For the following year Clauson worked in the sporting goods industry. Then the entrepreneur returned to his roots and started Lafayette Puzzle Factory — creating a variety of puzzles that are sold at retail locations.

“Even while working for the sporting goods company, I found myself walking up and down the toy aisles at stores. I am a kid at heart,” said Clauson. “I love seeing what is new in terms of product or packaging or licenses.

“And by having my own company, I have a built-in excuse to visit toy stores of all sizes and see what is selling. I also love the moment when we come up with a new idea or find a new artist. It is exciting to watch a product come to life.”

Clauson nailed the timing. Lafayette Puzzle Factory was launched at the 2008 Fall Toy Preview Show in Dallas.

“Jigsaw puzzle sales at retail generally held up during the recent downturn in the economy. Jigsaw puzzles provide a lot of value for consumers,” he said. “For under $5 or $10, a consumer can buy a puzzle that will provide a family with hours of entertainment. When it is finished they can take the puzzle apart and share it with friends and family.”

Image from the Lafayette Puzzle Factory

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