Arts & culture,
Gold Coast manufacturer QPuzzles thinks outside the box
Charntel Cleveland | September 20, 2021
QPuzzles produces jigsaws with a difference.
One of the latest additions to the Gold Coast’s $2.65 billion manufacturing industry, QPuzzles produce jigsaws depicting stunning imagery, or turn their very own photo into a prized puzzle.
“Our puzzles are unlike others on the market,” Company Director Jaime Dormer says.
“We only use forest-friendly, food-safe materials and everything we produce is top quality, made to last and fully recyclable.”
Putting the pieces together
A professional photographer for more than 20 years, Jaime has snapped scenery on all seven continents.
He typically spends half the year travelling overseas, adding to his impressive collection of images.
“When COVID hit, I couldn’t travel so I decided to get into making jigsaws,” Jaime explains.
He started out using a Victorian supplier to produce the puzzles using his imagery. Although the products were popular, the production costs weren’t viable.
“Because of COVID, jigsaw puzzle sales really picked up,” Jaime says.
“I sold thousands, but wasn’t making any money.”
That’s when Jaime decided to look into producing the puzzles at home on the Gold Coast and approached his formerly retired friend and now business partner, Phillip Malouf.
Jaime and Phillip met while fundraising for their son’s rowing and rugby games at TSS and remained mates after their kids graduated.
“Because of COVID, we couldn’t get overseas and check on all the equipment we needed to start out, so I was really relying on Jaime to do his homework,” Phillip says.
Now, with a specialty 6mx5m HP printer and 13-tonne press in its Ashmore workshop, QPuzzles can viably produce thousands of jigsaws a day—ranging from 25 to 1000-piece puzzles.
Understanding eco-friendly products are important to their customers, Jaime and Phillip went to great lengths to ensure all QPuzzles’ products and packaging were fully recyclable.
“Even the tape we use to seal our boxes can be recycled,” Jaime explains.
In fact, everything QPuzzles produces is considered.
“The cardboard we use for the jigsaw puzzles remains recyclable even after it’s printed,” Jaime says.
The puzzle boxes are also well thought out, with the same elegant look and feel as iPhone packaging.
“We wanted our puzzles and the boxes they come in to be premium-quality, top-of-the-line stuff,” Jaime explains.
“Everything here is done spot on. The only thing the customer has to complain about is the price, which we believe is pretty fair.”
The manufacturer also specialises in white labelling its products, which allows other businesses to use their own branding on the puzzle boxes.
“The opportunities are for other businesses are endless,” Phillip says.
Supporting local artists
In addition to using Jaime’s imagery, QPuzzles has commissioned local Aboriginal Elder Lionel Phillips to create a series of Indigenous Australian artwork to be reproduced as puzzles under licence.
“Lionel has produced around 70 artworks for our puzzles,” Jaime says.
“Each puzzle of Lionel’s work also comes with a description of the artwork.”
QPuzzles also features the artistry of Jaime’s son James—an accomplished photographer and digital editor in his own right.
Growing on the Gold Coast
QPuzzles only launched in February but has already made a name for itself Australia-wide and overseas.
“The business is definitely growing,” Jaime says.
“The majority of our business comes from wholesale clients, but we also get plenty of one-off orders online.”
Jaime says QPuzzles may soon outgrow its Ashmore premises, but the Gold Coast remains a good spot to do business.
“Everything we need is right at our fingertips,” he says.
“The Gold Coast has good facilities, it’s close to major cities and transport hubs, and you get really great service everywhere.”
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