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Season 4 Episode 4
December 17, 2020

[Step by Step] What Tools Can a Small Brand Use to Automate Customer Engagement?

Kaylin Marcotte, Founder and CEO of JIGGY joins us for Episode 4 of Season 4 of Step by Step. JIGGY is a beautiful, artful, and incredibly intentional eCommerce brand that is making jigsaw puzzles into high art. We ask Kaylin the question, “What tools can a small brand use to automate customer engagement?”

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this episode sponsored by

If you’re like us, you’ve done an insane amount of jigsaw puzzles in your quarantining.

After getting into jigsaw puzzles, Kaylin was tired of staring at stock photos and watercolor scenery and longed to look at beautiful pieces of art while completing puzzles. Thus, the idea for JIGGY was born. Kaylin partners with emerging female artists to create beautiful, artful puzzles for both her customers to enjoy and her artists to make an income. Everything from the puzzle itself, to the packaging, is thoughtfully curated for a totally immersive experience. 

JIGGY launched in November 2019 and it’s almost as if they looked into a crystal ball and knew that the demand would go up in March… 

Previously, Kaylin was the director of Marketing at theSkimm, so you could say she had a bit of experience in building community. She brought that experience into building community around JIGGY:

“I really led with what I knew, which was our story, my story, our artists, their stories. And so starting with the more kind of narrative channels being email and set up on Omnisend made it easy to just set up.” 


  • JIGGY has seen great success in helping develop analog experiences for individuals.
  • Kaylin began building community through storytelling, email marketing with Omnisend and leveraging partnerships with artists to gain affiliate traction. 
  • Respect the inbox. When JIGGY sends out an email, it’s because they have something of value to share.
  • Pay attention to your customer and what they’re interested in.
  • Kaylin walks through some easy first steps in automating your community engagement.
  • How JIGGY is an authentically missional, community-driven brand.


“I don't need to send an email for the sake of it. I'm going to send an email when we have something to say or something to share that I feel would actually be valuable for our community. And just "Respect the inbox," I think is my overall philosophy on email. And being that it is me still writing them, it is very personal and we do send them.”
“We did a customer survey recently, and about half of our customers had never bought a jigsaw puzzle before JIGGY. So we really are reaching this new audience who's curious and interested. But puzzles weren't a part of their lives before, or just art fans and they want to support female artists and think it's cool to kind of have a hand in constructing it and putting it together.”

Learn more about Kaylin and JIGGY on their website, Instagram, or Twitter.

Connect with us at, or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn.

Have any questions or comments about the show? You can reach out to us at or any of our social channels; we love hearing from our listeners!

Phillip: [00:00:16] Hello and welcome to Step by Step, apodcast by Future Commerce, presented by Omnisend. This is Season Four of Stepby Step, and you are listening to Episode Four of four. So if you're justjoining us at the very end, I suggest you should go back and listen from thevery beginning, because Step by Step is best enjoyed contiguously. You shouldenjoy it start to finish. Go back and listen from the very beginning. Hey, youknow, it is tough right now. It's tough for all of us. It is tough in direct toconsumer. How do you compete with the bigger brands? They can outspend you fromMonday to Friday. They can run circles around you in every single channel. Isit even possible to stand toe to toe with big, global and national brands? Itis. And you can do that with automation. You can be in every channel, and youcan convert in every channel and activate customers in every channel and makethem into loyal customers that are evangelists of your brand. We're going toteach you how. If you are an independent retailer, if you're a startup ineCommerce, if you're in direct to consumer, or even if you've built abootstrapped eCommerce business, and you have no intent to exit that business,this series is for you. This is Part Four of four. And we're sitting down withfounders of small and medium sized eCommerce startups to help you craft theultimate multichannel customer journey. You're going to leverage automation,and you're going to take that marketing of yours to the next level. We're goingto teach you how. We're going to take you from zero to hero, Step by Step.Joining us today on the show is Kaylin Marcotte. Kaylin is the Founder ofJiggy, a beautiful, artful, and incredibly intentional eCommerce brand that ismaking jigsaw puzzles into high art. We're going to ask the question, whattools can a small brand use to automate customer engagement? And Kaylin isgoing to take us from zero to hero Step by Step. Let's join Kaylin for anamazing interview.

Phillip: [00:02:21] We are continuing our series here, theStep by Step mini series. And we are so glad to be joined today with theFounder and CEO at Jiggy. And I would be remiss if I didn't say we're going toget jiggy with it. Showing my age here. Kaylin Marcotte, welcome to the show.

Kaylin: [00:02:40] Thank you. Thanks for having me.

