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Colorado puzzle exchange is piecing together family entertainment

missing piece
Posted at 10:55 AM, Dec 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-03 12:55:13-05

NORTHGLENN, Colo. — It's the holiday season, and families are spending more time together. But if you want something for entertainment or a one-of-kind gift, a Colorado startup might be your answer.

You're in good company with Missing Piece puzzle exchange.

Erin Leidy loves puzzles. But over time, she noticed a problem.

"I was doing so many [puzzles], and I'd do them one time, and I put them in my closet," Leidy said. "And then they just sit there."

She collected so many, her garage became its own puzzle, with each box in a specific place.

Her solution was to share them with others.

"Every different nook and cranny has puzzles," Leidy said. "So, these ones are for sale here. I have a lot for rent over there."

Using the old Netflix DVD rental model, she created the Missing Piece business, a website where you can choose from hundreds of puzzles to try at home and send them back when you're done.

"It's a one-time rental," said Leidy. "So, it's great for around the holidays. You get four puzzles. I ship them to you. You do them at your leisure, and then you ship them back."

Missing Piece also offers month-to-month options, or you can buy the puzzles online. They range from kids puzzles up to 2,000 pieces, at varying levels of difficulty, from all the popular brands.

"Ravensberger is definitely the popular brand," said Leidy.

The search tool on the website makes it easy to filter your selections by theme.

"The puzzles I always go back to are the real colorful ones," said Leidy.

And if you lose a piece, it's no problem. She sends a picture to mark with each puzzle.

"So, if there is a missing piece, there's a little card that I include in the puzzles," said Leidy. "And, it's just on the honor system. So, if there's a piece missing, you just mark that there's one and put a little flag on the picture."

The rental exchange model has been so popular, Leidy started making her own puzzle designs under the Missing Piece brand so that one day she can have a space of her own.

"My goal is to get a store," Leidy said. "I'd like to have a store where you can come in and browse, like a movie rental store."

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