One high-quality puzzle manufacturer bases operations in the Atlanta area.
Mosaic Puzzles produces carefully designed and crafted wooden jigsaw puzzles. Many are based on works of art, and as their website explains, “every piece is part of the puzzle’s story.” Individual pieces have recognizable shapes, such as animals, people and buildings — that snap into place to create the whole.
The force behind Mosaic Puzzles is Seattle native Greg Seong, who spent most of his career in the tech industry. A variety of events came together to lead his launch of Mosaic Puzzles in 2020. One of those things was a visit in 2015 to a “magical B&B in Cannon Beach, 45 minutes from Portland, Ore.,” he said. “In the lobby, they had a wooden jigsaw puzzle set up. I started working on it at 10 p.m. one night and kept at it until 4 a.m. the next morning.”
Seong went back to New York and continued working in the tech field for the next six years. Then, in March of 2020, “I left my job, took a break to figure some things out and went to Seattle to visit my family,” he said. “This was at the height of the COVID pandemic.”
At that time, the lease was ending for his apartment in New York, and he needed to remove his things before the deadline. “I didn’t want to fly, but it needed to be done,” he said. “So, I got on an airplane, went to New York and got my things moved out.”
That trip had a very unfortunate consequence. “I got COVID,” Seong said. “In fact, I was probably among the first 20,000 people to get it, and I had everything under the sun with it. I nearly died.”
He didn’t test negative for 45 days after contracting the disease. As he started to recover, Seong stayed at an Airbnb and took the time to reflect. “Some of the scariest things had already happened to me —I had gotten COVID and was without a job,” he said. “It made me appreciate the time I have left, and I wanted to make the most of it.”
He knew that he’d always wanted to start his own company; most of the ideas he had involved start-ups in the tech field. Then he remembered the hours of enjoyment he’d gotten from the puzzle at the B&B years earlier. “At 3 a.m., I was staring at the ceiling thinking about it, and I thought, ‘What about a business based on wooden jigsaw puzzles?’”
Seong jumped into doing the necessary research and development and started making puzzles. He set up an Etsy shop. “We got bigger and bigger until we ran out of space in my parents’ garage. I’d already had to pay to up the power there for our production,” he said.
He knew it was time move the production to a more central location. That’s when he decided to base it in Alpharetta.
Seong reported that the business has been going strong and is growing. “People love puzzles. It’s a great family pastime,” he said. “We sell to customers all over the U.S. and around the world.”
Mosaic creates puzzles that are found at the intersection of art and games, Seong said. “I believe we make a beautiful product — and I’m happy to say that each puzzle is fully made in America.”
For more about Mosaic Puzzles: www.mosaicpuzzles.co.