Kris Hale Founder of Dope Pieces Puzzle Company


By Staff

Tell us about your company and product.
We are Dope Pieces Puzzle Company, and we make puzzles that are dope enough to frame. We focus on the artwork of Artists of Color that positively represent the Black and Brown diaspora.  

What inspired this entrepreneur journey?
Even as a kid, I have always had ideas about creating a business in some form or fashion. As I got older, I would talk to friends about one idea after another. One day my good friend Syl Harris said, ” I will give you 5 years to pull the trigger on something before I stop listening to your ideas”. I knew he was serious and it was the kick that I needed to start the journey. The idea for the puzzle company had been one of my recurring thoughts and after a thumbs up from an artist friend of mine, Vince Ballentine, I placed an order for a mock up. After that I started reading as much I as I could find about the industry and kept taking step after step. I continue to take step after step. 

How do you select the artists that you engage to feature their work?

It starts with the work. I am attracted to colors, the brighter the better, second the content of the piece. We always want images that highlight the best of people. Since the puzzle industry lacks diversity the images that I select embody people of diverse backgrounds but in a way that is uplifting. That is very important to us. So many people have said of our images, “That looks like my… [insert loved one]” and we want those images to evoke pride, hope, and love. The artists have to trust us with their work, and from their the relationship is established, but the work is how it starts.

What does success look like for your company?

We want to be Worldwide. We want out artists to have opportunities to share their work with people around the world. We want to have artists from every continent to share the beauty of their culture and share their stories through art in the form of puzzles. As we grow to touching all the parts of the world we want to expand our customer base through partnerships with  more galleries, museums, boutiques and bookstores. We are currently in 25 locations, and are looking to more than double that in the next year. Also, for 2024 we have a goal of getting into 10 midsize and big box retailers, including Barnes and Noble, Target, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Z Gallery, Urban Outfitters, Anthropology, and FOA Swartz. We are very intentional about how we grow, but ultimately we want Dope Pieces to be a global brand.

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Kris Hale is the founder of Dope Pieces Puzzle Company, a brand that celebrates and affirms diversity through art and puzzles. She has been an avid puzzler since she was five years old, with many friends and relatives sharing in her love for this pastime. However, there was always one issue – finding images that reflected diverse experiences and cultures proved to be quite difficult.

As Kris continued working on puzzles, her love for art grew. While appreciating all forms of art around her, it became apparent that there was very little representations or inclusion within the puzzle industry despite consumers spending millions each year. Based on this realization she decided to use puzzles as a vehicle to connect artists that needed more visibility for their work to the puzzling community who craved more representative puzzles, thus Dope Pieces Puzzle Company was born.

 Hale hopes the company will play an integral role in the New Black Renaissance that is being driven by an intentional cultural shift. A shift that is steeped in economic empowerment through conscious consumerism, and driven by a new mandate that says, “We will be visible and will support brands that affirm and feature our full existence.”

 The mission for Dope Pieces Puzzle Company is to produce puzzles that are visually stimulating, unique, beautiful, and culturally inclusive.  We will showcase the work of talented Artists of Color that positively represent the Black and Brown diaspora.