Thursday, January 28, 2010

Crazy winter weather kept me from making several sales calls this week. Most of these appointments I have rescheduled for next week.

Air travel in the winter can be tricky. Bad weather in one part of the country can impact air travel in other parts. It also makes packing tricky.

When I started out this week, the weather in Lafayette was tolerable. 40's almost touching 50 during the day. Chilly at night, but not bad. I hate having a big heavy coat withe me when I am flying. They take up too much room and are too heavy. So, I left town with a light jacket. And a knit cap stuck in the pocket. By the time I got back the temperature was 8 degrees and windy. I froze running to my car. Boy was I glad to have my knit Purdue hat in my pocket. I may have looked dorky, but it saved my ears. Ahh, the glamour of business travel.

But I am not complaining. Neat things happen. Again, earlier this week, I was driving to see a retailer on the east coast. I was in late afternoon traffic driving along a river. Nothing special to see or do as the traffic crept along. As we came around a bend, I realzed I had seen the scenery outside the window before. As we continued the entire scene came into view and I realized I was looking at the real life scene of an image we have in our 2010 puzzle line. I was driving right where the photographer must have been standing (off the road, I hope) when he took the picture. I can not give away too much, but when we bought the image, I really liked it and could not believe it was taken where it said it was. I had been to this city before, but never seen this sight. It was an unexpected treat in the middle of a cold and slow commute.

When we update our web site in a few weeks, maybe we will have a contest to see who can guess which image I saw out my car window.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

I hate when blogs start talking about how they were too busy to write a new post. I was busy, but I also have been wanting to update the blog. Unfortunately, I was unable to. I have been in Hong Kong at the 2010 Hong Kong Toy Fair since January 4. You might remember I attended this show last year too and had problems signing in to my blog account.

I had the same problems this year. Very frustrating.

But now I am home and am able to update.

I have really enjoyed hearing from folks about their own family jigsaw puzzle racing traditions. One person wrote to tell me about at their family gathering. As you arrived at their mothers house, she broke folks up into 2 teams. She sends each team to a separate room where there is a 500pc puzzle. They compete to see which team can finish the puzzle first. I sounded like things get very cut throat.

During the HK show this last month, there were times in between appointments where my team was looking for ways to keep busy. They started racing each other using 50pc puzzles. I can not tell you how many races we had during the show. Again, the competition became very cut throat with serious bragging rights going to the winners.

I will post some pictures of our showroom later this week. I will be traveling this week, but will find time in the evenings to post more updates.

Thanks for checking in. If this is your first time visiting, go back in the archives and take a look at how far the Lafayette Puzzle Factory has come in the last year. I was rereading some of the older posts whilie in HK trying to sign in. We really have come a long way.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Better Homes and Garden Magazine gets it.

They have declared January - National Puzzle Month.

From the magazine directly: "Looking to shake that sluggish feeling this month? Give yourself an intellectual workout and dust off a favorite jigsaw puzzle (JP's note: or go buy a new LPF puzzle like Puzzle Collector or Colorluxe). Piecing together a puzzle works both the analytical (left) and intuitive (right) sides of your brain. Puzzles also enhance the capacity for learning and memory."

Lets see if this link works:

I could not have said it better myself (except I would have mentioned LPF directly). The craftiest retailers know that January is a great month to sell puzzles. The nights are long and the days are cold (the nights are cold too). Great puzzle weather.

I am encouraging everyone to celebrate National Jigsaw Puzzle Month with as much gusto as you can mustard.

Drop me a note and tell me how your are celebrating.