Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving is upon us and it is a good chance to take a breath and thank those around us who make our lives complete.

This year especially, I feel very thankful. I have a terrific family that is as involved and supportive of this new adventure as any family could be. My kids are a homegrown focus group. Their honesty on everything I do is humbling. But, they also let me know when we have a winner. I am happy to say that everything in our line they like. And the items they did not like…they are not in the line. My wife makes sure I stay grounded and true to our mission. She is the glue that keeps the family together. Other than the 20,000 miles a year on her mini-van, she makes it look effortless.

My extended family is incredible as well. They send me updates from around the country on happenings in the toy aisle, competitive comparisons, and new product ideas. It is fun and reminds me that no one does anything purely on their own.

I am thankful to be working with talented, self-motivated, smart, funny people. When you start your own company you get to choose who you will work with. It was important to me that I like and respect everyone on the team. I do.

I am thankful for our business partners for their faith in us and our potential. I am thankful for my friends who know me well and have listened to me try to explain why I think the world needs another jigsaw puzzle company. And I am thankful to the strangers who answer the phone when we call. They listen to our company’s story and understand we have something different to offer.

I think we forget sometimes how interconnected we are and how much we need others and they need us. Enjoy Thanksgiving and go shopping on Friday (and Saturday and Sunday and everyday from now until X-mas).

Thank you,

Monday, November 24, 2008

There was a nice article about Lafayette Puzzle Factory in the local newspaper yesterday. I have not done many news interviews and was unsure what to expect. I thought the article reflected our conversation pretty accurately.

One of the unexpected outcomes of the article is the number of former co-workers who sent nice notes of encouragement. It was good to hear from these folks and to see how they are doing. The article also has generated a number of good suggestions that we will pursue over the next days and weeks.

Here is a link to the article.


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Welcome to my blog!

The time has flown since we launched the Lafayette Puzzle Factory several months ago. But the excitement of seeing our entire line come together makes the long hours and hard work worth it.

Since we started the company, we have been to the Surtex and Licensing shows in New York (many of the artists and pictures you see are a result of those trips). We also introduced our line to retailers at our first trade show, the Dallas Preview Toy Show in October. We were a late entry. Despite our booth location on an overflow floor, people found us. Another Toy and Gift Show in Hong Kong introduced us to potential markets around the world. The earth really is flat.

The feedback on our line has been outstanding and we have been busy with follow up appointments since.

There is a lot more to do before our products are on shelves everywhere, but we keep taking it one day at a time and are encouraged .

I’ll be posting periodically with updates on our progress, further details on specific products and stories from work and home.

Send me your questions and feedback. We can only be successful if we know what types of puzzles people are looking for in the stores. And maybe there are other products we should be carrying. Let us know.