DFW Startup Launches Kickstarter for Puzzles Highlighting the Work of Black Artists

The puzzle company is currently fundraising through Kickstarter. Although it's already halfway to its goal, the project will only be funded if it reaches $4,200 by Oct. 5.

DFW-based Pieces of Us by Us is highlighting the culture of the Black community by bringing cultural fine art and puzzles together.

Pieces of Us by Us is currently fundraising through Kickstarter to support the company and bring a focus to the stories of the Black community. With three designs already constructed, Risby hopes to expand her products to include a wide range of mediums in paint, digital, sculptural and more, according to a statement.

As of the afternoon of Sept. 28, the Kickstarter has raised $2,302 of its $4,200 goal. If the goal isn’t reached by Oct. 5, the project won’t be funded, according to Kickstarter.

[Photos courtesy Pieces of Us by Us]

MiChelle Risby had a fascination for putting puzzles together at an early age. Now, Risby finds herself sitting at home with her own family constructing puzzles in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The disassembled pieces of artwork helped Risby and her family unplug from the digital world and create a new one on their table.

Something, however, was absent from the picture—and it wasn’t a missing puzzle piece. Risby noticed that these puzzles were not culturally relevant to her and her family, and the scenes pictured lacked diversity.

“Our stories are vital but often not prioritized,” said owner and founder MiChelle Risby via email. “The primary goal of my company is to bring focus to our stories in a format that I love, puzzles!”

Risby, a software developer and web designer, decided that she could create puzzles that told a larger story. A story that could highlight Black culture and a space where Black artists could share a piece of themselves through their art, according to a statement.

“The author and poet Toni Morrison said, ‘If there is a book that you want to read, but hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it.’ So, Pieces of Us by Us was born,” Risby said in a statement.

Now, Risby is partnering with artists who share her passion for fine cultural art and prioritizing the stories of Black artists. Through these partnerships, Risby is able to create contemporary puzzles that also provide an interactive activity for families to participate in. 

For more information on the Pieces of Us by Us Kickstarter, go here.

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