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I launched this blog in 1995. Since then, we have published 1603 articles. It's all free and means a lot of work in my spare time. I enjoy sharing knowledge and experiences with you.

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How One Girl Made $1 Million Selling Puzzles Online

How did frustration with puzzles lead Kaylin to building ⋯


Daniel MESA

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How a 24-year-old from NYC made a fortune selling puzzles.

This is not a story about the new Mark Zuckerberg creating an app and selling it for $20 Billion. This is the story of how a young woman became a millionaire just by selling puzzles. (Yes, that thing that “nobody” buys anymore.)

You’ll learn how a big company can grow out of frustration, how COVID pushed her business to new heights, and how you can apply these lessons yourself.

Let’s Start!

Boring Puzzles 🔗

Kaylin Marcotte is a girl that can’t keep her hands quiet. She is very active and loves to multitask, so she’s always doing things.

To calm her mind and relax a bit, she started completing puzzles at night when her day was over. She was actually solving 1,000 pieces puzzles in just 1 week!

She loved it, but there was a problem: All the puzzles available were horrible!

The images that were featured in every puzzle she could find were boring. They were either stock-shitty photos of nature or animals sitting in the wild.

She was so sick of this, so she decided that it was time for a change.

Let’s Create a Company 🔗

To end those boring images that every puzzle company was using, she started her own puzzle brand: JIGGY.

JIGGY had two things that differentiate it from the rest of the puzzle companies:

  1. Their puzzle images are made by female artists around the world, women that earn a fee for each puzzle sold.
  2. Their puzzles include glue so that you can solidify the puzzle and use it as home art in your living room once you’re finished.

Kaylin finally ended the boring images of the normal puzzles; she was supporting female artists, and she was earning enough to live in New York (and that’s something!).

Here are some artworks + packages that JIGGY is actually selling on their website:

Screenshot of the JIGGY webpage

But just when the company was sailing smoothly, COVID-19 hit the world like a hurricane. Let’s see how Kaylin managed to survive the storm.

COVID — Friend or Foe? 🔗

When COVID was closing every brick-and-mortar shop worldwide and ending thousands of businesses, JIGGY was actually profiting from the people that stayed at home.

The quarantine in March 2020 made JIGGY multiply its sales by 500%. One month after that, they were sold out in April! That meant that in just two months, JIGGY had sold out its entire stock.

That was great but, what about the people that ordered a puzzle and couldn’t receive one? There weren’t any puzzles left to sell! Luckily, she found a solution in almost no time.

A Simple Solution 🔗

Kaylin couldn’t meet all the orders that were arriving for her puzzles. To solve the issue, she had an idea:

Let’s buy blank puzzles and send them to artists. Then, the artists will paint over them and we will sell them as art pieces!

In other words: Instead of just selling regular puzzles, she started selling freshly painted artworks broken into pieces.

Did it work? 🔗

The solution worked perfectly. In fact, it was so good that she was accepted into Shark Tank, a TV program that lets you pitch your company to millionaire investors (in other words, convince others to invest in your company).

In this program, she received an investment of $500,000 for 15% of her company, JIGGY. She made the deal with the multi-billionaire Mark Cuban!

Lessons Learned 🔗

In a world where “everything is already invented,” Kaylin Marcotte built a $3 million company using the simplest thing ever: Puzzles.

In a world where “everything is already invented,” Kaylin Marcotte built a $3 million company using the simplest thing ever: Puzzles.

Here are the lessons that we can learn from this outstanding entrepreneur:

  • Make money out of your frustrations. If you don’t like a certain product, there’s a chance that it happens to other people too. Look for possible customers that have the same frustrations as you, and if there’s a big enough group, find a solution for all of them.

  • Invent a different use for an already existing product. Kaylin didn’t invent Coca-Cola. She just added beautiful images to puzzles and gave away a tube of glue in case you wanted to solidify the puzzle. You don’t need to invent new products to be successful, just new ways of using the things that already exist.

  • Look for opportunities to advertise your brand. Kaylin pitched her company to the “Shark Tank” TV program because of two things:

    1. To seek investment from one of the top multimillionaires in the U.S.
    2. To gain free promo by showing her company and products on television.

And she did all that for free! She just looked for opportunities and realized that going to a TV show was the perfect fit. And when her episode was aired on ABC, her sales multiplied overnight just from mere exposure.

That’s all from her. Now, it’s your time to solve your own jigsaw puzzle!

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