Ottawa couple hopes jigsaw business will be a good fit

Entrepreneurs trying to give artists a bigger piece of revenue


A local couple is hoping to take a piece out of the jigsaw puzzle business with a new company that aims to bring popular artists to your tabletop.

Jason Tanner and his wife Allison are launching Bone Owl Puzzles with a Kickstarter push that launches Tuesday hoping to fund an initial run with five unique designs.

Tanner said he and his wife have always enjoyed puzzles and noticed a real uptick in interest recently.

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“It really took off with our group,” he said. “Everyone is standing around doing it and it turned into puzzle and wine nights.”

Having recently sold a business, Tanner said he was looking for something new. He said they also saw it as an opportunity to support interesting artists.

“There are very few jigsaw puzzle companies out there that actually take an art-first kind of approach,” he said.

He said the standard in the industry is to use stock images and pay artists only a small percentage for their work and they wanted to do something different.

“Most jigsaw puzzle companies use repurposed art from big multimedia companies,” he said. “We’re paying artists upfront for their time and effort.”

Tanner is hoping to get the business off the ground with a $10,000 drive on Kickstarter. He said that would give them the funding they need to do an additional run with five artists.

“It’s an excellent place to launch creative projects. It introduces it to a lot of people who may not have heard about it.”

He said they have to do a large run off the bat, which is also what makes the Kickstarter campaign important.

He said the artists were given only a modicum of direction, because they wanted unconventional designs on the puzzles.

“We provided the requirements for what makes a good jigsaw puzzle and they basically ran with it,” he said, adding you need lots of detail in a puzzle and no big open spaces.

He said all of the artists they approached jumped right on board the project, because this is something they wanted to do and in many cases didn’t know how.  

“Their fans have actually been dying for them to do jigsaw puzzles, but it’s not something a lot of them have access to or know how to bring to the market.”

This story originally appeared in Metro News.

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