Written by The Strategy
It’s time for the world to realize that the future is female. There are so many female entrepreneurs who inspire us and we wanted to know more about how they got their companies off the ground. Welcome to our series: The Future Is Female, where we sit down with inspiring female entrepreneurs and get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of how their companies operate.
It’s almost a guarantee that in the last year or so, you’ve come across a JIGGY puzzle. As we’ve learned to stay home and entertain ourselves, the likes of puzzles and boardgames have had a massive resurgence, and JIGGY puzzles have been an aesthetically pleasing addition to the market. We at TS have turned to JIGGY puzzles quite often since the pandemic hit. The women-run company was founded by Kaylin Marcotte, who also operates as the company CEO. After working as the Director of Marketing and Community at theSkimm, Kaylin launched JIGGY in November of 2019. Partnering with female artists, JIGGY has a wide assortment of puzzles, plus they recently created a new monthly membership for puzzle lovers who want to take their ritual to the next level each month.
What made you start JIGGY?
I first had the idea for JIGGY during my time at theSkimm. I’d go home each night and pick up a puzzle as a way to relax and rewind, and it soon became my nightly meditation. I was doing a puzzle almost every week, but thought all the designs were so outdated and uninspired. I started dreaming about a puzzle that not only looked great as I was putting it together, but could also serve as home decor after it was completed – that’s when it clicked and the idea of JIGGY was born.
To create these modern, beautiful puzzle designs, I decided to tap some of the female artists that I admired. Since the beginning, our puzzles have featured art from female artists from around the world with a percentage of each sale going back directly to the artist. Each JIGGY also comes with simple tools to preserve your masterpiece long after the last piece is in place.
JIGGY launched a couple of months before the outbreak of COVID-19 and come mid-March, we saw sales explode and I think that was due in large part to the emotional uncertainty of the times and the therapeutic nature of putting something together one piece at a time.
How did you come up with the name?
I wanted something that reflected the brand’s modern and playful approach to a time honoured pastime. I spent a lot of time brainstorming and asking for feedback on potential names, and finally JIGGY popped out while I was on a walk in the West Village. I loved that it connected back to the classic ‘jigsaw’ but showed our fresh personality.
What was the biggest struggle or hurdle?
My background was in media and marketing, so when I initially started JIGGY, I had no clue how hard it would be to find a reliable manufacturer that would make the type of high-quality product I envisioned. Finding the right factory and navigating the world of logistics and vendors was tough and we had a number of supply issues given the craziness of the time, but after a lot of research, time and sleepless nights, we have it down now!
What inspires the JIGGY brand?
Reintroducing puzzles to a whole new generation has been such a fun, fulfilling experience. Puzzles bring me so much joy and relaxation – I’m excited to pass that on to people who might have written off puzzles as boring or lame.
It goes without saying that the female artists who create the beautiful works of art on our puzzles are one of the biggest inspirations for me. When we first launched, it was a scary time for everyone, including artists, so having the ability to play an active role in providing a source of income for these women meant the world to me.
I also am so humbled that JIGGY helped so many find some source of comfort and joy during the initial stages of quarantine – specifically to those who were isolated. I have received such beautiful feedback from some of our customers who have said that JIGGY helped them to not feel so alone.
Has there been a moment when you’ve realized you were making it?
Whenever people say they’re already familiar with the brand or heard about it from someone that’s not me or my mom (haha), I still pinch myself. Last holiday season, launching nationwide with Anthropologie was a huge moment and seeing my year-old company on shelves across the country was so special.
Do you have any advice for young entrepreneurs?
Stay nimble! If the past year has taught me anything, it’s that the ability to adapt and act quickly is instrumental, especially for new businesses.
Dive in! If you have an idea, you won’t know if there’s an appetite for it until you put it out there to the world. There’s never going to be the perfect time to start a business; start with what you have and see if there’s traction.
Don’t try to do it all. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, and while we wish we could do it all ourselves, it’s physically impossible. Find the best people to do the things that aren’t your strong suit and focus on the parts that you excel at.