Phillip: [00:02:43] And this is this is special for me.I've spent a disproportionate amount of time doing puzzles this year, 2020. Andso I've kind of blown it. What is Jiggy?

Kaylin: [00:02:55] We are a jigsaw puzzle companypartnering with emerging female artists from around the world. We curate theirwork and turn it into puzzles.

Phillip: [00:03:07] Wow.

Brian: [00:03:08] So cool.

Phillip: [00:03:09] What a year to have a puzzle business.

Kaylin: [00:03:12] {laughter} Yeah. You're telling me. Iknow. People are like, "Did you have a crystal ball or something?" Welaunched it last November, so four months in business pre-COVID.

Phillip: [00:03:23] No way. That's really great. And we'reglad to have you on. This particular series is brought to us in partnershipwith Omnisend. And we know you are a customer of Omnisend. In fact, you've beenon Omnisend's podcast with Greg Zakowicz.

Kaylin: [00:03:38] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:03:39] So I think one of the things we'll wantto dive into today is how you are thinking about marketing, and you're brandnew. Your business isn't even a year old.

Kaylin: [00:03:53] {laughter} Yup.

Phillip: [00:03:54] And now you're a thought leader. And soI thought we would kind of start at the top before we get into any of thatstuff. What's the story and what prompted you to start Jiggy?

Kaylin: [00:04:05] Yeah. So my background is more on themedia marketing side of things. This is my first physical product company andfirst time being a founder myself. I was the first employee at the Skimm, so Imajored in political science in college. I was doing management consulting.Then I met the Co-Founders of the Skimm. They were doing a seed round offunding and had launched the newsletter a year prior. And I was just reallyinterested in what they were doing and how millennials were connecting withcurrent events and just thought, I want to be a part of this. So I jumped onboard 2013 and ended up being there for four years. I was responsible for theircommunity marketing. So our brand ambassador program, social, email, events,and in that time, which was an incredible experience, but also all consumingand very stressful and lived and breathed on my phone and computer, I waslooking for a way to just unwind and get away from screens. And it was like2015 headspace. Everyone is talking about meditation is kind of first self careand wellness was really entering the zeitgeist, and I tried meditating. Itdidn't quite land. Tried a couple other DIY things and then somewhat randomlyhad a puzzle in my apartment, had done them as a kid but not in 15 years anddid it and it just clicked. And I found it really relaxing and stressrelieving. I was a chronic multitasker, and there was no way to multitask andfocus on the pieces at the same time. So it really got me away from everythingelse. So I fell in love with puzzles again in 2015 and then was doing basicallya thousand piece puzzle every single week and always stopping at the toy storein the West Village around my apartment and looking for new ones online. Andall the ones I could find were just really outdated and cheesy and stockphotography.

Phillip: [00:06:11] Right.

Kaylin: [00:06:13] Watercolor scenes and landscapes andpuppies and butterflies. And I was just like, I'm spending 15 hours staring atevery detail of this image. Why can't I actually enjoy it? And then once it'sdone, I have this 20 inch print. What if it was actually something I wanted tokeep? So the idea sparked then, the seedling for Jiggy. That was back 2015, andI ended up being with The Skimm through 2017, and it just kept developing. Ikept coming back to it and so ultimately decided to really start working on it.And we launched last year.

Phillip: [00:06:52] Wow.

Brian: [00:06:53] What a story. That's so cool. What aninteresting way to find sort of your jam. Like you tried everything to justsort of disconnect and unplug. Something that we've talked a lot about on the show.And then puzzles are what sort of allows you to have that singular focus. Talka little bit about the connection with female artists and how you decided to gothat route and non-profits. And I mean, you've got some really cool artwork onthe site. How did those partnerships come about?

