Puzzle Hobby is truly inspired to bring our readers attention to George Muresan. Just at 16 years old, this young man has proven that having Autism and a passion for puzzles can be turned into a positive experience.
With today's technical world, a little family support and a huge amount of enthusiasm, see how George has achieved a fun and exciting new venture that he has built using his jigsaw puzzle abilities. Read on...
Perhaps puzzles were the first indication George was special. Only eight months old, he completed his first puzzle, a four-piece Playskool wood frame tray. By the age of four he was diagnosed with autism and mastered his first 1000-piece puzzle. Now 16, this cheerful young man from Grand Rapids, Michigan hasn't outgrown his love for puzzles; in fact, he's found a way to turn his passion into an income.
George sees shapes. His mom recounts a time, as little boy, he stooped while crossing the street to point to the cracked asphalt: "Romania!" he proclaimed. He had seen the contour of a country where everyone else would see only a road needing repair. With his keen eye, George can do very difficult puzzles, but prefers ones where he can put in pieces in a matter of seconds.
"When doing puzzles together, I try to stay out of his way," Laura explains. "I sort the pieces by color and shape and let him put them in." He mainly does 500 to 1000 piece puzzles. During school vacations, George completes several puzzles a day, especially if favorites such as trains or Charles Wysocki await.
George gets most of his puzzles from thrift stores or friends and family; there's also a library nearby with a puzzle exchange. "Finding vintage puzzles that are complete and in nice condition presents a challenge," noted Laura, "but it's enjoyable to sit down and do the sifting for George's buyers."
They sometimes find puzzles Laura loved doing as a child. "George recently sold a 1980's Springbok 'Sunflower Harvest' puzzle, which holds fond memories for me. George's puzzles spreading nostalgia around the world," Mom says, adding that George has shipped puzzles as far away as Hong Kong.
In addition to assembling the puzzles, George loves the shipping process, having assisted Laura for years (she operates Laura's Last Ditch Vintage Kitchenwares), so George's opening a puzzle store seemed a natural fit in that regard - but not in others. When he set up shop six months ago, George couldn't take a photo without shaking the camera; and he has difficulty with language, making product descriptions difficult.
He's made such progress, Puzzles By George now features many of George's own photos. And he's making strides writing about his products, too. "At first he struggled and didn't want to try, but since he's started making sales, I've seen a great eagerness to learn," Laura enthuses. "I'm very proud of him." He checks daily if he's sold a puzzle, and if he has, he dashes to his closet to get it. George's customers receive prompt service, with a radiant smile, even though they can't see it.
Unsurprisingly, George's favorite part of the business is making money; the shop works well as a tool to teach money management. In addition to using his earnings for more puzzles, saving, and giving, he makes plans: after working a hot air balloon puzzle recently, he expressed interest in saving up for a balloon ride; a Neuschwanstein Castle puzzle planted in his mind the idea of going to Germany. Puzzles open up a world of imagination. Oh, the places his puzzles can take him!
You can support George and feed your puzzle habit by visiting Puzzles By George, where George is running a "buy 3, get free shipping" sale.
And 'Like' Puzzles By George on Facebook
We would like to thank you, Laura Muresan for sharing your wonderful story with us. We certainly appreciate you bringing our attention to this passionate Puzzler who seems to have overcome several obstacles and has made great strides in his achievements. We wish him all the best in his venture and may he go forth and grow bigger.
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