Who Is The Puzzle Queen?

by Donna Brown June 14, 2019

Donna Marth-Brown, Owner of The Missing Piece Puzzle Company

Featured Member: The Owner of The Missing Piece Puzzle Company

When her son struggled to learn, Donna Marth-Brown created a puzzle—and a business that ships all the way to the North Pole.

All hail the Puzzle Queen.  

That’s Donna Marth-Brown’s title (her employees are Puzzle Princes and Princesses). Her company, The Missing Piece Puzzle Company

, based in Richland, New Jersey, started taking orders in 2010. They turn photos into puzzles and have both a physical store, which makes photo puzzles while customers wait, as well as an online store.

 

Marth-Brown, a former teacher, started the company in honor of her son, who is autistic. At the time he struggled with focusing on his schoolwork, so she ordered a puzzle with his photo on it. While it helped him, the quality, she says, was subpar.

“I had paid a small fortune to receive something manufactured abroad that had a very short lifespan,” she says. She decided she could do better. A puzzle company was born

 

"As a small- business owner and mom to an awesome child with autism, learning how to juggle the role of being the “Mom” of customer service rep, marketing, production, accounting, shipping and every other aspect of the business has proven to be puzzling. —Donna Marth-Brown, owner, The Missing Piece Puzzle Company"

 

Her son still remains at the core of her business.  

“My son is still my ‘inspector 13’,” she says. “If he can rip through it, we don't use it.”

1. What hurdles have you overcome in running your business?

In the beginning, I thought that selling just 10 puzzles a month would be amazing. Little did I know that some health issues would force me into early retirement and that my hobby was going to become our sole source of support.

As a small business owner and mom to an awesome child with autism, learning how to juggle the role of being the “mom” of customer service rep, marketing, production, accounting, shipping and every other aspect of the business has proven to be puzzling. While the rapid growth of the business is fantastic, the sacrifices that come with it can become overwhelming. There never seem to be enough hours in the day to fully complete all of the tasks.

2. When did you first realize your company was successful?

Four years ago at Christmas, there was an influx of orders, as can be expected during the holiday, but we received one in particular that opened my eyes. It was a photo of a glacier that was breathtaking, and it was from North Pole, Alaska. When Santa finds you, you know you are successful.

3. What has been your most memorable moment as a business owner?

We made a proposal puzzle for a young gentleman who was asking his lovely lady to marry him via a puzzle. There were many discussions with him and I learned so much about the couple that I almost felt like family. When the day came I couldn’t wait to hear if she said, yes, so I called him. He sent me the most amazing photos of the proposal, as he had a photographer hiding in the bushes. I still smile when I think about them.

And yes, we did their wedding guest book puzzle for their big day.

4. What are three things you couldn’t live without?

The three things that I could never live without including my laptop, my online support group, and Post-it Notes. Currently, my laptop is covered in different colored Post-it Notes that remind me of daily, weekly, and hourly tasks. Without these, I would be in a heap of trouble. My online support people are my rock and I cannot say enough about how wonderful it is to have the group I call my “backup singers.”

5. What are some keys to creating a good puzzle?

Using a thick puzzle board that is intended for puzzles is key. There are so many manufacturers who cut corners and use thin materials that are not intended for puzzles and will curl and bend. The next is to use the proper printers and media for the product, which is costly, but necessary.  

Finished size: I believe that if you are looking for a good quality puzzle that you first have to look at the size of the finished puzzle. Many companies advertise that the puzzle will be 500 pieces but it may only measure 4x6 inches. Piece counts can be very misleading and confusing to consumers, but a good manufacturer will not hide the finished size of the puzzle.

Quality of the board: A thick puzzle board is key to success, but also has to be intended specifically for the jigsaw puzzle business. The board should not curl or warp and has to have other aspects in it to be perfect for a jigsaw puzzle. We use a 100 percent recycled board that fits all of the criteria and also helps the environment.

Author and Editor Anne Miller 081216 

See the full article HERE.





Donna Brown
Donna Brown

Author

Donna Brown is the owner of The Missing Piece Puzzle Company and is passionate about making high-quality custom jigsaw puzzles "Made In America FAST".
Her love of the product shows in every puzzle that she makes.
A retired teacher of Special Needs students and a widowed Mom to an amazing son with Autism, life tends to be like a puzzle with each piece an important part of who Donna is.

www.themissingpiecepuzzlecompany.com


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in The Missing Piece Puzzle Blog

How to do an Adoption Fundraiser - How we created one successfully with A Personalized Puzzle

by Donna Brown September 18, 2019

Are you looking for a unique adoption fundraiser?  Adoption fundraising can be fun and creative, all the while is memorable with a custom photo jigsaw puzzle.  Have each of your donors sign a piece of your adoption puzzle and frame it for your new family member to cherish forever.

View full article →

The Perfect Gift For Grandparents on Grandparents Day.

by Donna Brown August 15, 2019

Grandparents Day is fast approaching and is a beautiful holiday that is celebrated the first Sunday in September.  But what is Grandparents Day and how did Grandparents Day start?  We've got you covered for the perfect gift that your Grandparents will cherish and adore, not to mention will have fun with for years.

View full article →

Are Puzzles Good For Dementia Patients?

by Donna Brown August 06, 2019

In any stage of Dementia or Alzheimer's, puzzles are said to ease some of the symptoms and provide stimulating comfort to the patients, as well as provide a sense of control.  Puzzles, especially custom photo puzzles, can reawaken memories in patients and improve mental speed and thought processes.

View full article →

Photo Requirements

PIXEL

(scroll right on mobile)

PRINT SIZE
RESOLUTION 4"x6" 8"x10" 16"x20" 20"x30"
320 x 240  OK Bad Bad Bad
640x480 Good Bad Bad Bad
800x600 Very
Good
Bad Bad Bad
1024x768 Excellent OK Bad Bad
1280x960
1 MP
Photo
Quality
Good Bad Bad
1536x1180 Photo 
Quality
Very
Good
Bad Bad
1600x1200
2 MP
Photo 
Quality
Very 
Good
OK Bad
2048x1536
3 MP
Photo 
Quality
Excellent OK OK
2240x1680
4 MP
Photo 
Quality
Photo 
Quality
Good OK
2560x1920
5 MP
Photo 
Quality
Photo 
Quality
Very 
Good
Very 
Good
3032x2008
6 MP
Photo 
Quality
Photo 
Quality
Excellent Very 
Good
3072x2304
7 MP
Photo 
Quality
Photo 
Quality
Excellent Excellent