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Poketo Shares Their Story

Business advice from our collab partner.

Hero image for Issue #29: Poketo’s Story

Last week I had the pleasure of talking to Ted and Angie, co-founders of Poketo, Freddie and Co.’s most recent collaborator. Poketo is an online store, but their 3 retail locations in Los Angeles help shape their brand and inform decisions they make as a whole. After hearing their story, it’s clear to me that Poketo is all about delight. They exist to bring happiness to their customers, their employees, and themselves through marketing and brand design.

When I asked about their greatest successes as a company, Ted talked about about how the holiday season is always their best and busiest time of year. “We all feel like busy bees, but we also try to lessen the load with snacks, drinks, and spontaneous dancing,” he said. And it’s true. If you go to Poketo’s about page, more than half of their employees mention dancing.

When I asked Ted if anything surprised him about running an e-commerce business, he talked about how fun it is to go out of their way to delight their customers. They add little drawings to orders and stay in touch with their fanbase, and that connection delights the folks as Poketo as much as their customers.

At their retail stores, the Poketo team hosts all kinds of art shows, workshops, and meet-ups. While it’s obviously easier for them to express their ethos in person, they’ve managed to translate that personality onto the internet. They always make an effort to point their in-person customers to the online store. Sometimes that means providing collateral that points online or by offering special discounts to shop on the web.

Shiny promo image

“There are so many channels to market your business,” Ted says. “Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, email newsletters, word of mouth. One of the biggest challenges is making sure you capture your audience in a way that is authentic to you and doesn’t break the bank.”

To me, this means forging your own path. What works for other companies might not work for you. Everyone has to find their own audience and figure out, through trial and error, what speaks to them. Finding your own voice is essential.

Another thing Ted and Angie mentioned that really spoke to me was how they had to learn to let go. In the beginning days of Poketo, the couple did everything themselves, including printing, cutting, scoring, and fastening a catalogue entirely by themselves. They’re very DIY, but they quickly learned they had to get help from others.

“My advice to business owners is to focus on what you do best and find others to execute the things that aren’t natural to you,” Ted says. “It can be a friend, a family member, a local business. It’s great to realize that a business is not a one-person army — business relies on a community of trusted partners to succeed.”

Thanks to Ted and Angie and everyone at Poketo for joining up with us at Freddie and Co. and for giving us a peek inside your world!

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