Behind Her Empire: JIGGY Founder Kaylin Marcotte on Scaling a Hobby to a Startup

Yasmin Nouri

Yasmin is the host of the "Behind Her Empire" podcast, focused on highlighting self-made women leaders and entrepreneurs and how they tackle their career, money, family and life.

Each episode covers their unique hero's journey and what it really takes to build an empire with key lessons learned along the way. The goal of the series is to empower you to see what's possible & inspire you to create financial freedom in your own life.

Behind Her Empire: JIGGY Founder Kaylin Marcotte on Scaling a Hobby to a Startup
Photo courtesy JIGGY

It started out as a way to relax after work.

On the episode of Behind Her Empire, JIGGY founder and CEO Kaylin Marcotte talks about how she turned her fascination with jigsaw puzzles into a thriving business.

Marcotte worked at the digital media company theSkimm, managing their brand ambassador program and grassroots marketing divisions, among other areas. The workload was overwhelming, she said. She looked for something meditative to relax her after work and stumbled onto jigsaw puzzles. Completing one helped reduce stress.

But the designs weren't great. Instead, she started experimenting with making puzzles of female artists' work, creating JIGGY in 2019.

"Given that they were real pieces of art, we decided to include puzzle glue so you could keep it when you were done and frame it or display it as an art print," said Marcotte.

Marcotte landed an appearance on ABC'S "Shark Tank," where she raised $500,000 from billionaire Mark Cuban. She grew the startup to $1.6 million in sales within its first nine months, making a point to pay her artists -- who get a share of the revenue of their puzzles -- on time.

"We work with our artists. It's baked into the business model that we do percentage of sales," she said.

Click the playhead above to hear the rest of the episode, in which Marcotte offers some lessons she learned building her company and how she navigated the pandemic.

dot.LA Audience Engagement Intern Joshua Letona contributed to this post.

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