Or should we say, a cat called Penguino.
We are Alex and Kassy – a brother / sister duo from New York who realized pretty quickly that our cat Penguino was something special. We started an Instagram account to showcase his extreme cuteness, and the account exploded in popularity. Before we knew it he had fans all over the globe checking in to see Penguino’s daily antics.
Inspired by his impact, we began searching for a way to showcase his beauty IRL. The options were limited: generic Tuxedo Cat decor, or artists who’d commission a piece for an exuberant amount of money and long lead times.
So we started making our own.
At Penguino’s 3rd birthday party (he turns 3 every year on Purim), we had friends paint their own portraits of him. The activity was a hit and led to us an Instagram giveaway that was wildly successful. We mailed merch packs to 20 winners in 5 countries. And to our surprise, we received fan art back! Thank you posts and drawings and paintings of OUR cat, done by strangers around the world. Amazing.
It was clear we had built a community of people with one common denominator: the love of pets.
Friends and family started buying us cat gifts – art, clothing, you name it. The market was littered with breed-specific pieces. But the problem was, it wasn’t Penguino.
As much as we love Tuxedo Cats, we found existing art bland. Generic Pet #5 pales in comparison to your beloved pet, so why buy a generic “I Love Corgis” poster? YOUR corgi could — and should! — be front and center of a statement piece in your living room. Pet art needed an upgrade.
Using Alex’s background as a software engineer with Kassy’s background in graphic design, we set out to create a platform that would transform photos of furry friends into a brand new, sentimental concept: Painted Love.
And that’s how Petsy was born.