Kaylin: [00:07:35] Yeah, when I had the idea originally, Istarted a folder in my phone. Just in iPhotos. It was literally just calledPuzzle Art. And any time I was on Instagram or a gallery or show in New York, Ijust kept my eyes open for art. I did take the lens of what would look goodcompleted, but also there has to be enough color and detail and differentiationfor it actually to be fun to do as a puzzle, so I started looking for art thatI thought would be both and screenshooting it and keeping it in this folder.And then when I really started working on Jiggy, I went back through it. Ireached out to the artists. And at the time it was just anything I saw male,female, New York or around country. And then I really decided that I wanted tofocus on female artists for a couple of reasons. One, I went to an all women'scollege. I went to Barnard College in New York, and I had many friends whopursued that path. And I just saw how hard it was to actually monetize yourwork, as talented as you were, kind of the paths to really support yourself andmake a living were just so limited and difficult. And there were all thesegatekeepers. And so that was one reason. And then I also went to the Museum ofFine Arts in Boston around this time, and there was an exhibit on femaleartists in big block letters on the wall they had written, "Can you namefive female artists?" And I was with a whole group of very educatedpeople. And we like, "Of course. Of course." And then you kind ofstood there and I was like, "OK, like Frida and Georgia O'Keeffe..."You know? And so it just really, I think, made clear that there's so muchtalent that still is waiting to have a platform and be discovered. So I wantedto focus there and structured it so that they receive a percentage of everysale. So a couple of reasons. One, that goes into some of the marketing. We'lltalk about wanting to incentivize them to help be on our marketing team andmake sure that they were really getting a piece of the growth. So focused onthat and launched our first collection last November with six designs. So sixdifferent female artists from around the world, different backgrounds. And thatwas our debut collection.

Phillip: [00:10:17] Yeah, well what a story. I think thatthere's, in a world full of sort of the stock imagery and maybe Thomas Kinkade,pastoral sort of puzzles. You're creating... And by the way, what's really,really interesting about this is that it just touches on so many things thatdon't have to be platitudes. Instead of it screaming at the consumer, behavethis way, it's actually just a product that requires you to engage with it in away that actually alters your behavior. And so instead of having to center abusiness around trying to change people's behavior, you're actually creatingnot only something tactile, but something like visually, really sort ofimportant. There are so many layers here. I'm struck by on just in the productphotography, I'm struck by the fact that there is glue that's included. I havethis amazing memory of my grandmother who would put together these very largepuzzles and then glue it together and hang it up and and which is just a memoryI have. And to see that sort of come back to this idea of something thatpuzzles are kind of ephemeral and impermanent and you interact with them once.You've made it into a piece that maybe sticks around for a little while.

Kaylin: [00:11:47] Yeah, yeah, it's been really rewardingfor us to see that it actually is something that ends up in people's homes. Andit's this kind of memento, especially the last six months. People doing puzzlesin quarantine and kind of this just a reminder of every centering. And for ourartist, it's such an interesting relationship that builds between the puzzlerand the artist. They're seeing every detail of their work. They're such aninteractive relationship. And I think there's a lot more appreciation for theartwork, having literally reconstructed it and studied every inch of it. And soI was hopeful the glue would resonate and people would actually use it. For me,I was doing all these puzzles, even the ones I didn't like, I was just toosentimental to tear apart right away. There was something just deeplyunsatisfying about the last piece going in. And then, OK, what now.

Phillip: [00:12:56] Yeah.

Kaylin: [00:12:57] And so I wanted to kind of unlock thatsecond experience and really create a more well-rounded experience in it. Andso I had the idea for the glue. I knew it was out there, but really I wastrying to figure out what to apply it with. And I was picturing maybe like alittle paint brush, but it ended up leaving the brushstrokes, like marks and soI was like, OK, that's not it. Maybe like a mini paint roller that was morelike felt and that didn't really work. And I was on this puzzle community onReddit. And this guy named Randy, somewhere in the Midwest, posted a link to aYouTube video of him just dumping glue onto a puzzle and using his credit card.And I was like, oh, that's all. Like, you just need a straight edge surface.Just help spread it and get it super clean. So, yeah, I developed our kind ofgold straight edge tool that comes with every order as well from that.

Phillip: [00:14:08] Wow.

Brian: [00:14:08] That's just like the level of detail isso, so pretty. It's so beautiful that I think you put a lot into like the wholepackaging experience. Actually the way the puzzle comes is in a glass jar whichis really cool and the puzzle itself is closer to a canvas. Correct? Than it islike traditional, like a flimsy puzzle material. Talk to us a little bit aboutwhy that's important.

Kaylin: [00:14:37] Yeah. So the puzzle itself is justreally nice, extra thick card stock. It's printed double sided. So for that, Imean, it helps that I was a puzzle fanatic doing them all the time and into allof these ideas of how I would make it better and then was actually able to. Butone was that drove me crazy was the puzzle dust. You open this bag and you dumpon the pieces and there's just like dust everywhere. And so we have kind of atwo step process. The pieces are die cut. And then as they're taking apart someof the dust releases and then when it's actually packaged into the glass, thesecond time that gets it out. And in the manufacturing we print on both sides,so the backside is actually not exposed card stock. So that helps, and it makesit extra thick as well. We have kind of a satiny matte finish that just feelsnicer when you're handling these pieces for hours and hours and then createskind of a more luxe finish when it's complete to frame it. So yes, I was veryprecious with every component and probably took longer than I needed because ofit. But I hope ultimately it shows now.

