The First Penguino

When our son Micah was just two years old, he got a stuffed animal penguin at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle. Micah named his new buddy Penguino. 

Penguino has been Micah's travel companion in more than ten countries. Penguino snuck in Micah's suitcase when we took a train trip in Switzerland. He joined him at the beach in Mexico and surfing in Morocco. Penguino rode along in the jeep when we went on safari in Uganda. A rather proper penguin, Penguino loved living in London. His favorite adventure was a road trip through France, Spain and Italy. 

It seems like a small thing, but bringing a stuffed animal friend along on our adventures has made a big difference. Penguino, Pink, El and Eyo have helped our kids feel more confident and secure as we've explored new places. 

What's in a name?

We started our business with what we thought would be a code name: Pink & Penguino. Pink is our daughter Ella's giraffe - and there was something whimsical about naming a family travel business after two stuffed animals. We didn't think the name would stick, though!

Before we launched, we spent about six months doing market research and exploring different business models. We knew we wanted to do something to help families travel - but honestly this is a market with so many unmet needs.

When we decided to launch with Travel Boxes in early September, we took a look at the calendar and realized it would be a sprint to launch some sort of beta before Christmas! All of a sudden we needed a name. We had lots of ideas, but kept coming back to Penguino (sorry, Pink!).

We realized that empowering families to feel confident and secure as they explore the world is at the heart of our mission. And so we decided there's no better name than Penguino!

We named our business in early October and planned to launch just weeks later. This meant we had to hustle not just to set up a domain and handle the legal details - we needed a logo. We talked with a few different graphic designers and creative agencies here in Austin and decided to work with Left Right Media.

hello penguino

Chris, Callie, Olivia and Bo were incredible. They took our brand strategy and translated it into this perfectly whimsical, friendly, courageous little guy.

Where will you go with Penguino?

When you order a Travel Box, you can add a Penguino with his own Passport or Travel Book. Penguino is just the right size to bring along in a backpack, so it's fun to take him everywhere.

We love seeing where you go with Penguino! We even created an itneractive map where you can share your photos and get inspired for your next adventure.