Kaylin Marcotte of JIGGY: The Puzzle Startup Empowering Female Artists

Summary of Episode

#10: Kaylin Marcotte joins Annaka and Ethan to share her story founding JIGGY, a jigsaw puzzle company that collaborates with artists to transform a fun pastime into a decorative work of art. Kaylin touches on her experience creating a product from scratch, imposter syndrome, and leveraging media outlets to grow a community around her brand.

Kaylin Marcotte is the founder and CEO of JIGGY, a company at the intersection of jigsaw puzzles and artwork. While working as the first employee at theSkimm, a digital media company focused on bringing information to audiences in bite-size pieces, Kaylin discovered a passion for Jigsaw puzzles. She later combined her startup experience with her love of jigsaw puzzles to create JIGGY. JIGGY’s designs highlight the work of female artists, and their puzzles can be found in various retailers across the country.

Full Episode Transcript

Podcast Episode Notes

“What would it look like if I made my dream puzzle?” How Kaylin began turning artwork into puzzle designs [0:20]

Initial hurdles and learning how to navigate the supply chain, manufacturing, and customer service [4:30]

Using the product’s packaging to make puzzles a premium lifestyle product [8:42]

Leading with community — how JIGGY tapped into the art community and began to build partnerships that support artists [12:17]

Using your network to learn industry norms and scrap together a plan that works [17:04]

Media training 101: Crafting JIGGY’s narrative and preparing to pitch on Shark Tank [19:40]

Not all money is created equal. The partnerships you form can greatly impact your business’s future [25:48]

Finding a personal connection with your business’s mission and product [28:32]

Kaylin’s approach to work-life balance — focus on doing one thing well at a time rather than trying to stay balanced at all times [33:44]

Time audits can be a great tool for finding ways to intentionally use your time and work with your own strengths [39:02]

Sharing your business’s story and resonating with audiences is an important step for growing your brand [48:44]

Using both retail and direct-to-consumer models in order to best position JIGGY for consumers [51:26]

The process of going from no retail partners to landing a partnership with Anthropologie [54:45]

Leveraging social media to build community, receive feedback, evolve your brand, and generate buzz prior to launch [58:36]

One of the hardest things about being a founder is dealing with issues that are out of your control [1:05:43]

Pivoting a business model during COVID, how JIGGY created a product when supply chain problems left them without an inventory [1:10:21]

Everyone is winging it — if you are not afraid are you learning new things? [1:15:15]

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