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About

Why we started…

Originally, we had a desire to observe all the penguin species in their natural environment only for personal fulfillment.

In the process of pursuing this dream we photograph many bird species other than penguins. Like many birders, we want to see all the birds. We are especially motivated to see birds that are in danger of becoming extinct, like the penguins. So far we’ve seen only 4 of the over 17 penguin species in the wild. When we first started traveling to see birds we observed and captured images of birds in their natural environment for our own personal fulfillment. We had no sense of urgency nor much of a drive to share what we saw with the public. In fact, only one of us took pictures of the birds.

Unfortunately many of the birds we’ve seen were already difficult to get to, not to mention some required special permissions or guides for access. Despite that, we did not expect that so many of the birds would become so critically endangered that now only people working with the birds are permitted to see them in their natural environment.

Many of the birds we’ve seen have enriched our lives so much. Many of these birds others will never get to see. Knowing now that even less people will be able to visit certain bird species in the wild, the urgency to realize our dream and the desire to share what we’ve seen has grown into the creation of this company, Surrounded By Penguins.

At Surrounded By Penguins, We Love Penguins. Obviously.

We at Surrounded By Penguins travel to take photos of wildlife and feature them in our products to help reinforce the human to wildlife connection that is ingrained in all of us.

Not just pengies to humans. Our goal is create for others a real life human to wildlife connection through our print on demand products. We don’t just want to take pictures and exploit the birds for our benefit alone. We find it necessary to help them through our products and presence in exchange for the images they gift us.

Hi, I am the Executive Penguin and pengies are my inspiration in life.

Why penguins?

When life is going rough for me, I think of the penguins. All of them are the opposite of how a bird is supposed to be. They don’t do birb things like “normal regular birds”. They can’t even fly! Although, I think they do, in their own special way. Flying super fast underwater and toboggan on land seems to work just fine for these short legged flightless birbs. This reminds me that it’s okay to be different, in fact, it might be better to be different.

All things need to adapt to change and make use of their surroundings, I think we’re no exception. We too must learn to fly our own special way. Like the penguins adapting and overcoming obstacles alone and as a species is just part of life for everything living. I believe we humans must must adapt and overcome obstacles too. The harsh climates and hardships in life are inevitable and sometimes I feel we need to be reminded that we are not alone. We have a colony and everyone in that colony is different yet the same as you and I too. For these reasons, many of the products featured will have real pictures of birds that we at Surrounded By Penguins took ourselves. We are not much different from birds and it’s important to us that we share that fact. We feature the real birds in their habitats, their real personalities, strengths, endurance, togetherness, love….

How I came to love and appreciate birds.

My spouse, who is a Bird Biologist, is passionate about birds on and off the job. It was mainly through her passion that I saw what birds had to offer and I also realized that many of them need our help. All my life, I feel like I never looked up to see, and listen to the birds and their chirping around me. I never knew what they were about, or what they did, or how much I needed just one specific birb for my own survival. Well my survival at least in the emotional and spiritual sense. Now I know many birds by name, even if only by species name. In the shop you will see other birbs (and maybe other creatures and things) featured in posts and merchandise. Images that compelled us to showcase the vertebrates on products. I suspect, however, that I’ll mainly be posting and selling things related to pengies.

Why print on demand?

We wanted to sell products that people can own to help ground the connection to the animals featured on their product but also with the environment in mind. Humans need to wear clothes, have items for everyday use or decor and that’s okay. At Surrounded By Penguins we want people to ask us to only make the products that call to them. We aim for people to experience love at first sight when browsing our products online. We don’t want people to feel forced to buy because it’s already made or because it fits off the rack. We believe that carrying a already made inventory might influence the shopping process in a bad way and worse could cause real permanent damage or strain on the environment.

Dreams and goals.

Even though this is a part time venture and I’ve been intimidated by people that are professionals in this business, I still feel compelled to follow my dream of launching a store that features mine and my wife’s bird creations. Creations that can maybe help birds more than we alone can help. As individuals, my wife and I contribute to bird conservation several times throughout the year, but it would be amazing if Surrounded By Penguins can assist several more organizations that help birds on a regular basis.

Trashy Tuesday’s!

Thanks to starting Surrounded By Penguins, I myself now do beach clean ups at least once a week (Trashy Tuesday’s) at beach’s in San Diego County. I want people that buy our products to feel good about their purchase, not just because they love the product but also because they helped with conservation. We all have to wear clothes and own certain items, wouldn’t it be awesome if those products also helped creatures in need? But even for those that are not in a position to buy our products or our products are not quite their style, I want to make it easy for others to help. Soooo don’t forget to get your #2fortrashytuesday ! All you have to do is pick up 2 pieces of litter on Tuesday’s and dispose of the litter appropriately. You can do this anywhere you are or with us Tuesday mornings!

I hope that in the near future, near a beach or not that every continent has someone that is hosting their own Trashy Tuesdays so we as a collective can help to clean up trash in bird habitats wherever each of us live.

Even though everything about perusing this dream has been really challenging for me, I still feel compelled to try. Like a rockhopper penguin that can’t help but climb no matter how much they fall… I’m actually proud of myself for continually perusing this dream. I’m sure the rockhoppers too thought, “this is much much much harder than I thought it would be.” I am sure it was not easy for penguins to go from flying to diving and swimming just to eat. To see a stranger wearing a shirt I designed… That they bought themselves because they thought it looked cool. Or to purchase a picture my wife took… I tear up thinking about it.

Gratitude.

Just by visiting this website, you are helping us fulfill our dreams. Your interest feeds our hearts and souls. You taking the time to read this page, means you care. For that, we are grateful.

I know this is very long winded so I appreciate you reading this far just to get to know us. It is our hope that our work and dedication inspires you to be like a penguin, to fly any way you can. To pursue what life has to offer you despite your shortcomings. This far along in my life it’s the penguins that inspire me to keep going. After all, if a penguin can do as much as it does with all the obstacles they have to face, what excuse do we have?

Thank you for taking the time to get to know us. We hope that after reading a little about our story that you too feel inspired when you think of penguins.

In Gratitude,

The Executive Penguin

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