About this project
If we reach our $30,000 Stretch Goal, there will be 10 new Smalls, 8 new Larges, and 3 new Extra Larges to choose from (albeit some for shipment in May 2014)--see images and text below for more information!
We will add the following five images as Small Zen Puzzles (and all but Sea Turtle as Large Zen Puzzles available in May 2014) if we miraculously reach $30,000 in pledges in these last few hours (see Stretch Goal information at bottom of page for larger previews and image titles):
Last Minute UPDATE!!!
In the last 3 hours of our Kickstarter, we are enhancing our $30,000 Stretch Goal to include the images below and Large puzzles of four of the five images above (all but Sea Turtle, which can only be a Small), but these will be for shipment in or by May 2014. If you choose one or more of these images, but have other puzzles you have ordered that are available before May, your entire order will be shipped as one shipment in or by May 2014. We hope to be able to greatly increase your image choices by doing this! Please note the sizes that will be available if we meet our $30,000 Stretch Goal--3 images in all sizes, 1 image in Small and Large, and 1 image in Small only. Larger previews of these images are in the Stretch Goal section at the bottom of this page!
UPDATE: Add-on section for Small, Large, and Extra Large puzzles added at the bottom of this page!
Zen Puzzles are hand-designed, artisanal, heirloom quality, wooden jigsaw puzzles, each skillfully crafted with beautiful images, unique and elegant designs, and wonderful, whimsical figural pieces, such as a lion, a jumping horse, or a couple ballroom dancing. Zen Puzzles has evolved out of the founder’s 10+ years of creating some of the world’s highest quality, collectible, handcrafted, wooden jigsaw puzzles for the niche, international, premium wooden jigsaw puzzle market, where prices range from $800 to $10,000 per puzzle.
Our passion is to create unique, fine art, wooden jigsaw puzzles and to utilize their potential to do wonderful things in the world. After years of developing proprietary technology and many sleepless nights of testing, Zen Puzzles brings you all of the features and fine-art, heirloom quality that set the premium, wooden jigsaw puzzle apart from its die-cut, cardboard counterpart, but at affordable, mainstream prices that will enable us to establish a bridge market between the cardboard and premium, wooden jigsaw markets.
Wooden jigsaw puzzles have been around since 1760, when a cartographer named John Spilsbury started “dissecting” maps into pieces for his geography students to put together. By the 20th century, wooden jigsaws had become a popular form of entertainment for adults as well, and during the Great Depression, the introduction of the generic, inexpensive, die-cut cardboard jigsaw puzzle helped fuel the frenzied phenomenon the jigsaw puzzle became. While both the cardboard and the wooden jigsaw puzzle markets are still strong today, they have become like distant cousins.
Wooden jigsaw puzzles in the high-end market are characterized by their unique, hand-designed features; their whimsical, figural pieces; the tactile sensations of their much thicker, wooden composition; the heirloom quality of their components, including the quality of the art print that is mounted on the wood; and the charisma and appeal of each puzzle having its own unique cut and no two pieces in the puzzle being the same. Jigsaw puzzles in the premium, wooden jigsaw market are collected and passed from generation to generation, and therefore must be heirloom quality.
Our mission is more expansive than simply making the highest quality wooden jigsaw puzzles we can that encapsulate all of the unique features and high quality of a high-end jigsaw puzzle and bringing them to market at mainstream prices. Zen Puzzles are eco-friendly and made in the USA.
We have sourced FSC certified* and 100% post-consumer waste raw goods wherever possible, and the extremely eco-friendly materials we use to make our puzzles, their retail boxes, and their shipping boxes are all made in the USA. Additionally, where possible, we have sourced our materials from companies powered by alternative energy sources. Please refer to our website for more detailed information about the specific materials we use.
∗ FSC certification ensures that products come from well managed forests that provide environmental, social, and economic benefits.
We have a gorgeous, heirloom quality product, beautiful retail boxes, and a skeleton team of talented people working to make this opportunity a reality. We have developed patentable technology and proprietary production methods that don’t just make our product superior in both the cardboard and wooden jigsaw puzzle markets, they will enable us to establish a new, bridge market between them. We have painstakingly simplified our processes, projections, and plans. We have analyzed the risks and threats in SWOT analyses. We have pored over and revised the business plan with three different third parties over more than two years, and have conservative projections and realistic, comprehensive expense estimates. We are ready to roll this out into the world, but we need your help!
We need more and better equipment. We need more personnel. We need to be able to afford the higher premiums of the eco-friendly, made-in-the-USA materials we use to create, package, and ship our puzzles. And we need to be able to pay the costs associated with being a business big enough to bring our unique puzzles to market at affordable prices.
We are thrilled to bring Zen Puzzles into your home and to intrigue you with clever puzzle cut trickery and the art of wooden jigsaw puzzling.
