Pokoloko's Canadian team is an award-winning, dedicated group of eight friends based in Hull, Quebec, a unique little neighbourhood in French Canada. Half of us are musicians, all of us are under 35 years old, and between us we speak 5 languages. We are beyond grateful to be able to be working together in our little headquarters on a project that serves our communities at home and abroad.
This story starts with a gold stick shift Volks Wagon Jetta station wagon that was on its last legs. In 2014, founders Case Bakker and Jessie Lyon met and began selling Ecuadorian alpaca blankets out of the back of Case's car. At the time they didn't realize that they were laying down buiding blocks that would later become a full time job for both them and six others, but as time passed, they were increasingly inspired by the organization being created from their efforts, and the potential impact it could have for communities locally and globally. With the help of a notable collection of loyal and hardworking friends and family, Case and Jessie remain partners with big dreams surrounded by a team they couldn't do it without.
Sean manages our order fulfillment, French communcation, and warehouse operation. He's a prominent and celebrated local musician, whose latest projects include drums for Ottawa's daze-folk band Shadowhand, and singer, guitar and songwriter for Lost to the River, his own folk-rock band. He hosts open mics across the city including at our beloved Irene's Pub. He is an excellent chef (he makes a mean egg scramble), our resident podcast DJ, and generally the life of any party.
Mark works with Sean to manage our warehouse operation, and oversees our shipment reception and US logistics. Mark is the sweetest soul with a great vibe. He provides some of the finest bass-playing in the Ottawa-Gatineau region, and puts together some of the best playlists you've heard so far. In his spare time, you can find him playing shows with his metal band Black Galaxy who put on an excellent live show.
Devon is a jill of all trades who helps with all aspects of the business, with a focus on administration support and customer communciations. Her great loves include her three cats, her life-partner Dave, and her dear friends in the cosplay community. She is truly a ray of sunshine and our days are always much better when she is a part of them.
Evee is our in-house creative. She oversees our Showroom, markets and events, and ensures that Pokoloko's look/feel is always on point. Evee is a grunge fashionista, a lover of plants, and one of the coolest ladies we know. Her spare time is spent mind-mapping her next adventure, collecting vintage clothing, and spending time with her handsome man Francis, owner of the delicious, locally-roasted Cloudforest Coffee.
Jocelyn assists Case and Jessie with the execution of all things, including website, team support, and strategy. She always has excellent nails and hair, and has an energy and organizational sense that keeps everything moving forward. She is a warm source of love to her family and friends, and acts as a support to individuals with developmental disabilities in the community. When she is not doing an amazing job for Pokoloko, she is hanging with her two little nieces on the ski hill.
Christopher is an exceptional industrial designer that led the construction and design of our Showroom, and continues to help us with projects like product displays and merchandising signage. Chris is a truly unique and wonderful character that we wouldn't trade for the world, and makes us laugh harder than anyone else can. He is precise, creative, intentional. His favorite things in the world are chicken nuggets, John Mayer and sock with sandals.
Pokoloko comes from the Spanish phrase "poco loco" meaning "a little bit crazy." This is what our Ecuadorian artisan partners used to call Case at the very beginning of their relationship, and when Pokoloko was just Case and Jessie working out of the back of Case's car, indeed it did sometimes seem a little bit of a crazy thing to do. As our organization evolved, the central meaning of this phrase has stuck with us and reminds us every day to think outside the box, trust your gut, do what you love, and never stop adventuring.
Our customers are an inspired community for whom we are overwhelmingly grateful each and every day. We serve them through our online shop, our Showroom, and our wholesale network spanning boutiques across North America. For every step we take, our focus is the support of them and their communities.