths that each person brings to the relationship.

Damona Hoffman:        Do you have certain roles or boundaries that you’ve set up to keep things working in both spaces effectively?

Angie Myung:               Oh, you mean home and work.

Damona Hoffman:        Yeah, do you have boundaries where we don’t talk about work at home, or do you have certain roles within the company as it’s grown, where it’s like, “This is Angie’s purview, this is what Ted manages,” so there isn’t too much conflict?

Angie Myung:               [crosstalk 00:21:35]. Yeah. We now work in two separate spaces also, so I’m on the eighth floor, and Ted’s on the ground level. That just happened recently, but we were working together in the same space for 16 years. I do all the creative direction, so anything that you see online, anything that’s visual, and anything that’s product driven, I do that. I create all the products along with my team, of course. I oversee all the buying for third-party brands, and I kind of control the look and feel of Poketo. That’s branding and website, Instagram, and all of that stuff.

Damona Hoffman:        What about you, Ted?

Ted Vadakan:               When we started, we did everything together. I mean, we did everything from the designing, to invoicing, to pick, pack, and shipping, and kind of every part of that business. As you start to grow, you do start to sort of separate roles from each other, so it’s so awesome to have Angie be that creative vision, and everything that you see in the store, and all the look and feel, and my strengths have really been with people, so it’s a lot about partnerships, and also building our team, and just making sure I’m at wherever our team needs to be. So, we were online, and we have four retail stores. We wholesale our goods to over 500 retailers globally. Our spaces, our stores are… They’re not just traditional retail. It’s actually a combination of sort of community spaces as well, too.

Ted Vadakan:               We’ll have art shows. We’ll do different popups, and we’ll do even creative workshops, so every week, we invite different artists and designers to come in and actually teach what they know, anything from business class to hands-on classes like painting and stuff like that.

Damona Hoffman:        Sort of old times, going back to where you began and creating that community-

Angie Myung:               Yeah.

Ted Vadakan:               Exactly.

Damona Hoffman:        … for artists.

Ted Vadakan:               When we opened up our first brick-and-mortar store, it wasn’t until nine years after we started Poketo, so when we started in 2003, we were online and wholesaling up until 2012 when we opened up that first store, and that first store was, to us… It allowed us to plant a flag in LA and say, “Okay, this is Poketo’s home base.” The way we always saw it, too, was that it’s a place that we can do everything that we were doing nine years prior with all the events, and art shows, and just bringing our friends together. Now, we actually have a space to do that because, prior to that, we’d either rent a space or partner with another store gallery, and those were all awesome to do, but now we actually had a space in LA.

Damona Hoffman:        Nice to have something of your own.

Ted Vadakan:               Yeah.

Damona Hoffman:        Then, you can really use that as a launching pad.

Ted Vadakan:               Totally. When we opened up that first store, too, what’s really funny was it was just out of necessity. We were, again, outgrowing… We’d been in all of our spaces, right? We work until we sort of outgrow it, and we get to a point where it’s just too much, too much personally, just too much. It’s hard to live around boxes and things that are just falling on you, and so on, and so forth.

Ted Vadakan:               Each time we’ve switched locations, it’s always been out of necessity. We’ve always needed something bigger because the business is growing. That first store actually was just… It was a giant space, and we thought, “Well, it’s probably too much for our current business. Let’s carve out a quarter of that space as a retail store.” That’s how that started. We didn’t have any retail background. We didn’t actually even think it was going to be a success at all. We just thought like, “Hey, if people walk into the door, and they buy something, that’s extra, and it’s bonus. It’s awesome because we’re still needing to run our online and our wholesale anyway.” But what ended up happening was we got into an area that was really nothing at the time in downtown LA. Slowly but surely, as we were starting to have events and bring people in, that neighborhood just exploded.

Ted Vadakan:               That was the success of that store. We saw like, “Wow, amazing.” People would come in, and they would actually buy things, and whenever we’d have events they would come down, and that neighborhood just slowly but surely started to change. Then, business… Then, another brand opened up another shop down the street, and then two, and three, and four, and then a coffee shop came in, and then you started to have a real community, and that’s what was awesome. It was like a real community was built out of nothing.

Damona Hoffman:        That’s what it starts with, right? It takes somebody that with the desire to create connections and create a space where you can connect with other people that are like you and that are artistic, like the two of you. Now, you also have a book.

Angie Myung:               Yeah.

Damona Hoffman:        Gosh. Is there anything you don’t do? What inspired you to write this book, Creative Spaces, and keep creating in a new way?

Angie Myung:               I don’t know, actually. Well, it was really interesting because we have been approached by different publishers to write a book, but then they would always say, “Well, you have to turn in a proposal,” and we just never had time to actually write a proposal, and turn it in, and shop it around because that also takes a lot of time and effort, so we just never did it. But this time was very special because they came to us, and an editor there at the time just loved Poketo and the story, so she actually wrote the proposal and presented it to her team at the publisher. We couldn’t say no because they all loved the idea, and they all said, “Yes, let’s do this.”

Damona Hoffman:        That’s awesome, getting other people excited about your vision.

Angie Myung:               Yeah.

Damona Hoffman:        It sounds like that’s really been the key to success for the two of you and really being able to grow the brand.

