Artist Profile: Zooguu

01 March, 2011 0 comments Leave a comment

Husband and wife Brian and Jen Gubicza (say it five times fast!) are Zooguu, an awesome plush company making super-special stuffed animals for the kiddos and anyone who needs to hug something adorably squeezable. We’re now stocked with a plethora of puffer fish, turtles, blue whales, owls, and the ever-popular, ever-prickly hedgehog. Jen speaks for the team below, answering the big questions about ZooGuu and living the dream as a full-time toymaker.

The ZooGuu Story:
Brian is an illustrator, and in 2003 Jen made her first plush toy for his birthday, based on a little, fat bird that he had drawn. In 2006, Jen opened up an Etsy shop with about 15 different animal designs. In 2008 Jen quit her day job, re-branded her company as Zooguu, and has been working full time as a toy maker. Brian now splits his time between his own illustration work and working for Zooguu.

In my other life…
In my other life, I was a graphic designer that worked specifically for the audience of kids and families. I spent long days looking at a computer screen designing logos, web sites, packaging and more for companies like The Boston Children’s Museum, MoMA, National Geographic Kids, NFPA, Disney, LEGO and more. Now I enjoy making things with my hands every day. There’s a satisfaction that comes from the physical art of making something.

Did you know?
Brian and I were asked to do some installations at the corporate offices in Brooklyn. We worked on three small rooms. One is filled with giant plush office supplies, another is an evil villain’s lair, and the third has cabinets of all sizes on the wall, and behind each door is a surprise.

I’ve also been known to answer to…
The name Zooguu is a combination of “zoo” for animals, and “guu” for Gubicza, our last name.

Zooguu also offers a handful of delightful free downloads, like this papercraft puffer, as well as games starring our favorite animal friends. They’re making fun a lifestyle; come check out their fuzzy crew at Modern Mouse today!


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