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!




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


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


Mrs. Tormentor


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


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:


Customer Service & Marketing


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


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


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


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


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


Crafter, initials JG

Jess is a lover of the great outdoors, especially when it comes to cycling the local trails, hiking, camping, and fishing. Along with her love for nature, Jess has a passion for animals. She has been a certified dog groomer for four years. It's her dream to one day have an up-close wolf encounter at a wilderness rehabilitation sanctuary. Jess has an upbeat and cheerful personality around the shop, but she also has a spooky side. She enjoys reading Stephen King books, sculpting horror movie figures, and doing special fx makeup for Halloween attractions.

I'm Good At: Singing



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


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


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


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


Customer Service & Graphics

Miranda is always seeking out new experiences and tackling challenges head-on. From skydiving and zip-lining in Nicaragua, she has never shied away from trying something new. Miranda has gained quite the collection of postcards from her travels to different National Parks and hopes to visit even more. But Miranda has another side, too – her love for plants. With twenty five thriving plants and a passion for collecting and drying flowers, it's clear that she has a green thumb. When Miranda is at home, she enjoys spending time with her partner, Spencer, and snuggling with their three-legged dog, Lasey.

I'm Good At: Woodworking


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


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


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

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