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  • Writer's pictureJim Bessman

New puzzle maker Jiggy displays 'curated art' by female artists at NY NOW


Jiggy's Kaylin Marcotte at NY NOW

“Puzzles worth framing” is the motto at Jiggy, a new jigsaw puzzle maker that strutted its stuff at last week’s winter 2020 NY NOW home/lifestyle/handmade/gift market trade show at New York’s Javits Center.

And sure enough, the Brooklyn-based female-founded company’s initial six-puzzle release of art by emerging female artists offers everything needed for framing the finished puzzle but the frame itself--and founder Kaylin Marcotte said she’s working on delivering that as well.

Meanwhile, she’s already hit on a novel means of merchandising her wares-- “sustainable and elevated packaging,” she calls it. Indeed, her puzzles come in glass cannisters, packaged together with “specially formulated” puzzle glue and a die-cut metal glue spreader.

“I had to figure out how to spread the glue!” said Marcotte at her NY NOW exhibitor’s booth. “I tried a brush, but it left brush strokes. I tried a paint roller, but that didn’t work. Then I watched some YouTube videos and saw people using a spreader.”

So to save Jiggy purchasers their own YouTube search time, she offers a QR code with each puzzle that leads them to gluing instructions.

As for the puzzles themselves, she currently has three 800-piece and three 450-piece titles--“art in 450 pieces” being another motto. Namely, they’re Bathing With Flowers, by Alja Horvat; BerlinMagalog, by Diana Ejaita; Theater District, by Susan Lerner; The Astronaut, by Emma Repp; Flamingo Playground, by Karen Lynch; and the relatively racy Boobs, by Julia Heffernan.

“It’s curated art from female artists,” she said. “I went to art fairs and Instagram, and licensed their work. Then I reimagined the packaging and made them giftable: You can hang them on the wall as art when finished and glued, or take them apart and put the pieces back in the canister and keep them out like home decor items.”

Jiggy is only four months old, but Marcotte started planning for it five years ago.

“I was working around the clock at an early startup and fell in love with jigsaw puzzles as my nightly meditation,” she recalled. “I had so much stress and burnout, and puzzles helped me get away from technology. I was doing one a week, but the designs were all cheesy and outdated--cottages and horses and stock photography. And i was accumulating a closet full of of cardboard boxes! So I started thinking about a puzzle that would become art, that you might display, that would be beautiful for both doing and decorating, that would look good before, during and after completion.”

Marcotte also wanted to highlight the work of amazing female artists, and devoted a year to curating the art and reimagining the packaging. As she states on the Jiggy website, “We believe that most things in life can be approached one piece at a time, [that] a little delayed gratification never hurt anyone, [and that] it's important to appreciate the smallest details, and to remind yourself of the bigger picture.”



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