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What Do We Need to Make Our Store a Reality?

Jenya and penguins at the Salem Holiday Market 2018

I was asked what we need to make our store a reality, and the list I came up with was long and filled with all the things you might expect. However, the first thing we need is to learn how to get people to the store. We’ve had a Facebook page, an Etsy shop, a Patreon, an Instagram account, a now-deleted YouTube channel, an Amazon author page, and a website long enough to know that we don’t know how to get people to any of those. We tried ads. We’ve cross promoted. I’ve used all of my SEO knowledge to rank us higher. I’ve taken classes in marketing, gone through five day challenges, and spent a month with a marketing guru; nothing has worked to bring sustained traffic that converts to buyers.

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The Fussy Duck in Salem, Or: Penguinate.com

Truck at Fussy Duck in Salem, Oregon

The Fussy Duck in Salem, Or is a locally owned, small business that brings together several other small businesses and gives them a place to display and sell their creations and products. Whether you’re looking for handmade items, like penguin plushies, cool wooden signs, snazzy holiday fragrances, or you want a vintage toy that reminds you of when you were child, the Fussy Duck has a treasure waiting for you to find it.

Penguinate.com is one of the small businesses you can find at the Fussy Duck. Our penguins are waiting for you to adopt them for the Christmas Season, read more about them, our books and what the Fussy Duck has done for us!

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The Unicorn Penguin with a Chip on Its Beak

unicorn penguins on my shelf

My wife and I have been trying to outfit our apartment on the cheap while still keeping it homey and having some of our favorite items around to provide happy energy. This has meant multiple trips to the dollar store for strange, new snacks, bathroom accessories, and penguins!

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August is the Month to Shop on Etsy: Win $5,000

Adopt one of our penguins on Etsy and you could win $5,000

Etsy and Mastercard are teaming up to give Etsy shoppers $5,000! From now until the end of August, one lucky shopper on Etsy will receive $5,000 as a thank you for supporting small business and handmade items. I suppose I could probably write that information in another way, and psychologists would say I need to write it six times in order for you to remember it and 22 times in order for you to take action. However, I think more of you than psychologists.

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Why I Wrote ‘There Are No Penguins in Alaska’

There are no penguins in Alaska

When I was living in Alaska, I saw a lot of wildlife in the wild. I saw brown bears, black bears, moose, foxes, beluga whales, and other animals while I was hiking – often they were not far from town. It’s an absolutely stunning state, especially in the summer. The one creature I never saw was a penguin because there are no penguins in Alaska. Still, tourists would continue to ask waitstaff, grocery store clerks, and random strangers: How can I see the penguins?

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A Portrait in Penguins: Caption This!

A Portrait in Penguins: Willow in the Blue Sweater, Cinnamon in the middle, and Persimmon in Plaid.

I saw these penguins hanging out in our living room, and I wondered what was going on. Then I thought I would submit it to you for suggestions. This Portrait in Penguins features Willow in the blue sweater, Cinnamon in the middle, and Persimmon dressed in plaid and looking like Audrey Hepburn. Give us your best caption for this photo. Keep it clean and nice; just like our penguins.

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Peppy Penguin Finds a Home

Peppy Penguin Plushie - a small blue fuzzy penguin

When we get word, either from Etsy or from our website, that one of our plushie penguins has been adopted, the first thing we do is we find the penguin. Our stuffed penguins are free range, so it can be a little difficult to locate the penguin in question. They’re very social and very curious. However, recently, they’ve been in the rookery that has formed on the back of our couch and arm chair. Peppy was hanging out with Franklin and their big sibling (who is still waiting to find a name). She was so excited to hear that she was going to Alaska, but she thought she might need a sweater.

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Cookie Saturday Offers Stress Relief and Penguins

Cookie Saturday Roly Poly Penguin

I look forward to when Cookie Saturday rolls around. Jenya doesn’t make cookies every Saturday because she gets busy working on her translation class or sewing penguins, but when she does make them, it’s amazing.

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Penguin Sweaters for Stuffed Penguins

Willow and Patch both got penguin sweaters recently. Patch was being a model for our friend Checkers Penguin, who lives in New Zealand where it’s winter. The neat thing about these sweaters is that they are made from a pattern used for actual penguins. But why would penguins need sweaters?

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Cookie Saturday: Bake with Your (Virtual) Friends and Family

Cookie Saturday Roly Poly Penguin

Sometime earlier this year, our friend Checkers Penguin and his mom decided to make Cookie Saturday a thing. They baked cookies every Saturday and shared them on Instagram. Even if we couldn’t actually taste them, we could share in the fun and imagine what they tasted like. My wife decided to get in the game and has made Cookie Saturday a thing for us as well. All you need to participate in Cookie Saturday is to know the hashtag (#CookieSaturday) and to make some cookies. Take a photo with your favorite baking companion, and enjoy the cookies.

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