If you’d like to experience some of the differences between die-cut, cardboard puzzles and uniquely-cut, wooden jigsaw puzzles, we’ve developed digital puzzles you can play for free on our website, zenartdesign.com, in the Zen Garden Lite. There you will find both our standard cut digital puzzles (Classic Zen ePuzzles), which, while they’re artistic and have unique features, contrast greatly with our unique-cut digital puzzles (Unique Zen ePuzzles), essentially illustrating some of the difference between cardboard and unique, artisanal, wooden jigsaw puzzles. You can also refer to our website for a more extensive history of the jigsaw puzzle.
I hope you’ll join us and contribute to our campaign to make the best wooden jigsaw puzzles we can available to as many people as possible, while at the same time supporting the use of eco-friendly materials made in the USA.
Thank you for taking the time to check out our Kickstarter campaign. I hope you are now absolutely intrigued by wooden jigsaw puzzles and I apologize in advance for your future wooden jigsaw puzzle addiction.
The number of pieces in our puzzles varies slightly because we hand-design our puzzles with unique cuts and figural pieces--we have listed the approximate piece count per puzzle size below.
Small is just shy of 8"x8" ~150 Pieces
Large is just shy of 12"x12" ~330 Pieces
Extra Large is just shy of 16"X16" ~600 Pieces
Initial, Five Zen Puzzle Image Choices
To thank you all for your generous and wonderful support in making our Kickstarter successful, we have added these new image choices!
Thank you to all of our amazing supporters for helping us to reach our $25,000 stretch goal, which made the Large size of these puzzles available! Due to their resolution and our high standards for the quality of the prints in our artisanal jigsaw puzzles, the images below cannot be made into Extra Large Puzzles, and Blue Iguana can only be made as a Small puzzle.
Thank you all for supporting the success of our Kickstarter campaign!
The more funds we can raise, the more people we can hire, and the faster and more effectively we can bring more Zen Puzzles to market!
We have therefore posted our first stretch goal of $25,000! Reaching this goal will enable us to make four of the five new, added images available in the Large puzzle size (Blue Iguana can only be made as a small).
Because we hand-design our puzzles with unique cuts and figural pieces, each puzzle takes time and money to develop before production can begin. The additional funds from reaching our $25,000 stretch goal would help pay for the labor hours involved in developing these images into our unique, artisanal wooden jigsaw puzzles.
Thank you all again for your amazing support of our Zen Puzzles and for making our Kickstarter campaign successful!
In our last 24 hours, we are introducing a new stretch goal! If we miraculously reach $30,000 in pledges, we will be able to make the five images below available as Small Zen Puzzles! The extra funding will help pay for the labor hours that go into developing these images into our unique, artisanal wooden jigsaw puzzles. We have a lot to do and a lot to pay for, so, in order to make sure we don't over-promise what we can actually do, we are only offering the Small size Zen Puzzles if we reach this stretch goal.
Last Minute Additions to $30,000 Stretch Goal!!!
In the last 3 hours of our Kickstarter, we are enhancing our $30,000 Stretch Goal to include the images below, but these will be for shipment in or by May 2014. If you choose one or more of these images, but have other puzzles you have ordered that are available before May, your entire order will be shipped as one shipment in or by May 2014. We hope to be able to greatly increase your image choices by doing this! Please note the sizes that will be available if we meet our $30,000 Stretch Goal--3 images in all sizes, 1 image in Small and Large, and 1 image in Small only.
Based on your feedback and requests, we have made the following add-ons available to your pledges! To add add-ons to your pledge, simply add the correct amount to your pledge; we will be sending out a survey after our Kickstarter closes to to enable you to tell us your image and add-on choices for reward tiers and add-ons pledged! You can add as many of the add-ons listed below as you like to your pledge! Please be aware that Extra Large puzzles are only available in the Initial, Five Zen Puzzle Image Choices; Large puzzles are available in the Initial, Five Zen Puzzle Image Choices and 4 of the 5 New, Additional Image Choices (Blue Iguana is only a Small); and Small puzzles are available as any image other than the as-of-yet unmet $30,000 stretch goal images.
* Please make sure to add the amount for international shipping if yours is an international shipment!
$49 - 1 Small Zen Puzzle of your choice (excludes Limited Edition Kickstarter Exclusive image). Add $10 for international shipping for each Small add-on ($59 total).
$115 - 1 Large Zen Puzzle of your choice (excludes Limited Edition Kickstarter Exclusive image). Add $10 for international shipping for each Large add-on ($125 total).
$205 - 1 Extra Large Zen Puzzle of your choice (excludes Limited Edition Kickstarter Exclusive image). Add $15 for international shipping for each Extra Large add-on ($220 total).
Risks and challenges
As detailed above, we have worked tirelessly to prepare for the success of this venture, including assessing the risks and challenges of all aspects of the business with multiple advisors, lawyers, consultants, etc. However, there is always the risk of unforeseeable events that could negatively or drastically impact our ability to execute our mission. For instance, although we would gladly give our lives trying with all our might, we would likely have no success stopping a fiery meteor falling out of the sky from speeding straight into our facility.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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