PENNY LUCK SHOES
FOUNDER: BRIAN MUNOZ
Founder and designer, Brian Munoz, is no stranger to the pursuit of the American Dream. In fact, Penny Luck was born from Brian’s personal experience with luck during his entrepreneurial journey. Each pair of Penny Luck shoes comes with their signature lucky penny soles because of Brian’s strong belief that luck plays a significant role in our lives.
Brian was compelled to start this brand after a streak of bad luck inspired him. When his first company failed, Brian lost everything and was forced to re-evaluate his direction in life. Although he had received an education, worked hard and taken risks, luck was not on his side. While he tried to get back on his feet, he thought about how his past experience could benefit his future. During his first business venture, he had the pleasure of working with some of the wealthiest men in America. As a curious entrepreneur he asked these esteemed individuals what it took for them to become successful. Surprisingly, their answers all consisted of three things- hard work, risk and LUCK.
Brian had all but the latter. The brutal realization that luck is a factor in becoming successful lead him to build a company established on the foundation of luck. He created this company for like-minded American Dream Chasers and incorporated the American staple of luck- the penny, so you can always wear your luck.
Since Penny Luck’s inception in 2015, founder Brian Munoz had been searching for ways to use his company as a vehicle for social change. Munoz names his brother, who served two combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq as his biggest motivation to partner with The Purple Heart Foundation. In an effort to give back to U.S. Veterans, Penny Luck donates 100% of customization fees to The Purple Heart. This donation goes to helping veterans that are suffering from PTSD. The Penny Luck brand is centered around the concept of the American Dream and it gives back to those who have fought to protect it.
At Penny Luck, they take pride in the skillful artistry that goes into making their products. From the stitched leather soles to the leather lining, hands of artisan shoe makers carefully craft every inch of Penny Luck shoes. All shoes have a soft leather lining and a padded insole with a gel foam pad on the heel to increase comfort. The signature lucky penny soles truly make Penny Luck's brand unique. The right shoe has a penny facing heads up and the left shoe has tails facing up. They even offer the option to customize the year of your lucky penny. Some customers love to try their luck and see what penny comes their way, others enjoy customizing the year of their penny for a birthday or anniversary gift.
No matter how you choose to wear your luck, your patented Penny Luck soles are always sure to make a statement. Learn more about Brian and Penny Luck in the interview below!
WHY DOES PENNY LUCK CALL AUSTIN HOME
Penny Luck was born in Austin in 2015. We are proud to call Austin home because this community has welcomed our brand with open arms. Everyone here has shown us a tremendous amount of support and I truly believe that we are thriving because people here are excited by what we do. Our first retail partners were born in Austin and our most loyal customers are here. We recently opened up a space at Barton Creek Mall because there is no place like home. We’ve been open about a week and the response has confirmed we chose the right place to plant our roots.
FAVORITE SONG/ARTIST/ALBUM FOR A SPARK OF CREATIVITY
When I first started designing I loved listening to Mitisyahu- ONE DAY. It’s a powerful song and it reminds me that everyone has a chance to impact our world. Personally, I strive to make a positive impact by using Penny Luck to help our Veterans.
BIGGEST DEBATE OF ALL: COFFEE or TEA, BE SPECIFIC ;)
Coffee is my jam! I don’t need anything fancy, a good cup of quality joe does the trick for me.
GO TO MID-DAY SNACK or ROUTINE FOR CREATIVE FUEL
Lately I’ve been eating on the go! I usually grab some fruit mid-day. I’m always joking there are not enough hours in the day. When I get overwhelmed, I take a seat on my porch swing to clear my head.
WHERE DO YOU DESIGN BEST? EX: HOME, STUDIO, NATURE, ETC.
When I started Penny Luck, my wife gifted me with a sketch book and pencils. I like to take that to a local coffee shop and just let the ideas flow.
WHY DID YOU CHOSE TO BE A DESIGNER + ENTREPRENEUR
I’ve always wanted to own my own business for as long as I can remember. I started my first business when I was 9 and never looked back. I’m also very detail oriented and creative. In school, I excelled in art and woodshop. I always hoped the two would merge, so starting Penny Luck was the perfect storm. I get to wear so many different hats.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST EXCITING MOMENT SO FAR OF PENNY LUCK
The most exciting moment in this journey was seeing our renovated H1 Hummer at Barton Creek Mall for the first time. My brother and I worked for 10 months to turn this demilitarized vehicle into a Penny Luck shop. We did the paint and body work, built custom cabinets and displays for our product- the result was truly extraordinary. Our neighbor who owns Hill Country Wood Working saw what we were doing and believed in this project so much that he donated our signage for the vehicle. I think this project helps further highlight our mission to give back to the Purple Heart Foundation. There is no doubt that this vehicle stands out; when people stop to learn about our brand and our cause, I think they will be inspired to join in on our efforts.
HOW DO YOU MAKE SURE YOUR BRAND STANDS OUT
Aside from the giant army vehicle parked at Barton Creek Mall, I’d say our product and our cause is distinctly unique. Each pair of Penny Luck shoes comes with lucky penny soles, so you can wear your luck everywhere you go. Customers can choose the year of their lucky penny from 1920- present day and 100% of our customization fee goes to the Purple Heart Foundation. I think our dedication to this cause sets us apart.
