Charity: Safehouse of the Desert

By Morgan James

Will; Hard Work; Determination; For Soterios Anagnostou these are words to live by. Growing up in Dana Point Soterios spent his youth surfing, skateboarding, fishing and immersing himself in the local art culture. At a young age he fused his artistic talent with his athletic abilities and became notably involved with a popular surfboard and apparel company that is still in business to this day. Although he learned early on he had a knack for design, he soon began to realize that the extent of his talent was not limited to the aesthetic arena. “As an artist you try to find ways to create art, yet make a living at the same time. I always wanted to work on projects that were going to teach me, but at the same time I wanted to express my art,” explains Anagnostou. Merging these ideas, the entrepreneur started a fashion arts and writing magazine and even owned two retail stores in southern Oregon, which really taught him the marketing side of how to make a business flourish.

Having a strong sense of familial responsibility, Anagnostou moved to Palm Springs to help care for his ailing father. Anagnostou landed in the art department of a prominent advertising agency. During his employment, he realized many of the Desert’s small businesses needed assistance in branding and art direction. AdRhythm Advertising & Design was born. In 2003, Anagnostou’s forward thinking recognized an increase in the demand for vehicle wraps. “I sought after ideas and concepts of where I thought the market was going. Large format was getting big. The economy was changing.”

Anagnostou immediately jumped on the opportunity by recruiting his high school buddy, Joe Rich, who was experienced in sign making and large format printing. Rich installed the first vehicle wrap while Anagnostou drove the development of “I trusted my gut and it has been uphill ever since.” Anagnostou notes that he is fortunate to have surrounded himself with an extremely hard working and talented team. Today wraps over 200 vehicles a year and helps a large portion of their clients improve their Branding and Marketing in the process.


In a lot of ways building his business is Anagnostou’s hobby. He’s currently working to build his newest division, When he is not working he enjoys coaching his son’s soccer team, running Spartan Races with his girlfriend, traveling as much as possible, and of course surfing. He still loves to play guitar and if you ask him what his favorite movies and celebrities are, he will tell you that he doesn’t watch much TV or keep track of “celebrities,” but older James Bond movies top his list.

“I am constantly working and they say all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” laughs Anagnostou. However, this “dull boy” does get away from the work he enjoys to take his sport boat out onto the ocean and to surf, noting his favorite vacation spot as Cabo San Lucas, Mexico for the pure “rawness” of it. Other places Anagnostou has visited and loves are Costa Rica, Hawaii, Indonesia, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Vallarta. Another hobby of this “Most Interesting Man” are Spartan Races, “Which I don’t train for,” he admits. “I just schedule it… like the one this weekend. I will just get out there and kill myself, but once you are there and you get your headband on and you are surrounded by everyone else, you are not going to whimp out. It’s like jumping out of a plane.” Anagnostou shrugs casually as if to say “doesn’t everyone?” When it comes to music, Coldplay is a favorite, but as a former guitar player who toured up and down the coast for a time and who has written music with Ian Ashbury of The Cult and even practiced with No Doubt, Anagnostou notes those bands for their influence.

When it comes to charity, The Safehouse, which offers shelter, intervention and outreach for youth, has a place in Anagnostou’s heart, as a parent himself, he knows the challenges and rewards that come with parenting. “It is insane to me that there might be a 12 year old that no one is claiming. It is something that people don’t want to think about.” Anagnostou notably is very close with his 10 year old son who is a soccer fanatic. “I play soccer with him a lot, but I have always been more of a lax father, a nurturer,” he states. “I tell my son ‘it’s ok you made a mistake, but it was creative and what did you learn from that?’ There’s a give and take. I am a little soft on him sometimes.”

Anagnostou understands that some kids don’t get that kind of love and support, that’s why supporting Safehouse for his charity was an obvious choice for him.