A community of free jigsaw puzzle libraries
Jessica and Luke live in Los Angeles and have been married for 3 years. With the combination of Jessica's love for puzzles and Luke's desire to give back, The Puzzle Republic was started on Jan 26th, 2020.
Finding Peace in the Pieces
By Jessica Cheney
I think at one point or another we all have a time when stress takes over our lives. For me, this came about a year ago when I was stuck in a rough place, overcome by anxiety, self-doubt and the unrealistic need for perfection. I took being a workaholic to a whole new level and became obsessed with checking things off my list. To the point where I couldn’t even take a shower without reaching out from behind the curtain to add notes in my phone of all the things I still had to do. I tried everything to relieve my anxiety (running, meditation, music, even therapy) but I still couldn't put my mind at ease.
Now, I have finally found my missing piece - a way to stimulate my mind and allow me to unwind: puzzles! Puzzling has become therapeutic for me in ways I never thought possible. Instead of my husband, Luke, having to pry me away from my laptop, he now has to peel me away from a puzzle. While it might just be me jumping from one obsession to another - I still think that “I’m almost done with the edge pieces” sounds way better than “Just one more email!”
As time went on, we ended up with a closet full of completed puzzles collecting dust. One day, while walking through our neighborhood, we passed a free little library for books. LIGHTBULB! We thought it would be fun to make our own library exclusively for puzzle sharing and call it The Puzzle Palace (because Alliterations Are Awesome).
This idea would have gone nowhere had it not been for Luke who brought it to life. He is a firm believer that if you have the means to do something good then it is your duty to act on it. In October, he came across an old Barbie hotel at an antique shop and BOOM, another LIGHTBULB! This dollhouse would make the perfect palace to house our puzzles. Through lots of blood, sweat and beers (not to mention help from our friendly neighborhood handyman, James Ehlers) the transformation was complete. Our little idea had turned into something much bigger, weighing in at 49 pounds and measuring just over 58 inches tall.
On January 26, 2020 we officially opened The Puzzle Palace door to the La Crescenta community. A huge thanks goes out to my parents, Rod & Karen for letting us post up in front of their house.