Growing up in a rural townland in the west of Ireland, I had few distractions and plenty of opportunities for my imagination to run wild.
I created my first treasure hunt for my younger sister's birthday party. I think she was turning seven at the time. Some clues made no sense, and I can't remember having actual Treasure at the end, but it was a lot of fun. Years later, I started making treasure hunts again, this time for my own children and then one day, it dawned on me that I could make these clues generic and sell them as printable PDFs on Etsy.com.
In 2014, I opened my Etsy shop, TreasureHuntClues, and sold some Christmas Themed Treasure Hunt Clue sets. I didn't make much profit by 'this is a real job' standards, but that didn't matter because the feedback was phenomenal. People liked them, and I was encouraged.
Over the next few years, I continued to create more Treasure Hunt PDF Printables and sales and good reviews continued to rise, but over time I started to feel a bit stagnant. There's only so much diversity you can inject into Treasure Hunts that had to fit every home or backyard. I wanted people of every budget to have the opportunity to enjoy them, and keeping the cost per set down was essential to me. I also did not want to take on the task of creating bespoke Treasure Hunts for every customer that wanted them - I would get bored of that very quickly. I needed an automated process, but I couldn't see a way of doing that on my budget.
Then I discovered Corjl.com, the answer to the issue I was facing. Corjl.com allows me to make my games available to customers in a way that gives them options. It enables them to change and personalise the original clues to exactly fit their needs. Corjl.com also gives me the ability to create customizable Treasure Maps, an idea that had been floating around in my head for years, but I couldn't see a straightforward way to do it the way I wanted to.
Etsy had been good for me, but January 2020 was the time to get better and go bigger, and OpenChests.com was born. It took a bit of trial and error, but by October 2021, I had a winning formula and knew what types of puzzles were user-friendly for customers to edit while still holding enough challenge for players to stay engaged.
Now I'm working on more themed sets of clues and a really difficult Treasure Hunt too. I'm also trying to let people know OpenChests.com exists, so please help out if you can by sharing on your socials or directly with friends who might be interested.
Thanks for reading,