Meet the Tormentors

World class service from down-home people. You'll love our zany approach to doing business, our creative mailings with clever games, and our dogged determination to match you up with exactly the right wooden jigsaw puzzle. When you buy handmade wooden puzzles from Stave, you become a part of the Stave family.

For over 45 years we have been bringing fun, challenge, and togetherness to families and friends... don’t forget the torment and anguish we throw in, too (hee, hee, hee)! Our mission at Stave Puzzles is to create the most beautiful, challenging and entertaining puzzles in the world. The wit and mischief of the Stave gang inspires letters, calls, gifts, bribes, and pranks way beyond what you would expect. One devoted fan sends 10lbs of M&Ms every year, others bribe us with cookies, candies, and yummy fruit for hints to their Trick™ and Teaser™ puzzles.

Our business is to discern how we can offer you the most challenging and entertaining puzzle experience possible. Long before you decide to purchase a puzzle, we’re busy conjuring up new design ideas and choosing the best artwork for Traditional puzzling. When you place an order, we guide you through each step - from choosing the perfect image and puzzle size, to customizing it with special silhouette shapes. Our goal is to make your dream puzzle come to life. All while having fun in the process. Many of us wear several hats! We could be printing artwork for your puzzle, juggling customers on the phone, designing and laying out mailing pieces, or giving your puzzle the finishing touches.

And, if you've ever wondered who it is that’s providing the joy, frustration and feeling of satisfaction you get when you’re working your puzzle... look no further. Each signature clown piece bears the initials of the Stave artisan who crafted your puzzle. Therein lies the answer to your wonderment. We invite you to meet your tormentors.

Hello! We're Excited to Torm... uh, we mean... Meet you!

Paula

Co-Owner

Steve

Founder & Chief Tormentor

Steve - the man, the myth, the puzzle legend - founded Stave in 1974 and is the mastermind behind many of our most challenging puzzles. Having invented Trick™, Teaser™, and TroubleMaker™ puzzles, his victims dubbed him The Chief Tormentor for over 45 years, and their cries of frustration only fueled his fire to create even more complicated puzzles. When Steve was a child, his grandparents noticed his love for woodworking and puzzles, so they gifted him a small tabletop saw. Steve cut his finger so badly he needed stitches. His mother immediately threw his new saw away. I guess Steve is the definition of the famous phrase - what is meant to be will always find a way. He is now living his best life - playing lots of golf and enjoying time spent with his family. Don't worry; he always has a new puzzle design up his sleeve.

Kindred Spirit: Taz the Tasmanian Devil

Jennifer

Co-Owner, initials JL

Jennifer runs the company with Paula and is proud to keep Steve's legacy of puzzle torment alive. Jennifer has been with Stave since 1987, making her Stave's most seasoned crafter! She told Steve many, many years ago that she didn't want his job, but today she is rocking it! Jennifer is a tried-and-true puzzlenut. Jennifer enjoys crosswords, sudoku, and word puzzles in addition to the Stave puzzles she has crafted for her family. She also enjoys a good mystery book like Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series. Have you read them? Jennifer also loves a good concert; she hopes to see Gladys Knight, Smokey Robinson, Adele, and Bruno Mars someday!

I’m good at: Procrastinating

Martha

Mrs. Tormentor

Alexis

Crafter, initials AN

Alexis is a collector of enamel pins that are mostly music or video-game-related. She recently started collecting teapots and has quite a collection already! Relocating from Indiana during the pandemic, she has found a fitting home here in Vermont for herself, her boyfriend, and sweet pup Mary Jane. As lovers of the outdoors, you will find all three of them hiking, gardening, or hanging out on the river (in the summer months). Alexis is also an adventurer, having lived in Germany for a stint and skydiving. She hopes to craft as many space-related puzzles as she can in the future.

Spirit Animal: A Wolf, I too have an appetite for freedom

Amanda

Customer Service & Marketing

Amanda’s love of traditional film photography is put to good use here at Stave. She has been capturing wonderful images of all the beautifully crafted puzzles that come out of our shop. When she’s not snapping the camera outside of work, she is enjoying her sweet pup Winnie, doing arts & crafts, or visiting family in her hometown in Massachusetts. She and her partner, Justin, have been enjoying the adventure of tiny home living – having built the home themselves! If you are ever looking for a hint to a puzzle, you could easily bribe Amanda with fruity candies or some fresh-cut peonies.