Phillip: [00:15:56] How do you take your passion forsomething that's effectively a pastime or something that is this meditative,tactile thing that you use to entertain yourself? How do you turn that into abusiness? It's one thing to make a product. It's another thing to... Somepeople just say, oh, I wonder how these are made. And they watch a YouTubevideo. Other people, like yourself, aren't content unless they actually find away to make a living out of it. Have you found a way to turn it into from justproducts into like an actual business that you actually then have to run?

Kaylin: [00:16:37] Right. Right. Yes. Imagine that. Ihave. And I remind myself daily that it is such a privilege to be able to doso. Yeah it started definitely as just kind of hmm, how are these made? If Icould make them better, how would I? And, you know, really just loosebrainstorming. And then, again, I started doing them in 2015. I didn't launchthe company until 2019. So there were years in there where I was kind of justwatching different trends and the wellness category and this appetite foranalog. I saw the adult coloring books and other kind of DIY stuff. And justthis digital detox. Like a lot of these conversations encouraged me. I waslike, oh, puzzles or my version of that. There seems to be business there andan appetite for these products. Is there actually a business we may not justKaylin's better puzzle that she wants to make for herself? So, yeah, that gaveme more and more confidence. And then ultimately, I think I now feel so drivenby our mission, which [00:18:01] we have thesetwo communities that we're building with the brand. One is our customercommunity and people who are actual puzzle fans already or never done a puzzlein 15 years either. We actually did a customer survey recently, which is interesting.And it was about half of our customers had never bought a jigsaw puzzle beforeJiggy. So we really are reaching this new audience who's curious andinterested. But puzzles weren't a part of their lives before, or just art fansand they want to support female artists and think it's cool to kind of have ahand in constructing it and putting it together. So we're definitely focusing alot on relationship building and community building there. And then the otherside is this artist community and putting together now, it started just mefinding them on Instagram, going to these fairs. Now that we've launched andhave some more visibility, we get a lot of inbound. We have an open submissionprocess. [00:19:04] And one kind of example that I think shows not onlythat we're able to actually build a brand, a business around it, but how we'rekind of activating this community is our originals campaign we did during COVID. So basically what happened there is quarantine, everyone's stuck at homelooking for activities. Puzzle. Boom. We sell out of our normal product. And atthe same time, this community of artists who I'm emailing with daily is sayinggalleries are closed, exhibits are canceled, and we don't have a ton of ways tosupport ourselves. This is a really, really tough spot. So I had the idea toget blank white puzzles made. While our normal product was in production, buttaking a long time, and I knew we were going to be sold out. So inventoryissues. But what I was able to get fairly quickly kind of off the shelf wereblank white puzzle. The pieces are pre cut, but no images printed on them. So Ireceived those, started shipping them out to our artists. And my only kind ofdirective was create art on this canvas that was a puzzle. So they hand painted,hand drew. Just blew me away and created these truly one of a kind originalpieces of art on blank puzzles. And then we hosted an auction. So we hosted anoriginal art puzzle auction in May and split the proceeds between the artistherself and then COVID relief fundraising. And so, yeah, that was definitely ahighlight of this year thus far.

Phillip: [00:20:46] Wow.

Brian: [00:20:46] It's so cool. I think it's so powerful.We talk a lot about leading with art and how important it is, especiallyoriginal art and sort of highlighting artists on the show. And this is theperfect example of what that means and how you can, I think, lift people upwith that. I think it's awesome.

Kaylin: [00:21:10] Thank you.

Brian: [00:21:10] Let's talk a little bit about yourcustomers.

Kaylin: [00:21:12] Yeah.

Brian: [00:21:13] You said you have the artist side andthen the customer side, and you're curating two different communities. Talk tous a little bit about how people are finding you, and they're gettingconnected, and they're getting engaged. What does that look like? Or in reallynasty business business terms, like sort of your common customer purchasingjourney? {laughter}

