If you like a challenge, Plymouth Puzzles is worth a piece of your mind.
Founded by husband-wife team Jeff and Karen Sisolak, the company makes wooden puzzles in unique shapes, from pineapples and owls to beehives and spider webs. Repeating patterns test puzzlers of all ages.
“The pieces are symmetrical and they look like they’re in the right place but they’re not,” Karen says. The finer the wood grain, the harder the puzzle.
The Sisolaks, of Plymouth, are both trained as engineers and have loved puzzles since childhood. The idea for their company was hatched when Jeff joined TechShop Detroit in Allen Park, a membership-based workshop that offers high-tech tools, software and space for creation.
“My husband and I have always loved making stuff,” says Karen, a mom of three ages 17-21. “Part of this was starting to see the empty nest happening, and wanting to do something together that we both enjoy.”
Karen designs and hand stains the puzzles, while Jeff does the bulk of the crafting.
“We like to try to make them so they’re beautiful,” she says. “You can put them on the coffee table and they look nice.”