Pittsburgh-based company becomes first Black-owned puzzle brand to be sold at Target | Arts + Entertainment | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Pittsburgh-based company becomes first Black-owned puzzle brand to be sold at Target

Pittsburgh-based company becomes first Black-owned puzzle brand to be sold at Target
Photo: Courtesy of Amanda Wilson
A+X Puzzles
The call to support Black businesses is still as strong as it was last summer, and with popular Instagram pages like Black Owned Pgh, it has become easier than ever. Now a Pittsburgh-based Black-owned business is going national.

A+X Puzzles is the first Black-owned puzzle brand to be sold at Target, where the product is available for purchase in 1,789 stores nationwide. The company currently sells four puzzle designs available at stores now.

The puzzles were created by Amanda Wilson in 2019. When she was pregnant and shopping for toys, she noticed that there was a lack of puzzles that depicted Black and Brown people. One of the core values of the brand is representation, so Wilson used her own children as inspiration for the puzzle scenes. Since her own children were born prematurely, Wilson spent 43 days sketching the designs for the puzzles while her twins and company namesake, Adric and Xola, were in the NICU.

The website says the puzzles strive to depict Black and Brown children "in a positive light, experiencing new and exciting things and overcoming obstacles."

Puzzles are cited as a great way for children to develop fine motor skills like hand-eye coordination, shape recognition, and concentration. Now, there is even more of an incentive for certain parents to buy puzzles for their children: seeing people who look like them reflected. Making these puzzles available at Target will allow a wider audience to enjoy these unique toys.

“The decision to work with Target was very intentional," says Wilson in a press release, adding how Target has committed to spending more than $2 billion with Black-owned businesses over the next four years. “Additionally, Target has pledged to improve the work experience for Black employees, ensure Black guests feel comfortable, safe, and represented while shopping, and to work to serve Black communities from policy to grassroots initiatives. The new promise to serve Black communities around the country coupled with the core values of A+X Puzzles made this a natural partnership.”

In the past, A+X Puzzles also worked with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. The company website says that, in January, puzzles were delivered to 19 branches in the area.

With the upgrade to being sold in Target, the packaging for the puzzles has also leveled up, now coming in a sleek box for sustainability and reuse.

The puzzles are now available to purchase at select Targets. You can visit the A+X Puzzles website and the Target website to see if they are available near you.

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