Happy Holidays, friends! It’s our favorite time of year and we’re filled with joy as we share our best-selling gifts and holiday decor for your loved ones (and yourself!). Reprising her role as our holiday campaign photographer is dear friend, Alistair Matthews, who willingly agreed to be crowned our November VIF and spill her cute guts in this interview.
We were lucky to catch up with the jigsaw puzzle CEO in between an exciting new collection launch (series 3!) about teeny, tiny miniatures, what it’s really like to own a puzzle company, and what she often falls asleep watching. Read on for more insider info about our favorite prop librarian and finally get a chance to shop like Alistair here with her must-have picks!
22 Questions with Alistair Matthews
Currently living here:
Brooklyn, NYBut really wish you were here:
Floating down a lazy river.I am/ I make:
I’m a photographer specializing in table top/still life, who recently started the world’s cutest jigsaw puzzle company with one of my bffs!If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Honestly, I think it would be a burrito bowl lol. So versatile. Can be healthy or indulgent. Maybe a little spicy?Fashion/Accessory trend you’re crushing on rn?
I started wearing hair claws for the first time (!) and feel like a 90’s mom, which I love. That paired with my oversized denim button-up is really hitting the spot lately.
Most beloved home decor item [vase, tzotchke, lamp, print, coffee table book] you own - any story behind this object?
Wow so tough because there are so many, but one that stands out immediately in my mind is my Michael Bliss Tulip floor lamp. I already had the table lamp size but always wanted the big boy so when I saw it listed on eBay I figured it would go for like, $2k which is what I’ve seen them listed at on 1st Dibs. I thought I didn’t stand a chance, but it was the last day of the auction, and no one had bid!! So I put a sniper bid on it for like $600 and ended up getting it for $250!! It was the best!Who or what is an influential figure or major inspiration in your life? How about in your work?
My mom is a huge inspiration for me, even more so since starting a business. She was the ultimate 90’s HBIC for her company, Boppy. It’s actually really crazy to come full circle and be doing something similar to what she was doing when she was my age. She set that absolute best president for what an amazing boss looks like and I am forever grateful for that. Artistically some of my biggest inspo’s are Irving Penn, Walter Wick (OG iSpy photographer), Urs Fischer and weird vintage product photography just to name a few.
3 essentials you just. cannot. live. without.:
Weed pen, cell phone, puzzles.
Reading anything especially thrilling right now?
Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde! One of my bff’s is a teacher and she gave me the book as a gift and will periodically assign me chapters to reread when I complain to her about my life lol. Everyone needs someone like her.
What are your go-to comfort TV Series or Movies you can always count on?
I have terrible taste in TV and movies. I’m ashamed to admit it but I basically fall asleep to Snapped every night like a psycho! Recently I heard that falling asleep to Snapped is a thing so I’m admitting it here in hopes that someone reading this reaches out to let me know I’m not alone. Other than that I love reality TV, spooky movies, fantasy epics, Marvel and any other trash you might be able to think of ;)
Last instagram account you followed? [Be honest]:
Someone who sent the sweetest DM about how much they loved Le Puzz and my work, so of course I officially now love this person. Instant follow.
When I’m running late!! I also get stressed about social media. Recently I read on Co-Star that our generation has pluto in Scorpio which means we’re self-obsessed and also deeply private and I really feel that.
I discover a vintage puzzle I’d never seen.
Have you always loved puzzles?
I’ve always loved doing puzzles on vacations with family or friends but it didn’t become a super regular thing for me until the pandemic. They’re the best way of working and accomplishing something while chilling and zoning out. Such a nice combination.
Why did you decide to start a puzzle company and can you describe a day in the life of a puzzle company CEO?!
Le Puzz came about so quickly and randomly, but the pieces kept falling into place every step of the way as if they were meant to be. I would have never guessed in a million years that this is what I would be doing but it has just felt so right from the very beginning.
A day in the life of a puzzle CEO?! Well, there are always a million little things to do whether it be responding to emails, paying bills, cleaning QuickBooks, planning social media posts or email blasts, but also the bigger projects that are constantly overlapping like designing new puzzles, ordering and reordering puzzles, reaching out to collaborators, doing photoshoots, etc etc etc…. The list truly goes on and on. Luckily I have the best business partner who handles soooo many things on his own. I truly don’t know what I would do without him. I have a deep respect for people who run businesses on their own because this shit is hard!!Most memorable shoot of all time?? Location? Models?!
I think it would have to be our first big photoshoot for Le Puzz. We found the most insane house in South Brooklyn to shoot in and brought together the cutest cast and crew ever - including Kaguya who i know is another VIF! The vibes at that shoot were so supportive and positive and FUN! It really set the tone for our launch.
What drew you into photography?
I’ve always loved seeing beautiful things and trying to capture them in a photo forever. I remember being about 5 years old and taking a photo of my dad and my brother and my dad loved the photo so much he had it printed and framed and I was so honored. I still remember feeling proud. Definitely nourish and encourage your kids creativity, you never know how much it might impact them!How has professional photography impacted your personal content creation?
Since I do a lot of table top photography I’ve basically built my own little prop library over the years which has now become the subject of my Tiktoks! I had no idea other people liked the same silly junk as me!!Tough question, but pick one - fake food or eeny, tiny miniatures?
Yikessss so tough! I think fake food but I might change my mind in a few hours.
What were you most excited to see come to life in 2023 that you wanna share?
More puzzles! More collaborations! More fun!One piece of advice you would say to 12-year-old Alistair today:
I would say, Google Frozen Moments right now and buy them, buy them alllll!! Lol no but I would also say - you’re so cute and I wish you knew that!
:) :) :)