We designed and launched our first puzzle in 2017 inspired by the U.S. National Parks. We'd been looking for a way to expand our collection of prints and goods when a buyer asked us, "What about a puzzle?" We replied with a resounding YES. People would be able to get their hands (quite literally) on our artwork. We absolutely loved that idea so we got to work.
We started VERY slowly because building a new product line of puzzles in the USA comes with a ton of challenges. There were many "puzzle angels" that helped us in those days offering advice, information, and assistance. (HUGE thanks to Susan at True South Puzzle for hiring us for illustration, being kind and generous, and helping us out back in 2018!) With the help of these angels, our State of Maine puzzle was added to the mix and we shipped them from our Dover, New Hampshire studio. We sold those two jigsaw puzzles alongside our prints online and at craft shows around the country for the next three years until 2020 when everything shut down. Print and design work came to a screeching halt along with the rest of the world. But the puzzles we had on the shelves were selling. A glimmer of hope! By leaning into that glimmer we were able to keep people busy during an ugly, unsure time and we were able to stay afloat. We're so grateful for that.
It grew from there. We added new styles as quickly as we could and created our own "seriously lighthearted" puzzle world. Running a product based business has its fair share of stress, but we always remind ourselves what we're actually doing. We only want to create art that we'd want in our own home. Every painting, print, or puzzle we create has to pass the test, "would we keep this in our house?" If yes, only then can we feel good about passing it on to you. Also, puzzles are a leisure activity so we're determined to stay light about it all. If we're going to make things, let's make things that are joyful, beautiful, useful, and bring people together in the spirit of colorful, tangible quality time.
We love illustration and design and we really love bringing people together in the spirit of that creativity. As supporters of the environment and environmental conservation, we like to bring the outdoors in so our designs reflect that. Our branding for this sister company also was lighthearted and fun. We played a lot with puzzle characters and never took things too seriously.
We have chosen to manufacture our puzzles in the United States. We certainly appreciate the global economy, but we wanted to keep our footprint smaller. We manufacture our puzzles in small batches too, which is why you will see things sell out. We're not ordering as heavily as we were during pandemic times so take note that puzzles will sell out as we focus on other things.