Our Story

Grace, Founder + Creative Director

 

Meet Grace, the heart behind Jaq Jaq Bird®.  Grace is not only Jaq Jaq Bird's founder and creative director, but she proudly calls herself a Chicagoan, a mother of 3, and a Korean-American.

Jaq Jaq Bird® did not begin with a plan, but with a small vision and an even smaller amount of money.  Yet, today Jaq Jaq Bird® is a thriving small business backed by a hard-working team.

Jaq Jaq Bird® began when Grace's family bought a small bungalow while stationed in Washington D.C. and hired a contractor to help expand the tiny house, as their family was growing.  The week before their third baby was to make his arrival, the phone rang - it was the FBI.  The contractor was a fraud, had taken their savings and left the family with no HVAC, no sink, no oven, etc.  Grace's son was soon born, while her husband was working 12 hour shifts and making every effort to finish the renovation work at home.  As a family of five, they had no functional kitchen for nearly six months.

Dining out became an obvious necessity for survival, but Grace's three children were not entertained by the same children's menus and crayons at restaurants, usually tearing them to pieces and making a mess.  Determined to have peaceful family meals, among the current chaos of life and renovation, Grace invented the Chalk Mat, now well-known as the Doodle It & Go erasable mat, in 2005.  Like our mats of today, it was a flexible, travel-friendly design featuring a placemat on one side and surface to doodle on with chalk on the other.

After other families took notice in restaurants, Grace continued to create more chalk mats and approached a few local shops with the design.  Soon after, Grace received a call from HGTV asking if they could feature her chalk mat design.  Following the feature, Grace received so many orders that the mats went on backorder, as she continued to hand-sew each one.  Ironically, the chalk mat sales allowed Grace and her family to complete their home renovation, and Jaq Jaq Bird® was officially founded.

Jaq Jaq Bird® has since been featured in ForbesThe Wall Street Journal, HGTV, CNBC, NY Time Out Kids, Rachel Ray, Parents Magazine, Washington Post, Dwell Magazine and numerous other media.  Jaq Jaq Bird® has proudly had the opportunity to partner with brands such as Land of Nod, Nordstrom, Target, Aaron Brothers, Anthropologie, The Container Store and other international retailers.

Jaq Jaq Bird

Why "Jaq Jaq Bird®"?

When Grace's third child was learning to talk, he would say "Jaq Jaq" - a Korean onomatopoeia translated as "chirp chirp".