Kaylin: [00:21:39] {laughter} Yeah, it's been interesting.A couple different paths... When we launched super organic, went out to mynetwork and asked everyone to share. We've launched in November, so rightbefore the holidays, so went into Q4 last year with just the goal of pressaround gift guides and holiday product roundups and all of that. So thatdefinitely helps kind of jumpstart some of the just flywheel and word of mouth.We do a lot of gifting and that's, I think, an interesting kind of growthtactic because essentially it's two customers in one. And people, the purchaserwho now we have their email, the person who is gifted it, who usually followsup with us on social or tags us in their photos of doing the puzzle. So giftinghas definitely been one way. The other is just that press in the beginningreally focused on just product placement on these lists and round ups. And thengoing into this year, and especially with COVID, and me being a one woman showand trying to pivot and dealing with supply chain and doing it all alone andall of that whole story. Went after the more business narrative like founderfeature press. And then we did start Instagram ads. So I think the product isso visual. I can't tell you how many times I've heard, like, of course. Peoplesee it and they're like, "Oh, beautiful puzzles." Like duh. It's soobvious. Or how many times people are like "Why didn't I think ofthat?" And so I think one, just the art itself, of course, being sovisual, but also the product, the packaging, the glass jar, that is a new twiston it. So we want to show that and highlight that. So very visual product.Instagram is a great channel to communicate all of that. So Instagram ads havebeen great. Our organic Instagram content and the features of our artists thatwe do has definitely started to help build that community. And then email.That's not really discovery out of the gate. But the biggest again, thiscustomer survey we did. The biggest buckets were word of mouth, press, andsocial media for kind of our first discovery.

Phillip: [00:25:29] You sort of mentioned being a one womanshow. That's I mean, fascinating.

Brian: [00:25:34] Incredible.

Kaylin: [00:25:34] Thank you.

Phillip: [00:25:35] And so I'm sure there's a lot of thingsthat vie for your attention. To say that you're like the normal everyday personon the street who had a good idea I think would be a bit of a stretch. You wereemployee number one at a company that you grew an audience to six millionpeople. You're an exceptional person.

Kaylin: [00:25:58] Thank you.

Phillip: [00:25:59] Right? And you were Director ofCommunity, Director of Marketing at The Skimm. I'm sure you understand likewhat it's like to do marketing and community at that scale. Where do you evenbegin? Where do you even start to say, like, OK, I'm one person, I can only doso much, plus I have to worry about supply chain and partnerships and worryabout like artist acquisition and talent management and manufacturing anddelivery and probably fulfillment and all of those things? Right?

Kaylin: [00:26:33] Mmm hmm.

Phillip: [00:26:33] So you only have so much time to focuson the things that I think were probably core competency in your other roles.Where did you decide as like what are day one things from like a marketingstack perspective? And what are things that you feel like you'll have to kindof grow into over time as a sort of that solopreneur role here in the earlydays of the business?

Kaylin: [00:26:55] Yeah, the first couple of things were Ithink things that were most familiar and tied most into those corecompetencies. So the storytelling, out of the gate just starting to hit realperformance CAC and being super data driven. Like that was not the case. Ireally led with what I knew, which was our story, my story, our artists, theirstories. And so starting with the more kind of narrative channels being emailand set up on Omnisend made it easy to just set up. One time I went through andbuilt the kind of welcome flow that I thought would lead with the product. Ofcourse, we want to convert sales there, so just show them our differentiators,but then tell that story and not taking for granted, which however youdiscovered us or came to us, that you know what's behind the brand. So awelcome flow to tell that story. You know, just the easy, low hanging fruit,abandoned cart, things like that. But then really focused on content and socialand trying to get people to amplify through press. So the first kind ofmarketing stack was really just Omnisend and Instagram and then very basic.Jiggy was absolutely not in the first whatever, 10 pages of search results fora while. So just making sure that at least we were discoverable in search. Andnow we're up there. So that's been OK. But, yeah, that was kind of it. Andreally just focused on the organic side of things. And again, [00:28:50] the artists were incentivized to helpshare. So they tapped their platforms and fans and followers and have just kindof grown it from there. And now certainly looking into more of the paidperformance side of things, as well as affiliate networks and not just theearned media, but some more of the affiliate side of press, too. [00:29:18]

Phillip: [00:29:19] That's such a modern strategy, to behonest with you. It sounds very familiar because as a podcaster like you wantto try to connect with people who will also transplant their audience intoours, or find some common ground of audience that we could all grow togetherand vice versa.

Kaylin: [00:29:40] Right. Right.

Phillip: [00:29:40] So it's such an interesting... Affiliatebeing the very next step that sounds, it just makes so much sense from the waythat you've outlined it. How much of your time is spent on different areas ofthe business right now in month 10? What is your day to day look like and howmuch of it are you sort of relying on kind of like automations and things thatjust you sort of set up and let it run?

