....the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.

"A fortunate stroke of serendipity"

It's a beautiful thing when something falls into place, feels completely natural and has a sense of 'meant to be'.

That's what happened over the Christmas holiday in 2021 when we were sitting at home in Boulder, Colorado researching the wooden jigsaws market and came across the Victory brand - only to further, delightfully discover that it had been founded almost exactly 100 years ago in our home town, Bournemouth in England.

We'd been keen to launch a wooden jigsaw company for sometime, spurred on by the pandemic when, like everyone else, we were assembling puzzles in lockdown. My son, Aidan (who was born in Bournemouth) had just graduated from California College of the Arts in San Francisco where his thesis - artistically cut jigsaw puzzles with his own interpretation of old masters paintings - was exceptionally reviewed.

We were scratching our heads trying to come up with a brand name. 'How about Victory?' - that's a strong, nostalgic English word I thought. A quick google search to see if it already existed led to our discovery. 

The story goes back to Gerald Hayter in the early 1900s and almost ended in the 1980s when G.J Hayter & Co. stopped producing Victory puzzles and the brand was almost lost. If it wasn't for the quality of the puzzles and keen collectors on ebay, the brand would almost certainly have disappeared completely.

And so, with friends James & Toby Martin, it has been our honour and privilege to re-establish this historic 100 year old brand.

If he were alive today, we would like to think that Gerald would be delighted to see his life's work and famous 20th century brand reborn. We will endeavour to honour his legacy by creating beautiful wooden puzzles for the next generation of puzzle enthusiasts in the 21st century and beyond.

If you have 5 minutes to spare and would like a more complete history of the Victory brand - click here.

If you would like to stay in touch with our progress, please follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

No.2 - Putting smiles on faces - 'An unfinished business'

January 21, 2024 — Andrew Knowles