How a Toronto girl put collectively a jigsaw-puzzle firm

For the Conners clan, placing collectively jigsaw puzzles has lengthy been a beloved custom. “We’ve accomplished them collectively over the vacations,” Abigail Conners says. “I’ve all the time discovered puzzling to be such a soothing, cosy exercise.” So it was solely pure that, as soon as the pandemic hit, Conners turned to puzzles extra typically.

“They’re a very meditative exercise. You get so absorbed in it, so it’s an effective way to calm your thoughts and recharge,” she says. “And the very best half is that they’re equally as enjoyable to do by yourself or with family and friends.”

As Conners did increasingly more puzzles, she had bother discovering ones with artwork and packaging that each mirrored her style and shipped to Canada — and weren’t bought out. “It was actually only a case of fixing an issue that I used to be encountering,” she says. “I figured I couldn’t be the one one who felt that this trade may use a recent face.” Working in gross sales at a carbon-neutral packaging firm, she’d met Toronto artist Jenny Vivar, who Conners enlisted to create the brand identity and logo for Conners’ new venture, the Great Indoors Puzzle Co.

The identify, Conners says, is a play on “the good open air”: “I wished to make puzzles that felt like an escape and introduced that very same sense of magic and greatness to the indoors. The concept was to move individuals to a different world throughout the consolation of their very own dwelling.”

For Conners, journey and wanderlust have been huge inspirations. “Every puzzle design is known as a ‘voyage,’ and the artwork is supposed to be a visible escape.” Vivar additionally designed one of many three beautiful artworks that may kind the very first assortment from the Nice Indoors Puzzle Co. and introduced fellow Toronto artists Aaron Rinas and Reena Mistry on board to design the opposite two. Mistry’s puzzle depicts a glamorous poolside, whereas Vivar’s creates a dreamy grassland (full with noble stag) and Rinas’s exhibits a seaside still-life portray in progress.

Every artist additionally curated a Spotify playlist for his or her puzzle to assist amplify that feeling of escape; puzzlers can entry it through a QR code on the within of the field. Packaging design was vital for Conners as nicely, as she discovered that numerous puzzles aren’t esthetically pleasing and find yourself hidden in drawers. “Our containers have been designed to be like a coffee-table guide,” she says, “or one thing that may reside in your bookshelf.”

Conners, who launched a Kickstarter marketing campaign to get her puzzle dream going, managed to fund a 3rd of the undertaking on the primary day. The puzzles began making their method to Toronto tables and past in January. Now, they’re bought on the corporate’s web site in addition to at native shops like Scout and Crying Out Loud.

The puzzles are made with FSC-certified paper and soy-based inks, and each the puzzle and field are recyclable. “We opted out of a plastic-based lamination to make sure the recyclability of each elements,” Conners says. “We additionally bought carbon offsets via Pachama, in order that your complete product is carbon-neutral.

“Clearly a puzzle is one thing that you just hope will reside in your buyer’s cabinets perpetually and ever, or get handed alongside to family and friends,” she provides. “However the actuality is that so many gadgets find yourself getting discarded. I wished to place one thing on the market that, in a worst-case state of affairs, would find yourself being gentler on the planet.”

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