Jigsaw Puzzle Accessories - Inventions from the UK Take-Off in the USA

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Lisa and Colin King from the Lincolnshire Fens of England have invented a range of jigsaw puzzle accessories (collectively known as "Jigthings") that have become a big hit in the USA.

Lisa and Colin King from the Lincolnshire Fens of England have invented a range of jigsaw puzzle accessories (collectively known as "Jigthings") that have become a big hit in the USA.

Colin said "We were very pleased with the way that our trade was developing in the UK but ever since we started supplying the U.S. a year ago our sales have rocketed. We now sell three times more in the U.S. than we do in the U.K!

The story began five years ago when the couple invented Jigsort - a completely new puzzle case for storing half-completed puzzles. When Jigsort started selling well it became evident that there were several other items that puzzle enthusiasts needed to help them with their hobby.

Close on the heels of Jigsort came a very lightweight puzzle board called Jigboard and then a set of nesting boxes called Jigsafe. Both products are designed to help during the jigsaw building stage by allowing their users to easily move puzzles around and pack them away; a jigsaw no longer needs to monopolize a table until the puzzle is finished. As Lisa is keen to point out "They prevent jigsaw puzzles taking over your home".

Buoyed by their new found success, Lisa and Colin turned their attention to what happens to a jigsaw after it is made-up and along came an ingenious puzzle frame called Jigframe to hang it on a wall and Jigstore to retain the jigsaw in its completed form.

This year they have two new products: the first of these, the Jigthings table, focuses on making jigsawing more comfortable, especially for elderly people. September sees the introduction of Jigmat of which Colin says "…it is a brand new concept and probably our simplest and best invention to date - what is really worrying is that it took us five years to think of it!"

Ask the Jigthings founders if the recession is harming their business and they will tell you not a bit, business is booming…. the less disposable income people have the more likely they are to stay at home and enjoy simple, inexpensive pursuits like jigsaw puzzles. Ask if trade is weather dependent and they point out that "Nice weather is good because our products appeal to people in caravans and boats as well as holidaymakers. Rain is great - it keeps people inside to do their puzzles".

Lisa and Colin estimate that about half of the total sales are bought as gifts, particularly for elderly people, who find that "Jigthings" bring a new lease of life to a long-standing hobby. With Christmas just around the corner it seems that the staff in the Jigthings distribution warehouse in Olean, New York can expect a very busy time!

All the products can be purchased direct from the website.

Details of the complete Jigthings range along with videos showing how they are used can be found at http://www.puzzleorganizer.com

Details of the Jigthings Puzzle Board (Jigboard) can be found at http://www.puzzleorganizer.com/jigsawBOARDS and details of the Jigthings Puzzle case (Jigsort) can be found at http://www.puzzleorganizer.com/jigsawCASES

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Colin King
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