Kaylin: [00:30:09] Yeah, the biggest buckets right now arethe manufacturing and inventory cycle has its peaks. And when it is, it'spretty encompassing, but over the past few months we're pretty set there, sogearing up for Q4 and the holidays and some big partnerships and collaborationsthat we're doing. So day to day recently has looked like and executing onthose, so similar to the originals campaign we did for COVID, we're continuingto do kind of these limited edition, special edition collaborations around acertain cause or impact that we're passionate about. So talking to partners,curating which artists we want to work with for those, and then actually justexecuting on it. I'm just starting to kind of do a team building exercise ofwhat would my first few hires be, what is a network chart look like, jobdescriptions, things like that. So that will, I think, be more of a focus overthe next month. And whether it's full time or part time, we're really bringingon some help and then, yeah, inventory, manufacturing. I have such a deeprespect now for operations and really viewing I think manufacturing as apartnership, which was a learning for me. Beforehand I just thought you have anidea, you want to get something made. There are these people out there who makethings. That's what they do, and you just hire one and pay them. And it's beensuch an iterative process and convincing them to take a chance on me andcertainly not going to be their biggest account or even meet their minimumorder quantities in the beginning. So really developing that relationship andfinding the right partner for manufacturing. And[00:32:19] I'm still managing the point of contact there and inventory,logistics, manufacturing fulfillment, all of that. And then the fun meatystuff, which is my wheelhouse, of partnerships, collaborations, marketing. Istill write every email we send and every caption of every post. So a lot of timecreating content and representing us out there in the world and just startingto hopefully build my first team. [00:32:52]

Brian: [00:32:53] Wow, so cool. One thing you didn'tmentioned was you're writing every email, which is really, really powerful andalso a lot of work.

Kaylin: [00:33:06] {laughter} Yes.

Brian: [00:33:06] I think you talked a little bit aboutyour customer journey as sort of like as customers first entered into the Jiggyworld, they're coming in through social and through word of mouth and someother places. How out of those very personal emails do you start to build uponthat first interaction? And does it encourage repeat purchasing? And how do yousee building that community in the future and especially given that you're goingto be expanding your team?

Kaylin: [00:33:47] Yeah, it definitely has. I haveactually been surprised at email. At The Skimm, obviously, it was the core ofour business [00:33:58]. I think at first Iwas thinking people are maybe getting burned out on email or protective oftheir inboxes. That's certainly how I felt. So I kind of took the approach of Idon't need to send an email for the sake of it. I'm going to send an email whenwe have something to say or something to share that I feel would actually bevaluable for our community. And just "Respect the inbox," I think ismy overall philosophy on email. And being that it is me still writing them, itis very personal and we do send them. [00:34:31] So we send kind ofstraight marketing ones and kind of similar to respect the inbox. My philosophyof those is like we both know why we're here. We just launched a new thing. Iwould like for you to check it out or buy it. So it's very kind of short,cheeky, to the point, beautiful photos, and pretty straightforward. And thenthe more storytelling side of things, we feature our artists and show them intheir studios. We think it's just a fun escape to see the process, especiallyif it's a piece that you're working on and just to know the story behind theart that you're doing. I also started a... It's actually also our about page,but it's essentially like life lessons learned through puzzling. And when I wasdoing puzzles every single night, it just occurred to me like patience anddelayed gratification and trial and error and have a framework, but also beflexible. I was like, I'm learning real life philosophy from doing jigsawpuzzles. So I did a whole series of like life lessons through puzzling.

Phillip: [00:35:43] That's so good.

Kaylin: [00:35:44] Yeah. So that's a good one. Goodresponse to that email, but yeah, I don't know, I think it's just... I think itstill just has that kind of X factor because it's just so organic to me and mystory and ultimately the brand I'm trying to build.

Phillip: [00:36:04] Are you find the corners first kind ofpuzzler?

Kaylin: [00:36:09] {laughter} Yes, corners and edgesfirst. Group by color. I got some sorting plates. Once I really kind of set upmy work area with like a mat. I had just flattened the Amazon box and was doingit on the back of a box. I was living in a studio apartment. Also, I needed tobe able to move it around, but I got like a mat and sorting plates and goodlighting to tell really gradient color differences. {laughter} So, yeah, nowI'm all hooked up.

Phillip: [00:36:41] You ain't nothing if you don't have,like a real puzzle space. {laughter} Forget just doing it at your dining tablenonsense. It's like we've got to go hard on the real puzzle furniture. Thatmight be the next Jiggy...

Kaylin: [00:36:58] Maybe. Yeah. Next extension.

Phillip: [00:37:02] Kind of extending on the analogy sinceI'm the king of bad analogies. What are the finding the corners and edges firstof sort of operating a digital business for you? And without trying to promptyou to make it an Omnisend commercial. Because I certainly wouldn't want you todo that. But I'm curious, what are some of the pieces of the tech stack andselling online that are pivotal for you at Jiggy?

