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The Tortoise and the Hat: A Galapagos Gathering


When you’re packing for a family trip, what do you have on your list? There are of course the essentials—a couple of outfits, underwear, and a toothbrush—and depending on the destination, you may also want to stock up on swimsuits or warm socks. But on top of the clothes, or buried under a sweatshirt, what is it you pack to make your trip unforgettable? For Sarah Shpall and her family, that item was a custom hat.

The Shpall family wearing their custom hats featuring the Galapagos Tortoise.

Try these tips to create your own custom vacation gear.
  1. Choose an awesome product.
  2. Create your design.
  3. Get a feel for embroidery.
  4. Start a Group Order Form.
  5. Get it on time.

When the Shpall family got together for their cruise to the Galapagos, they knew the trip would be no small affair. Between Sarah’s parents, siblings, spouses, and children, there were a total of seventeen family members gearing up for adventure. The large group had made custom shirts for a previous cruise, and Sarah decided to commemorate this vacation with something special as well. “Because my parents take the time to plan the whole trip, it’s always been a fun surprise for us to give our parents at the start,” she says.

With the help of the group, Sarah came up with the idea to create a custom hat featuring one of the most famous animals in the island chain, the Galapagos Tortoise. The hats were simple, yet striking, and when they arrived, Sarah’s family absolutely loved them. “Especially my parents,” Sarah says. In fact, the hats were such a success that the entire cruise ship took notice of them. “The hats were the hit of the boat! Everyone recognized us thanks to them.”

Three members of the Shpall family show off their custom hats while enjoying their vacation in the Galapagos.

While exploring the Galapagos islands, the Shpall family wore their hats wherever they went, whether it was meeting the local wildlife, or exploring the varying landscapes the islands are famous for. Their custom hats made the perfect accessory for all of their adventures, and after the trip was over, the perfect souvenir as well.

One of the Shpall crew feeds a Galapagos iguana while wearing the family’s custom hat.

Get Inspired!

Make your family’s next vacation unforgettable with these easy tips.

1. Choose a product. Accessorize every outfit with the perfect product for your trip. Choose from hundreds of products and find the right one for you.

2. Create your design. Upload your design or easily create your own in the Design Lab using our amazing library of templates, arts, and fonts.

3. Get a feel for embroidery. Give your design an extra special touch with our embroidery option. (Available on select products, like hats.)

4. Start a Group Order Form. Simplify the group order process. With our Group Order Form, everyone can individually place orders, find and enter sizes, pay for items, and have them shipped together or separately.

5. Get it in time. With fast free delivery and rush and super rush options, there’s always a way to get your custom gear before you finish packing.


Grant is the Senior Copywriter at Custom Ink. He loves stories of all kinds and actively seeks to enthrall everyone around him with exciting tales, even if they’re about everyday events. Outside of storytelling, Grant loves to immerse himself in movies, television, books, and games, as well as go exploring in order to draw inspiration for the worlds in his mind.

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