Ordinary Habit, founded by mother-daughter duo Theresa and Echo Hopkins, was started to create artful, functional products and landed on puzzles. It makes perfect sense to me: Every year on New Year’s Eve, my mom and I watch the Twilight Zone marathon on the Syfy channel, and do a puzzle. It’s just something we’ve always done, and when I think about puzzles, it’s usually moments from then that come to mind.
When it came to choosing a product that embodied their mission of creating tools that are playful, beautiful, everyday tools that serve as a reminder to slow down, puzzles are just the tip of the iceberg.
While Ordinary Habit does carry a matching card game and new guided mindfulness notebooks, their signature is definitely their line of puzzles. “In each piece we choose, we look for a theme of calm and serenity,” says Echo. “Some of our artwork is a bit more abstract, and the subjects vary from landscapes to indoor tablescapes, and everything in between, but with each collection we try to make sure it feels cohesive, whether that’s a theme, or a color palette.”
Each puzzle is designed in collaboration with an artist, and then sustainably produced using recycled materials in Poland with FSC certified cardstock. Despite the rotating artists, there’s a level of stylistic cohesion that makes each new puzzle they release still quintessentially Ordinary Habit. More than just a visual aesthetic, each of their pieces are held together by that same feeling of serenity.
The gentle, peaceful nature of their designs really lends to their purpose of using puzzles as a way to mix play with the idea of slowing down. Puzzles take time. It’s not something you tend to do in a rush, and it usually doesn’t even have a timeframe. Ordinary Habit’s greatness lies in pairing peaceful visuals with a classic pastime for an everyday wellbeing tool that takes the form of a tactile meditation.
Echo explains that when drumming up the concept for the company, she “wanted to share the beauty of taking time throughout your day to clear your mind in tactile ways. Whether that’s doing a puzzle, writing in a journal, or playing with our memory cards, we want to help everyone remember that taking your time, and creating a routine and space to play, can be an ‘ordinary habit’ that can help immensely.”
Their puzzles come in larger 500 & 1000 piece sizes, as well as 100 piece mini-puzzles. The larger ones are perfect to do with a pal or on a nice, rainy do-nothing kind of day, the 100 piece puzzles are the perfect bite-sized version with just as much whimsy and delight, but a little less of a time commitment.