I’m Good At: Photography, Painting, and Drawing

Briana

Customer Service & Marketing

Briana, also known as Bri, not to be mistaken for a wheel of cheese, is the resident Puzzle Party girl. Her knack for creativity and cultivating ideas makes her perfect for coming up with wacky party games and murder mystery puzzle clues. Bri is a lover of travel, volunteerism, themed parties, cocktails, DIY home projects, and puzzling, of course. Her favorite people are her husband, Jason, two kids, Elise and Cooper, and Channing Tatum.



Spirit Animal:
Flamingo

Brita

Customer Service & Marketing

Channa

Disassembly Technician

Channa has the most contagious laugh in the building and is always sporting colorful nail polish when taking apart puzzles. While she DOES count the pieces to every puzzle, she doesn’t keep count of her nail polish but easily has over 100 bottles at home. Channa is also quite quick with her humor and jokes, making her a lot of fun to work with. Horses, especially Quarter Horses, have been a large part of her life. Having competed for many years, she has semi-retired her show spurs. Channa also enjoys scouring thrift stores, yard sales, and flea markets, looking for treasures to take home.

Spirit Animal: Purple Dragon

Christina

Crafter, initials CJ

Christina is a lover of Mexican food and sipping tequila. You may find yourself needing a shot of tequila if you ever sit down with one of the Teaser puzzles she's designed. Her craftiness extends beyond designing and cutting puzzles, she also makes some pretty awesome jewelry. On her days off, Christina can be found four-wheeling and hanging out with her husband and pup. Surprisingly, you won’t find Christina at the puzzle table - she likes to be the tormentor, but not the tormented.


Spirit Animal:
North American House Hippo

Cindy

Customer Service & Time Share

Cindy is our Time Share concierge, and with nearly 100 participants, she has also earned the title of champion. Cindy enjoys tending to her perennial flower and vegetable gardens then preserving the harvest. She can be seen driving her cute little sports car around town with the convertible top down. Her favorite place to be is anywhere she can walk barefoot on the beach and listen to the sound of the ocean.



Spirit Animal: Dolphin

Dianna

Crafter, initials DR

Dianna is our resident prankster and funster! She can definitely dish it but also graciously takes it! You’ll find her saw surrounded by pretty pink flamingos that have been gifted to her over the years, which started when people found out how much she disliked the pink lawn ornaments. Dianna is a collector of many things, not just flamingos; in fact, her husband would say she collects everything! You’ll find Dianna whooping it up on the weekends, dancing to live music, enjoying a campfire with friends, or attending vintage car shows in her '81 Firebird.

Theme Song: I’m Here for the Party by Gretchen Wilson

Eric

Crafter, initials EV

Eric is known around the shop as upbeat and personable. When he is not sitting at the saw, you can find him finishing the backside of the puzzles. Eric is a Military Veteran with a deep love for family and friends, tabletop gaming, and his sweet cat Falcor. Can you guess the origins of his name? He has a rad collection of board games, coffee cups, and a surprising number of cat scratchers.



I am good at:
Large Scale Strategy Games

Haley

Crafter, initials HN

Haley can be found enjoying some smooth jazz or rocking out to ACDC while crafting puzzles. She also has the tunes blasting while working on her many creative projects like pet portraiture, drawing, ceramics, and 3D modeling. Do you read North Shore Magazine? One of her illustrations was featured in a past publication! Haley is a collector of Zoroark Pokemon figurines, coffee mugs, and far too many art supplies. If you have any recommendations for sights to see or things to do in Switzerland, Denmark, and Iceland,  Haley would love the insider scoop as she hopes to visit some day!

I’m Good At: Traditional and Digital Drawing

Joe

Crafter, initials JW

Joe is an avid swimmer, with the swimming pool (or any body of water) being his favorite place to be. He was even on his high school’s swim team to get more time in the water. He hopes to one day swim with sharks, and when we say swim, we are not talking about being in one of those safety cages, eek! Joe definitely likes to see how far he can push himself, whether it is swimming long distances, teaching himself to play the piano, eating as much Italian food as possible, or trying to replicate things he saw on Ripley’s Believe It Or Not.  

Kindred Spirit: Morgan Freeman

Julie

Crafter, initials JC

Julie can be spotted in the shop with wonderfully colorful hair and her corny and witty jokes! She is a cat and plants mom to three cute kitties and an ever-growing amount of pretty plants. Besides collecting flora, you will also find Julie’s home filled with precious stones, gems, and unique jewelry that she collects! She dreams to travel more – with Switzerland being at the top of her bucket list. She has a weird fascination with True Crime which should prove to be useful if ever a puzzle piece was to go missing around the shop!