Kaylin: [00:37:30] Yeah, I mean, a good question. Thosefirst couple of steps were really like who is our customer? Who are trying toreach? Where are they now? Rather than trying to go find them and pull theminto, insert ourselves kind of unnaturally. Where are they? What are theypaying attention to? That's why things like even more so in the future when weinvest in affiliate, things like that. But the first things were those easyautomation's. Welcome. Some incentive around sign up, be it free shipping or 10percent off and getting some basic analytics. Did want to understand our, Ithink if anything, maybe because I do have such a narrative approach that somethings on the site... Optimizers are like get it to convert quicker, sellquicker, chop chop. I'm like, no, I want to tell our story. Hold on. Butexperimenting with some of the site and interactions and making sure that itwas in fact a very shoppable. And then social. And I really... Instagram I wasexpecting to be big for just a straight customer acquisition visibility. But Idon't think I really counted on the fact that ultimately people head ofpartnerships at XYZ, the head buyer at some big national retail, like, they'realso just people on Instagram. So honestly, the first three months social wasgreat for customer acquisition, but also a lot of inbound about collaborations,wholesale partnerships that ended up coming from that. So that was aninteresting thing. Every inbound inquiry we got essentially was from Instagramin the beginning.

Phillip: [00:39:40] It's so visual. That makes so muchsense.

Brian: [00:39:41] You mentioned partnerships so manytimes and collabs. What does that mean for you looking ahead? A partnership orcollab, does that just mean like with another artist or with another brand?What does that actually mean?

Kaylin: [00:39:56] Yeah, so a couple that we're doing thisfall that I'm really excited about, we're actually launching this one nextweek, so I don't know when this will go live, but hopefully it'll be on oursite then. So we are partnering with Sophia Bush who started an organizationcalled the I'm a Voter that's all around voter registration, turnout,awareness, rights. And so we had the idea. We actually worked with her before.She created one of those originals. So back to the COVID fundraising originals.We had the networking artists who were creating the ones that we auctioned. ButI also tapped a few kind of friends of the brand, celebrities who we had giftedproduct to before and had some relationship with to create one of their own.And the model there was basically a raffle and donate to enter. And so SophiaBush did one. So we reconnected about the upcoming election and put together asmall group of three artists who represent different geographies around thecountry, different backgrounds, races, aesthetics and style of art, and theycreated an original piece for us around voting and what voting means to them.And those are going to be three special edition puzzles that we are going tosell. And fifty percent of the proceeds go to I'm a voter, so that's going tobe September, October and deliver before the election. And then October isBreast Cancer Awareness Month, and we have one of our very first puzzles andbest sellers to date has been our boobs puzzle, which is by a Brooklyn basedillustrator. It's, I think, forty eight representations of different boobs,shapes, sizes and skin colors. There are three with different mastectomy scarsand just inclusive, celebratory, really fun. Fun to puzzle. And so we are doinga partnership with some women's health advocates, breast cancer survivors tofundraise there for Breast Cancer Research Fund. So that will be October. Andthen we're in the holidays and we have our first specifically holidaycollection. We launched last year, but our debut was a little bit moreevergreen, so we have our holiday collection. And we doubled up. Our past twocollections have been six designs, but we doubled up for the holidays and 12days of Christmas, and so we have 12 artists from eight different countriesthat are super representative of different styles and that will be launchingfor the holidays. And some of those are original pieces just for the puzzle,which was exciting. So a lot coming through the end of the year.

Phillip: [00:43:07] Wow. So much of your strategy really,really is... I hear it a lot. And then I hear a guests say, oh, we're reallydependent on organic and earned media, and then I'll get what equates to betens of thousands of dollars of retargeting for the next three hundred andsixty five days on the website.

Kaylin: [00:43:33] Right. {laughter} Right.

Phillip: [00:43:33] And I hope I haven't just thrown youover the bus and backed over you. There's such an interesting thing thateverything you come back to keeps coming back to that point. And it's sointeresting to me that you can be missional. You can you can be a missionalbrand. You can be community driven. You can do all of this in such aninteresting and unique vertical. And I just think it's so creative, and itseems very authentic. And I just appreciate you sharing the story here.

Kaylin: [00:44:10] Thank you.

Phillip: [00:44:10] If you're thinking about you're in yearone, what is year five look like? And what do you have to solve for not to loadyou down with all the stress of what you'll have to figure out? What does thenext five years with like?