Ted Vadakan:               Yeah, and it was cool. I think when we were… Our initial talks with the editor, it was just like kind of batting around ideas of what this book could be, and there were a lot of ideas. We just sort of sunk on this idea of spaces, and of people, and of community because that’s been Poketo for the past 16 years, not only all the spaces that we’ve been in through our history, but then also just our friendships in the community. So, we thought, what a better way of telling the story of Poketo through our lens but through these 20 plus individuals that are doing really amazing work? It’s people that are musicians, and chefs, and designers, and artists, architects. Poketo world to us, it can be anything. Anyone creating.

Damona Hoffman:        Anyone creative.

Ted Vadakan:               Yeah. That’s how we saw it. It’s anyone and everyone creating. We tapped into our friendships, and we brought people in that we’ve known for a long time. Some people are new friends as well, too. The book really kind of… It’s not only this… It’s part interiors and part kind of creative and inspiration type of book. You see the spaces of all these creatives, whether it’s their home or their studio. Sometimes, it’s both. It’s not a polished, produced kind of interiors book. This is not like Elle Decor.

Damona Hoffman:        This is like my house right now, Cheerios on the floor.

Ted Vadakan:               We wanted to capture those moments.

Damona Hoffman:        The reality of being a creative.

Ted Vadakan:               The photographer we brought on, she’s amazing. Her name is [Yarin Moke 00:29:57]. She has just this effortless style, but it was no lighting, no hair, no makeup. We would go into a space. She would capture these moments. I would go in, and really just sit down, and do these interviews with my friends, or with these creatives, and really try to find the inner workings, and how they stay inspired, and how they stay creative, and how they actually built their careers and brands. A lot of this book is about that as well, too. It’s not just this book with beautiful photography, which there is beautiful photography in it, but it’s about the inner workings of creativity.

Damona Hoffman:        Yeah. I saw this quote today, actually. Very timely. “Creative people don’t have a mess. They have ideas lying around everywhere.” That really resonated for me. I’m sure it will resonate for a lot of our listeners.

Angie Myung:               Yeah, definitely.

Damona Hoffman:        Before we go, we like to give everyone your favorite tips and tools, so who has a tip or a tool that has been a game changer in the Poketo business?

Angie Myung:               App-wise, I mean, we use all the Google apps, but I always say, if you have a idea block, and if you have a block, don’t stare into the computer. Don’t stare, just look, thinking, thinking. Just take a walk. Seriously, that really helps. Just like sitting there and trying to think of an idea is not going to work.

Damona Hoffman:        Try it again.

Angie Myung:               You have to change your… Yeah. You have to get in motion, change the setting, walk your dog if you have a dog.

Damona Hoffman:        Or, just walk yourself. Sometimes, that’s enough.

Angie Myung:               Yeah, walk yourself. Yeah.

Damona Hoffman:        That’s a great tip. Any tools or tips?

Ted Vadakan:               I think about how Angie and I work together and how, in these past years, how we’ve been able to, I guess, just move forward. I think in a lot of ways it’s about compromise because Angie and I are quite different people.

Angie Myung:               Yeah. If you have a partner the same as you, that’s not going to really work. It’s not going to move it forward. Try to find someone that’s a complete opposite.

Damona Hoffman:        In what ways are you different?

Ted Vadakan:               We’re pretty opposite. Angie would always say like… What is that saying? Angie sees the glass half empty, and I see the glass half full.

Angie Myung:               No, I don’t even see that glass, basically.

Damona Hoffman:        She like, “Where’s the glass? Let’s put some artwork on it.”

Angie Myung:               It’s like, “Water’s flowing. Oh, my gosh.”

Ted Vadakan:               We’re very different in that way, but I think, in a lot of ways, because we’re so different, we balance each other out. I think that we’ve learned that, even though we may have difference in opinion or a difference in opinion about a decision in the business or a decision in our life, we always come to some sort of mutual compromise.

Angie Myung:               Yeah. You need a dreamer, and you need a realist.

Damona Hoffman:        Every entrepreneur has to be a bit of a dreamer to be crazy enough to embark on the wild journey of launching a new business. It’s those who have a realist, either in partnership or within ourselves, who can make that dream a reality. Ted and Angie gave us a lot to keep in mind. Find your community, and keep them close. Play to the strengths of your partnership, and stop worrying so much about your business competition, and instead, focus your energy on collaboration and staying ahead of the game. You can find Poketo online at poketo.com… That’s spelled P-O-K-E-T-O… or check them out IRL at one of their brick-and-mortar locations in Los Angeles or Denver. Also, you can pick up a copy of their beautiful new book, Creative Spaces. Have we piqued your interest in FreshBooks, the number one cloud accounting solution for small business owners and their teams?

Damona Hoffman:        If so, let FreshBooks show you how to save hours on accounting paperwork and get your finances organized. Use this special link, freshbooks.com slash I-M-A-L to receive an exclusive offer. That’s freshbooks.com slash I-M-A-L, short for I Make a Living. Our audio engineer and composer is James Morris. Paco Arizmendi is our producer and director, and I’m your host and producer, Damona Hoffman. If you want to chat with me about relationships, business, or maybe business relationships, you can find me on all of the socials at Damona Hoffman, or you can message me at damonahoffman.com. Also, come meet me and the team at an I Make a Living live event. Go to imakealiving.com to see when we’ll be in a city near you, and take the steps to find your tribe today because it’s your business. I’ll see you next week.


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