Jiggy has been a fascinating brand to watch because of how they've taken a product that younger consumers view as boring, and actually making it fun and engaging.
Jiggy is a female-founded business, run by Kaylin Marcotte, who has been featured on publications like Forbes, Entrepreneur, Goop, and even Shark Tank where she walked away with an investment from Mark Cuban!
Today we chat with the Kaylin about her journey to building Jiggy, making puzzles cool again, and her ambitions for the future.
Tell us about your background and journey to being a founder.
5 years ago, I was working 24/7 as the first employee at theSkimm and started doing jigsaw puzzles as my nightly meditation. I fell in love with them and was completing a puzzle every week, but found the designs to be outdated and uninspiring!
I began dreaming up a new kind of puzzle: an elevated, modern take on the classic jigsaw and supporting emerging artists at the same time. I started going to art fairs and shows in NYC and curating art from female artists that would make for a great puzzle experience - which is why each box comes with puzzle glue and a straight edge - so it can look good on the wall after it's complete!
JIGGY features art by female artists around the world (who get a percentage of every sale), chic packaging, and puzzle glue to preserve your masterpiece for framing. I'm a first-time, solo, bootstrapping founder so can share a LOT of the ups and downs of doing it all!
Puzzles are traditionally... homely, like something your grandma would make you do during the holidays. How have you managed to build a multi-million dollar business out of puzzles?
Well grandma definitely was on to something :) because there are studies connecting puzzles to improved memory, sleep, mental health, and decreased chances of dementia and Alzheimer's. I took a fresh spin on a timeless classic and approached it with an important mission and a modern look. I wanted to take all the benefits and elevate them, and it's been really special to build a community of customers and of artists who can't get enough of artsy puzzles!
Why do you think puzzles are resonating more for us culturally right now?
In today's overstimulated, tech-fatigue world, people are looking for a way to spend their downtime more mindfully. After full days on screens, puzzles allow for the chance to unplug and unwind in an analog way that's relaxing - and rewarding as you see the progress of it coming together. I think in many ways, the pandemic made people question what's really important and what their priorities are - quality time with loved ones, meditative and regenerative time alone, and puzzles can be a perfect way to do both!
What's been your approach to making puzzles that people "actually want to solve"?
We want puzzles to be an experience, not just an activity. So it starts with the presentation and packaging, then the art itself and feeling connected to the artist and every detail of the design. Finally, our puzzle glue allows for those hours putting it together to be rewarded with new wall art :)
One of the coolest parts about your puzzles is that a portion of the revenue goes towards female artists. What prompted that and what does it mean to you?
It's one of my favorite parts of running JIGGY, I get to always have my eyes out for talented new artists - fairs, shows, galleries. I grew up in LA and my mom founded an arts education non-profit when I was a kid so I was always surrounded by the artist community and saw how hard it can be to make a living off their work. I wanted to bring together my passion for puzzles and art, and create an opportunity for independent working artists to monetize their work, and to allow for many more people to access their art in a new, engaging way.
It's clear you have ambitions for Jiggy. What's next for the business?
I've been so energized by our new product launch this year and some amazing upcoming partnerships. We released frame pairings to get your completed masterpiece on the wall, JIGGY Junior to bring puzzle joy to kiddos, and retail partnerships with Bloomingdales, Macys and Nordstrom.
We've been working with more and more corporate partners to bring their brands to life and surprise and delight VIPs, employees, clients and event guests. It's such a special way to let people take your brand home with them, and I love making our partners' puzzle dreams come true!