CORBIN, Ky. — Mchezo, a jigsaw puzzle publisher based in Corbin, announced plans to enter the $660 million domestic jigsaw puzzle market this year. The company plans to have 20 releases by January 2021.
“Jigsaw puzzles have the power to really bring people together,” said Jonathon Huston, owner and founder of Mchezo. “Just set one out on a table and, invariably, people will spontaneously start working on it together.”
Huston, the son of missionaries, spent most of his youth living in East Africa. His experience abroad has a significant influence on his worldview. The word Mchezo is a Swahili word that means “game” or “to play.”
“I think everyone, no matter their age, loves to play,” Huston said. “I hope anyone who sits down with an Mchezo puzzle finds it a satisfying diversion from the worries and concerns of the everyday world.”
Huston is an experienced entrepreneur who first founded Troll and Toad 26 years ago in his garage. It is currently one of the largest online retailers in the hobby game market today. Mchezo, his latest venture, is a subsidiary of Webbed Sphere — the parent company to nine different enterprise businesses operating out of the 25-acre former American Greeting Card factory in north Corbin.
Mchezo will include three branded puzzle lines initially, and Gamosis, puzzles inspired by an affinity for the 1980s and gamer culture. The releases will cover a broad range of image styles and design aesthetic.
“I am especially proud that on many of our puzzles Mchezo is working with Kentucky photographers, artists and designers, because there is so much talent in our state. We want to stay loyal to our state and support Kentucky’s artistic community,” said Ed Bryan, president of Mchezo.