BYKC: Tells us more about yourself, who is the Tiffany Hill?
TIFFANY: I am a very curious person. I love design, naturopathic health, the healing arts and literature. I am always looking for ways to improve my life and the life of others.
BYKC: What inspired you to start Puzzle and Bloom?
TIFFANY: There are so many things that inspired the creation of Puzzle and Bloom.
The first inspiration stems from the lack of diversity in children’s toys and literature. I was tired of talking about it and decided to do something about it.
Years ago, I wrote a children’s book and I may have sold 40 copies and 30 of the copies were bought by my father! (LOL) I always said I was going to do something else in the children’s literature genre and decided to create puzzles because they are also interactive.
Also, when the pandemic first started, I was in acupuncture school and working. I never had time to really think about anything creative. But, once everything went online I had time to think. I used the pandemic downtime to be creative.
BYKC: What is the process of making puzzles like?
TIFFANY: I come up with the concept of a puzzle and consult my designers. They create the imagery and I get the puzzles printed with a commercial printing company.
BYKC: What is the story behind the puzzles, I see that each puzzle features a boy or a girl are these actual people in your life?
TIFFANY: The characters are fictional. I studied Five Element Acupuncture so each puzzle is nestled within a season: spring, summer, late summer, fall and winter. The 5 seasons are the major pillars of Five Element Acupuncture.
The Minta and Aria twins’ puzzles are named after Harriet Tubman. Her real name is Araminta and I wanted to pay homage to her. She’s one of my favorite humans. Also, my maternal grandmother’s maiden name was Woods so I added her last name to the Cedar puzzle. The others were just remembrances of children I have encountered and seen.
BYKC: How have you and your family been able to cope during the pandemic, any strategies you have for readers out there?
TIFFANY: My family and I have been sheltering in place. We go out when we need groceries and supplies. We also go to the park a lot. Outdoor time is imperative for us. I even started a garden that I am now in love with. I think anything we can do to connect with nature as well as our loved ones in a safe way is wonderful. I have done several zoom calls with family and friends which is something we wouldn’t normally do which is cool.
BYKC: How important is diversity and inclusivity to you and why do you think it is necessary for all children to be represented?
TIFFANY: It is very important to me. I remember being a little girl and seeing very few images of kids like me in toys or in the media. Play is where children engage with the world. Play builds confidence, self esteem, social awareness and leadership skills.
Children spend hours upon hours with this one little thing that has the potential to make such a huge impact on how they see themselves in the world. So, if a child doesn’t see themselves represented, they may get the wrong idea and believe they are not worthy.
Plus, diverse toys also build compassion and awareness in children who are not kids of color. It paints a realistic representation of the world for all children.
BYKC: Do you have any message for entrepreneurs and other product creators out there?
TIFFANY: If you have an idea, start it. Or, start the research process and work on it every day. Be persistent and resilient and also take breaks when you need to. And, be cautious with who you share your ideas with; others may overwhelm you or not be able to truly see your vision.
This is my second business. I used to own an online craft store and I was successful for a while, but made a bunch of mistakes in the end and had to close it. At the time, I was heartbroken but I learned a great deal from that experience. I carry all that I learned into puzzle and bloom.
That’s why I love entrepreneurship. It teaches you about the gems of failure and success and the necessity to always try again.
BYKC: What’s next for Tiffany Hill, do you have any goals or business ventures you wish to accomplish in the future?
TIFFANY: I really want to put out a children’s book. My background is rooted in natural health and healing so I plan on adding some nuggets in the books for kids to read and absorb. It’s going to be fun! Thanks Adile!
BYKC: Thank you so much for your time and including beeyoukids.ca on your journey.