Before founding Jiggy, the New York-based puzzle brand that creates framed puzzles, Kaylin Marcotte worked at theSkimm and made puzzles as a way to relieve stress. But while puzzle solving helped Marcotte relax in a way that yoga and meditation didn’t, the art of puzzles didn’t resonate with her. It was still outdated and Marcotte wanted something different, modern and beautiful to look at.
The brand’s products, available for purchase at Bloomingdales and on Jiggy’s website, use work by emerging female artists and come with puzzle glue so completed puzzles can be framed. To learn more about Jiggy, we spoke with Kaylin Marcotte about her products, the brand’s history, and what she’s up to next.
Kaylin Marcotte: I used to do puzzles all the time but they were a bit cheesy and outdated. The moment I thought “I’m going to do something about this”, I was in the 10th hour of doing this 1000 piece puzzle and I thought to myself, “How different would this experience be if I liked the image and what if it was a beautiful design that I couldn’t wait to immerse myself in?” Once I started thinking about modernizing it, I thought to myself, “In what way would I I do this? Where can I source these designs from?” My mother had founded a non-profit arts organization when I was a child, so I was always surrounded by the artistic community and I seen how difficult it was to monetize his work. So it’s like, wait a second, instead of just going out and curating better stock photography, why not use the work and support these artists by giving them a way to monetize?
What do you think sets your brand and products apart from similar products on the market?
KM: What really resonated was definitely the presentation – the aesthetics, the packaging. The look and feel of the product is something that people don’t necessarily expect to see in a puzzle. We really wanted to be more of an experience – not just a box you throw in the game closet, but a product you love to have in your home to give away.
KM: Doing it all myself, self-funded, in the midst of the circumstances we found ourselves in, is something I’m very proud of. And then, of course, we handed out tens of thousands of dollars to the artists we work with. Many of them quit full-time jobs and immersed themselves in the effort to support themselves, so they could give back to this community. Our favorite checks to write are those that go to the artist.
What three words would you use to describe your brand and why?
KM: Playful, artistic and useful. Determined because we want that intention to be sitting down with a puzzle. I usually have an audiobook or music and tea and wine, it’s a ritual that I’m very intentional and determined to include in my life for my well-being. Artsy because sometimes the art world can feel exclusive or inaccessible and we really want to present art in a way that is fun, engaging and interactive and then playful for those reasons as well.
Can you tell us a bit about your best-selling products?
KM: For the holidays, we actually have a few all-time bestsellers. One is called “The Eve” and it’s a living room scene with a Cavalier King Charles dog sleeping on the couch and a Christmas tree and cookies for Santa laid out, then another called “Snow Cabin” which is an A-frame cabin in the woods with snow falling.
Do you have a personal favourite? And which ones do you recommend the most to your family and friends?
KM: “Bathing with Flowers” is the title of the design. It was one of our first, it was one of the all time bestsellers and was part of the first collection, so that one is a soft spot for me. Some that are great for gifts are the “Flamingo Playground”, which is a fun and surreal scene of flamingos on the beach; “Theater District” is a collage and so it’s really fun to do because there are a lot of layers; and one of the new ones that I love is called “Cali Views”.
KM: We have a lot of interest in wholesalers and retailers, so we are starting to do more. We previously launched exclusively with Anthropologie and we did a collection of exclusive custom designs for them, so now we’ve expanded and we’ll be stocking at Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, Macy’s, Paper Source at Barnes and Noble, so doing more retail and basically what excites me.
My family and I worked together to solve this beautiful 800 piece puzzle. Since I already knew that I would frame this puzzle once completed, the pretty glass jar that holds the pieces was reused. The art of the puzzle, which is the work of Olivia Wendel, is just as beautiful in person as I thought it would be and it was super satisfying to glue the pieces together so they could be framed. The included tube of puzzle glue and straight edge tool made the framing process a breeze. Although I was a little disappointed to see that some of the pieces were lifting on the front and back, the end result is a really nice piece of art and I already have my eye on a future puzzle potential.
This beautiful 800 piece puzzle was part of a special release in commemoration of Juneteenth, with design by Halimah Smith.
This 450 piece jigsaw puzzle features pretty bouquets of flowers and is part of Jiggy’s Summer 2021 collection. The artist behind the design is Ana Hard.
Perfect for dog lovers, this colorful, editor-favorite 800-piece jigsaw puzzle with artwork by Alja Horvat was part of Jiggy’s Summer 2020 collection.
If you’re looking for a gift for kids, look no further than this vibrant 100-piece jigsaw puzzle featuring a tropical design by artist Erin K. Robinson.
Available in three different colors and two different sizes, this frame can be purchased with or without a mat and is designed to fit Jiggy’s 450 and 800 piece puzzles.