I located these Mintyfizz Puzzles and in no time at all, I realized that Kelly Poff was a perfect Puzzle-Preneur. Wait till you see the puzzles she is producing and selling. AND even more importantly she is a Mom living her dream of raising her children while feeding her passion for art. Here's our interview... or you may like this puzzle.
(Q) Do you have anything new and exciting coming in the future or is there an 'inside scoop' you can share with us that no one knows about?
(A) I am in the process of coming up with new puzzle designs! I have a couple new designs that I am making. I am possibly going to bring on new artists if it is in the budget. This is a goal I have for myself. I am also considering making very small puzzles that are around 100 pieces that fit into a small container. I am thinking of calling those 'minty minis'. I hope to continue to grow Mintyfizz!
(Q) Do you have any advice for other women in a similar situation like yours?
(A) My advice to someone who wants to start a small business is first to have a strong passion. The other thing is to know your audience. What do people like? I spent a long time interacting with other puzzlers to know what they like so my own biases are not what gets in the way. I am very excited about my business and love to share my passion with others. I bring other people into my ideas and constantly ask for feedback. I want people to enjoy my product. It means a lot to me when someone is a returning customer.
(Q) How long have you been creating and selling puzzles in your puzzle business?
(A) I have been working on my puzzle business for about two years. I started the company a couple months before the pandemic started. When the pandemic hit, I spent more time getting it going and creating the art for it. In the summer of 2020 I launched my first two designs. My second two designs launched December of 2021. I decided to change manufactures from my original two designs to the new ones. Therefore the time between new puzzles was long, so it was worth it to create even better puzzles.Our family has gone through many life changes since I started the puzzle company. Right before I decided to make puzzles, I was having a difficult year and just needed to create something that brought myself a lot of joy and something that I thought others would enjoy as well. Two things popped into my mind. I loved puzzles, and I loved to create art. I also wanted to make art that just made me feel good to look at. Bright colors and organic shapes. From the time that I started the puzzle company until now we have made major life changes too. We have 3 kids. The last child joined us recently. Both my husband and I changed careers. I was a full time public school teacher, but I decided to stop that job for a while to pursue private tutoring, focusing on my puzzle business, and to raise the kids full time. I feel very good about these changes we have made and it is propelling me forward to wanting to keep Mintyfizz Puzzles alive.
(Q) How did the company arrive at the name Mintyfizz?
(A) Mintyfizz has actually been a name I have used since I was in middle school. On a warm day, my friend and I wanted to make rootbeer floats. We didn't have rootbeer or vanilla icecream. Instead we used mint icecream and 7UP. When the bubbles formed on it, I called it mintyfizz. From that day on, I used that name for all my screen names and as a nickname. I evenused that name on a dating website and that is where I met my husband over 13 years ago. When I decided to make puzzles, I only thought it was natural for it to be called a name which I hold close to my heart. Mintyfizz has become somewhat of a nickname too. Many people call me Minty like it is my name and I will respond to it.
(Q) For our Readers, where is your company located?
(A) My company is located in Olympia, Washington where I have lived nearly my whole life.
(Q) Can you share some background about yourself?
(A) Ever since I was a young child, puzzling was one of my greatest passions. I loved the thrill of getting a new puzzle and the challenge that was ahead. I remember trying out my first 1,000 piece puzzle at age 8. I was curious if I could do it. I discovered not only could I do it myself, but I was actually really good at puzzling. From then on, I was hooked. School was not something that came naturally for me. For my BA I studied art and art history. I studied abroad for half a year in Florence Italy where I got an enriched education in art and art history. Years later I got my masters in Teaching in elementary education. I love working with kids and have worked with kids for over 20 years. For 8 of those years I was a public school teacher until recently when I had my 3rd child and decided to focus on my children, work on my art, and run my own puzzle company, Mintyfizz Puzzles.
(Q) How did you come about your artwork?
(A) My first passion besides puzzles was art. I have always had a bit of a gift when it comes to painting and drawing. When I was an elementary student, my 4th grade teacher Mr. Wilson saw my gift and said that I should never stop creating art. I took that to heart. When I was a child, I decided that I was going to be an artist when I grew up. When it came to making art for puzzles, I had to really think about what type of art I like on a puzzle and what others like on puzzles. I decided to first focus on my rainbow abstract art for puzzles. They have been a hit with many puzzlers. It has inspired me to continue to make new art and try new ideas for potential puzzles.
(Q) Are your puzzles available only in the USA?
(A) My puzzles are currently located in the United States, but I will ship them to other countries. Many of my puzzles have gone overseas. The shipping and handling can be steep outside the country, but sometimes we are able to wholesale our puzzles to businesses outside the USA for other people to purchase them as well.
(Q) Is there something that makes your puzzle company different from other puzzle companies?
(A) My puzzle company is different from many companies for a couple of reasons. The first is that I make the art behind the puzzles myself. Right now I am focusing mostly on abstract rainbow art that pops. I am also a company that is very supportive of other companies. I review puzzles often for other companies. Mainly small businesses like myself. I think this is important to be able to lift and support others as well as my own company. Those companies offer things that my company doesn't and visa versa. I have a very good relationship with many small puzzle companies as a result and it's more inclusive.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR - With her self-published book and over 300 jigsaw puzzle reviews, Linda has established herself as a prominent social media marketing influencer and jigsaw puzzle-preneur. If you want to send Linda a quick message, visit her contact page here.
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