Siblings Ericka Chambers and William Jones grew up doing puzzles together but noticed a lack of diversity represented in the images they were piecing together, which led to them to create Puzzles of Color.

The company sells 300-, 500- and 1,000-piece puzzles with art from Black, Hispanic, Indigenous and Indian artists.

The backstory

When Chambers became pregnant with her daughter, she wanted to put a puzzle in her nursery.

“I still didn’t see anything [regarding representation],” Chambers said. “I said, ‘Huh, I can’t believe this is still a problem 20 years later.’”

Chambers suggested that one of Jones' friends, who is an artist, should start making puzzles from her work, to which Jones replied that they should instead start a company and work with several different artists. Puzzles of Color officially launched in 2020, first through a website. Since Jones and Chambers opened an office in Richardson in 2021, their puzzles are now sold in retail and museum stores across the country.

What’s special about it

Jones said the first step in selecting a piece of art for a puzzle is finding one that will be a fun image to put together because of color use and textures that balance difficulty and enjoyment.

“Secondly, it is about representation and sharing a message,” Jones said. “It should show joy and happiness throughout the imagery or share a story.”

Jones said the final piece is great art from great artists that will make great puzzles.

Additionally, Chambers said that only a small percentage of art in museums is created by Black artists, and Puzzles of Color offers a unique way to experience art from a different perspective.

“We really want to showcase that there are so many talented artists of different backgrounds,” Chambers said. “This is a really cool way to get to know that art on another level.”

Jones added that when someone is doing a puzzle that is based on a piece of art, because they are looking at individual pieces, they can appreciate details in the art they might have noticed otherwise.

Quote of note

“We want to show the experience of people of color,” Chambers said. “There is always divisiveness in the world, but we’re very similar.”