WHO HAS HAD THE MOST CREATIVE INFLUENCE ON YOUR LIFE
I would say that my high school wood shop teacher has had the most creative influence on my life. It was there I learned to test limits and push boundaries. I had a crazy idea to make a wooden vase knowing our shop did not have the tools to do so. I used the resources available to me and did what no one thought was possible.
HOW HAS SOCIAL HELPED PENNY LUCK
I’m amazed at how social has helped Penny Luck. It is something I want to continue to devote time and resources to because I think it is a reflection of our brand. It allows us to make connections and network beyond what we could do on our own. There have been a few instances where we have been attending events and people have recognized us from our Instagram account. It’s cool to think we’ve made impressions on people before we’ve even had the chance to be formally introduced.
WHAT OTHER ARTISTS HAVE YOU LOVED COLLABORATING WITH, IF ANY
We have not had a chance to collaborate with anyone, but it’s something I might consider.
HOW IMPORTANT IS SHOPPING LOCAL TO YOU
Local shopping is very important to me. I started Penny Luck with just a dream and now it is a viable business. If I can contribute to making someone else’s dreams come true by purchasing their product, then I am all for it. It is so important to keep the American Dream alive and we can do it by supporting brands in our community.
HOW HAS THE AUSTIN COMMUNITY SUPPORTED YOU
We have received support from the community in so many ways. I had a proud moment the other day at Austin Airport when I spotted a customer wearing a pair of our shoes. I went up and complimented him on his shoes and he excitedly showed me the penny's on the bottom and boasted that they are made locally. Witnessing a customer's testimony first-hand reassured me that we are on the right track. People are happy to spread the word and be involved. We are eternally grateful for that kind of support.
WOULD YOU BE OPEN TO A DESIGN COLLAB WITH A LOCAL AUSTIN ARTIST
I would be very open to that! In fact, I have already made some connections and have some ideas in the works, but you’ll have to stay tuned for an update on that.
WHAT IS ONE THING YOU WISH PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT YOUR DESIGNS
I wish people knew how much time and thought goes into every aspect. I examine every element when I am designing. Our shoes have distinct characteristics that I have carefully selected. You’ll notice all our shoes have a two-toned color pattern, a shapely leather strip on the heel and goodyear welt stitched soles- all markers of a Penny Luck shoe.
WHERE CAN SUPPORTERS FIND PENNY LUCK
Our newest location is at Barton Creek Mall in Austin. You can’t miss the massive army hummer parked in the Nordstrom's wing. You can also find us in downtown Austin at our retail partners Capra & Cavelli or Mesquite Creek Outfitters in Georgetown. Other retail partners outside the Austin area include Ken’s Man’s Shop in Dallas. Penny Luck is always making appearances at events all over Texas. Stay tuned to our Instagram to find out what we’re up to!
MY BROTHER FOUGHT IN IRAQ AS WELL, AND YOUR DEDICATION TO DONATING 100% OF CUSTOMIZATION FEES TO THE PURPLE HEART IS VERY SPECIAL TO ME. CAN YOU SHARE MORE ABOUT THIS PARTNERSHIP AND GIVING BACK TO THOSE WHO HAVE FOUGHT FOR THE AMERICAN DREAM
I have had quite the experience pursuing the American Dream. Right out of college I started my first official LLC and was taught an important lesson- never give up. My first company did not make it, but I did not let that stop me. I took valuable lessons from that experience and it eventually lead me to the path I’m on now. I learned that it takes hard work, risk and luck to make your dreams come true and I follow this motto every single day.
My brother is a disabled Veteran and he joined the Penny Luck team soon after we started. I have always admired my older brother for his outstanding character and for his service. He did two tours in the Middle East as a medic alongside the Marines. His sacrifice has always been inspiring to me and when I started Penny Luck I saw an opportunity to give back to people like him who have served our country to make the American Dream possible. Donating 100% of customization proceeds to the Purple Heart is my way of giving back to those who served. I am not stopping at donations to the Purple Heart though, as Penny Luck grows, we are committed to hiring Veterans. I am very aware that if we did not have these brave men and women fighting to protect us, it would not be possible for people like me to have the freedom to chase their dreams. Using Penny Luck as a vehicle to give back is the least I can do to show my support and appreciation.
AUSTIN LOCAL INSIDER RECOMMENDATIONS
FAVORITE LOCAL FOOD TRUCK
GARBOS! I love lobster and those rolls are just too good to resist. When we do events and a Garbos truck is there, I know it’ll be a good day at work.
MUST-SEE RECOMMENDATION(S) FOR THOSE TRAVELING TO AUSTIN
I’d say Barton Springs/Zilker Park is a must when traveling to Austin. There’s just so much to do there! Renting bikes, canoeing, paddle boarding, and sunset cruises are just a few of the activities available.
FAVORITE LOCAL CURATED BOUTIQUE
I love Capra & Cavelli in Austin and Mesquite Creek Outfitters in Georgetown. If you’re feeling like a proper gentleman, Capra & Cavelli is the place to shop. They have incredible customer service and a variety of custom options for men. If you’re looking for something more casual, Mesquite Creek Outfitters allows you to shop while you sip your favorite brews. I love that they carry a lot of local products because it give the community a chance to support small business.
FAVORITE LOCAL COFFEE SHOP(S)
The Sweet Lemon Inn in Georgetown, TX has the best coffee. It’s a quaint little place with good vibes.