Meet Kaylin Marcotte, the Female Entrepreneur Who Just Might Save Us All From Boredom
Mar 31, 2020
Yes, March is Women’s History Month but we like to highlight the women making Brooklyn history year-round! Today, we’re excited to introduce you to Kaylin Marcotte, founder of JIGGY. Frankly, we couldn’t think of a better time to introduce you to a puzzle maker with a unique approach to the humble jigsaw puzzle.
What sets it apart? A lot, according to Kaylin. For starters, it’s female-founded and features art by emerging female artists as its puzzles. But the differences go deeper to include sustainable and elevated packaging and even specially formulated puzzle glue. As she describes it, the “puzzles are art—in pieces.”
Once they’re completed, they’re even suitable for framing.
We wanted to find out a bit more about her work, so we asked her about her vision, challenges, and how to get that cash to fuel your dream idea.
RC: Tell us a little about your background and why you feel a connection to your work.
KM: 5 years ago, I was working 24/7 as the first employee at theSkimm and started doing jigsaw puzzles as my meditation and nightly unwind, but the designs were so outdated (and frankly lame!). Conceived as a way to elevate the classic jigsaw, 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.
RC: What community do you identify as being part of?
KM:I’m a first-time, solo, bootstrapping founder so I can share a lot of the ups and downs of doing it all 🙂 I’m based in Brooklyn and have been involved in the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce young creatives group, as well as made our first wholesale orders to local boutiques. One of our debut collection artists in Brooklyn based and I”m committed to featuring the work of more local female artists.
RC: What advice would you give to young women who want to start a small business?
KM: Just do it! Ask for help, tap into your network, or reach out to those you admire and just push through. Start where you are and with what you can, whether it’s a side hustle or proof of concept, start getting feedback and get something out into the market. The only difference between having an idea and starting a business is just freaking doing it.
RC: What woman inspires you and why?
KM: So many! I love hearing the story of Spanx and following Sara Blakely’s journey and support of other female founders. She’s real, authentic, creative and scrappy.
RC: What do you think are the most significant challenges for women business owners or women in leadership positions?
KM:I think access to capital is a huge one but it’s encouraging to see the numbers changing and dedicated platforms like IFundWomen, The Helm, Female Founders Fund, etc. Another thing that I’ve seen take more of women’s headspace and energy than men’s is communication and leadership styles and even having to think about coming off as bossy, unlikeable or aggressive.
RC: Being a small business owner means relying on your community to support you and getting involved within your community as well. In what ways do you feel supported and actively engage with your neighborhood of residents and other business owners?
KM: I’ve loved collaborating with fellow business owners in my neighborhood (there are a ton I meet at the coffee shop and co-working space I work from), as mentioned I’ve sold to local retail as well. My local mail drop basically helped me launch and fulfill orders from my apartment for the first few months (they’d hold the UPS pickup man while I ran with another batch of boxes, haha) and have hosted puzzle parties at local spots.
RC:How do you motivate yourself and stay motivated?
KM:I get so much motivation from watching customers engage with our product and seeing the difference we’re making for them and for the female artists we support. But I also think balance is important and I stay motivated by starting my day mindfully, taking time for myself and to invest in myself and my relationships.