ChoKe, Owner

ChoKe stands for "Creating Her Own Kinetic Energy"

ChoKe grew up in Washington, DC and had always wanted to be a graffiti writer. She is known for having an energy about herself where she doesn’t stop, no matter what her circumstances.

Graffiti was like a moving gallery to her, but soon that love of art morphed into other opportunities for painting. While living in a studio apartment in California, the tenants, including Choke, got a call from the city that they were shutting the building down, and everyone had ten days to move out. It was then that she put her stuff in storage and decided to move to Asia. She was in a place of trying to figure out her life and what she wanted to do. Asia had been at the top of her list. She lived in Japan first and then went over to Thailand. She had her sketchbook and a backpack and met some local Thailand people her age that quickly befriended her and wanted her to meet their tribe. It is from this established relationship that Choke started buying directly from them and selling their goods here in the states. As a result, every time she goes back to visit, she sees the fruit of their labor together, whether that is in the form of a new roof for their home or tile on the inside. Choke gets to pick the colors and items she wants to make and then brings them back here to sell. 

“It is important for me to see that they have the materials for their looms, they have their string, and whatever else they need to dye…whatever they need.” Choke considers this every time she goes back to visit. She will also begin to work with other artists in other countries to do the same thing. Choke has a strong understanding of where she has been, especially experiencing homelessness. She understands the value that anything is better than the dark places where she has been and experienced. She uses those hard things like a flame to ignite a passion in her that she never wants to go back there again. She has gratitude for how her life has evolved and allowed her to bring hope across the ocean and using her own inspiring artwork to grace the walls of anyone willing to buy them and take them home.

“I want to empower myself, but I have found that empowering other women is even more empowering. It’s an amazing cycle! I think in America, it is our duty to travel around the world to be able to know who your neighbor is, so we know how to coexist.”

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This excerpt was taken from an interview with Jennifer Kieta, an author from Tanglewood moms
Click here to read the full article!