The Puzzle Piece

1579 Rays Bridge Rd * Whispering Pines NC * 28327 * 910-688-7119           Mon - Fri 9am - 5pm * Sat 9am - 4pm

The Puzzle Piece name honors our son and all others on the autism spectrum. Autism is represented by a puzzle piece defining the complexity of this brain disorder.

“Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors.” (Autism Society NC)

My name is Chris and my husband's name is Brian. We have 3 very cool kids. We are both Army Veterans with a combined 35 years of service to our country and community. Both of us come from a very long line of military service dating back to the Spanish American War. Our oldest daughter is continuing to carry that service as a Sergeant in the Virginia National Guard. While the Army brought us to Moore County 15 years ago, it's the community that keeps us here to raise our family and set deep roots for our future.

The Puzzle Piece started because of a dream.

I know that sounds cliche and everyone says that but mine was an actual middle of the night dream that planted the idea in my head.

Our goal for the future is to be able to employ individuals with special needs. The unemployment rate for those with special needs is very high and we hope we can help in some capacity. Currently The Puzzle Piece participates in the vocational program for the Special Needs students at Union Pines High School where once a week, during the school year students come and work in the shop. We are honored and excited to be a part of this program.

We live with autism every day and have met many families like ours through the shop. We are happy to be here to provide support and conversation any time. You’ll find that we are dedicated to educating our community about autism; the myths, the facts and the fun! Because so much of what we do is wrapped in our son’s needs, we can talk autism all day and look forward to every opportunity to do so.

​So come in, grab a free cup of coffee or tea, shop a little and chat a lot!
We love what we do and we can’t wait to meet you!​

The name comes from a close friend. We asked all our friends and family for store name suggestions and everyone came up with really great and creative names. However when we heard Puzzle Piece I knew that was the right one. Ironically the name was suggested by our son's former Elementary School Special Needs teacher, Charity who now owns her own really cool store BougieRedneck located in West End. Check out her Facebook page here

The shop was once our home. 

We lived here for a few years until plans for a shopping center moved us. 
The overall plan fell through so we took advantage of the circumstance and opened a store. 

The dream came to me while Brian was halfway trough his  final deployment. A few months later he returned and we started planning right away. 

We opened our doors December 2011 and have been running ever since!

Here's to 8 fabulous years as a Moore County Veteran Owned business. 

How it all started