Kaylin: [00:44:31] Yeah. Thank you, I mean, that's alltrue, and I do want to say I'm getting to the point now, like, OK, 10 months ofdata, like now's the time. I have people that I will be bringing on and digginginto the numbers and all that. And I have been preparing for some potentialfundraising conversations. And so things like the CAC and lifetime value andall of that is important and those are things that I have now started lookingat. But they did come second. And I think we were chatting briefly before. Ithink sometimes it feels like maybe a barrier to entry that, like I need tounderstand these numbers or bake them in out of the gate. And I think there'reso many ways to go about it and kind of leading with, leading in, a differentway and then ultimately using what you have and coming back to it andunderstanding those numbers when you need to has definitely been a more organicpath for me. Five years. Yeah, I just I'm really driven by both of the sides ofthe business that I talked about. So our customers and our artists. On thecustomer side continuing to create beautiful products that they want. Right nowit's our classic kind of first collection puzzle that comes with the glue andthe jar. They're some different extensions, versions of that that I have inmind, really building that habitual behavior as I started doing them as ahabit, as my nightly unwind [00:46:12]. We aregoing to be launching a subscription model. So puzzle of the month membership,and there will be some programming and community and stuff around thatsubscription membership. And continuing to build this artist community, givingthem opportunities to showcase their work, to monetize their work. And as muchas we can support, highlight, and uplift them. There [00:46:44] are someother products we have in the pipeline. I think owning that whole experience,as I mentioned, of you do the puzzle, but then what's the next step? Right nowit's gluing. Our tagline is "Puzzles worth framing." We don't makeframes quite yet, but I could definitely see having a frame pairing for each ofour designs. And then on the kind of partnerships, collaboration, I think thereare some really interesting ways to utilize puzzles in a kind of promotional orfan way. I'll give you one example. We're talking to a record label about whatwould it look like if we timed a puzzle release around an album release andturned the album cover art into a puzzle? And it would be part of the merchthat fans could buy alongside this new album. And as they're listening to themusic, they're putting together this puzzle of the album cover.

Brian: [00:47:59] Nice.

Kaylin: [00:47:59] Things like that. Just creative ways toreally integrate more in different experiences and just bring some puzzle joyto the world.

Brian: [00:48:12] I love this. The ways you're talkingabout expanding, just like for me, it strikes all the right cords. As you'retalking, I'm just thinking about how incredible it is if you go into somethingthat you're passionate about, which you establish a passion for puzzles, whichis just so cool... If you have a passion for something and you have the rightmindset around what is compelling to people about those things, the tools, andthe ability to get out there and do what you have done as one person is just...It overwhelmed me for a second. What you've been able to accomplish by yourselfis just, it's astounding. It's something that I don't feel like in the past,you know, even in the recent past would have been accomplishable by a singleperson. And hats off to you. And I think it's inspiration for all thesolopreneurs, aspiring solopreneurs out there that can look and say, wow, shetook the tools that were out there and was able to accomplish so much. Kaylin,thank you so much for all of your insights and everything you brought to ustoday in this conversation.

Kaylin: [00:49:34] Thank you.

Brian: [00:49:34] Really inspiring. And we hope to seemore businesses come about like yours that can bring something that's souplifting and so calming to people come to market in the way that you have.Thank you so much.

Kaylin: [00:49:52] Thank you. I appreciate it. I enjoyedit. Yeah, thanks. I have to keep in touch with you both.

Phillip: [00:50:01] Thank you so much to Kaylin for joiningus on the show, and thank you for listening to Season Four of Step by Step. Ican't believe this is our fourth season. And thank you, Omnisend, for helpingmake this possible. And thank you for tuning in. I want to know, what are yougoing to do? What are you going to do with this information? Are you going tofile it away and then move on to the next thing? Or are you going to actuallyput it into action. If you're putting it into action and you're going to set upsome automation, some marketing automation, so you can do more in everychannel, drop me a line. Tell me about it at And Iwant you to get your automation story straight. Get your marketing working foryou in every single channel and automate your way and do more with less. Youcan do it right now at Get that story startedright now. Don't wait. Go to and tell them Phillipsent you. We have three other seasons of Step by Step besides this one. If youhaven't checked them out, I highly recommend it. If you want to understand whatthe difference is between customer experience and customer support, if you'veever wondered what the difference was between private equity and venturecapital, if you've ever wondered how to build a modern tech stack foreCommerce, we have seasons dedicated to all three of those topics. You can getthem at Thank you so much for listening. And aswe always say on the Future Commerce podcast, the future is what you make ofit. So let's build a future together that we can all be proud of.


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