Spirit Animal: Feline for sure!

Kathleen

Crafter, initials KS

Kathleen’s favorite things besides crafting puzzles are hot cups of tea, a good mystery book, her collection of metal and wooden trays, and her cute kitties, Louie and George. She is a very patient and kind person until you challenge her to a game of ping pong! Kathleen can be found on the weekends, jeeping with her significant other or reading a good book. On Sundays, she has a standing coffee date with her mom and sister. She is also really interested in health and spirituality.


Spirit Animal:
A Bear

Kirstin

Crafter, initials KL

Kirstin is an animal lover who enjoys trying new things to help keep her creative juices flowing. She has various knitting, drawing, jewelry, wood-burning, and writing projects in the works. Many of the hats and scarves Kirstin knits she donates to people in need, but we’re hoping she creates a few extra for our annual Stave craft fair. Kirstin enjoys a good sci-fi book and hopes to write one of her very own. Living out every pyromaniac’s dream, she works for a firework company 2-3 days a year, making things go “snap, crackle, and pop” around Vermont for the fourth of July.

Kindred Spirit: Merida from Brave

Megan

Crafter, initials MM

Megan was the Vermont State Champion for the shot put and discus, and now coaches track when she is not working here at Stave. She is also known as one of the top pet sitters in the area. Megan is creative and has the tormentor gene. She has designed an array of wonderful Teaser puzzles - do you have one of them? Megan hopes to visit all the National Parks someday and take a jump across the big blue to see the beautiful country of Ireland.



Spirit Animal:
An Owl or Sea Turtle

Pete

Customer Service & Graphics

Pete’s creativity and artistic talents extend well beyond the computer screen here at Stave. He has many hobbies including, but not limited to drawing, sculpting, weaving, and leatherworking. He also enjoys making and playing drums, 3D modeling, taking an invigorating ice bath, camping with friends, and he loves a good nap. In fact, if he could have a superpower, he’d like the ability to pause time for extra naps on the down low. Do you love Mario Bros? Pete sculpted characters for Mario World in Japan – how cool is that?!


Favorite Place:
Tallulah Gorge, Georgia

Ruth

Crafter, initials RM

Ruth can be found zipping around the shop at lightning speed on her way to quality check puzzles, train up-and-coming crafters, or heading to her saw to begin crafting a puzzle. We have considered installing a couple of speed bumps in the hallways to slow her down. While at home, though, Ruth slows it down (a little) and can be found gardening (not weeding), kayaking, or volunteering at some of her favorite local non-profits. She also enjoys building out her family’s genealogy, spending time with family (including her two cute terriers), and learning to play the ukulele.

Theme Song: Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Susan

Customer Service & Licensing

Susan is Stave’s Art Scout, always searching for the next great puzzle image to stump you. When you sprinkle in the sweet chocolate chip morsels of graphics and customer service, you have the amazingly funny, and ever kind cookie that is Susan. Susan is all about nature – filling her life, yard, and home with its beauty – you should see her collection of peonies and hydrangeas! When she’s not walking the woods behind her home, she cares for and loves her two horses. She loves nature so much she once mountain biked up a 3,100-foot mountain, go Susan!

Spirit Animal: The special horse that has been in her life for 16 years

TJ

Crafter, initials TB

TJ once received the unsung hero award from the Governor of New Hampshire for his work with parenting and strengthening families. He is also a fan of Shotokan karate, jiu-jitsu, Nintendo and a big-time fan of his adorable twins, Damian and Aria. TJ also collects retro Nintendo games and has over 1000 of them, the rarest being a game called Action 52. His favorites are his many Zelda games! He hopes to one day use his gift of creativity and drawing to design Stave puzzles.


I am good at:
Drawing and Creating

Gus

Shop Dog

Gus is the resident shop dog and enjoys overseeing everybody’s lunch. Gus spends his day either napping or meandering throughout the building, looking for a snack or a rub. He is always ready to greet visitors with a wagging tail, but is very suspicious of UPS.

Spirit Animal: Vulture

Puzzling Families & Friends Since 1974

Get In Touch With the Stave Team

Feel free to send words of praise, agony, or a question to your favorite crafters!
Email [email protected]

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