This whole thing started when we designed our first puzzle in 2017. Hi! We're Briana and Jason. Artists, illustrators, and designers. Married with a pup named Maple. Our first puzzle was inspired by the U.S. National Parks and sold through Brainstorm, our thirteen year old print shop and design studio. We had been looking for a way to expand our collection of prints and goods when at a meeting with a retail buyer she asked us, "What about a puzzle?" We said enthusiastically back, "Yeah! WHAT ABOUT A PUZZLE!?" People would be able to really 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. It can be stressful running two businesses but we always remind ourselves what we're actually doing. Puzzles are FUN and we only want to create art that we'd want in our own home. Quite literally every painting, print, or puzzle we create has to pass the test of, "Would we hang this in our house?" Only then can we feel good about selling it to you. 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 fervent supporters of the environment and environmental conservation, we like to bring the outdoors in so our designs reflect that. As we've done with our print business, every puzzle sale allows us to donate a percentage of our profits at the end of every year. We donate to organizations that encourage subjects like science, conservation, and environmental stewardship. If we're utilizing earth resources to bring you products, we do our best to pay our dues for the planet and people. In 2020 we were able to donate to The Native American Rights Fund, The Nature Conservancy, The National Park Foundation, The Ocean Conservancy, and seven other organizations. As of March 2021 we started working with One Tree Planted to plant a tree for every puzzle sold!
Brainstorm Puzzle Co. gives us a new outlet for our creative work and we're grateful for every order that comes our way. Our puzzles (and prints!) are now shipping from a family owned warehouse in Vermont called New Duds. They are friends of ours and we love the team over there. They work their asses off and understand quality in the way we seek and appreciate quality. You're supporting a lot of small business folk when you buy a puzzle from us. You're also supporting two US manufacturers that provide jobs to hundreds of Americans. This plays a major role in our decision to dig into puzzles. We certainly appreciate the global economy, but we wanted to keep our footprint smaller. Made in USA is the way to go for us, despite the challenges.
We know you have a million choices when it comes to puzzling these days. We're doing our best to support your joyful jigsaw habits. Thanks for choosing us and for creativity. Jigsaw puzzles for indoor adventures inspired by outside things!