Meet Our Vendor: Bread and Badger
Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Amanda Siska, and I co-own Bread and Badger with my husband. I create fun, offbeat art using pencils, calligraphy pens, markers, digital programs, and linocuts, that our small team of helpers sandblasts onto cups and dishes. We believe in making useful products that people will feel connected to for a lifetime.
What’s the latest thing you’ve been working on?
I’ve been experimenting with sandblasting on lots of new materials and products recently! We’ve added stoneware bowls to our collection, and I’m really excited to introduce glass dinner plates, carafes, bottles, and airtight storage containers for dry goods. I’m also trying to add color to our laser-cut magnets and ornaments, which is pretty fun.
We’ve also teamed up with a professional graphic designer, so our custom options are really top-notch.
Where do you see your business in 3 years?
We have big plans for expanding our production capabilities, to make things go quicker and smoother next year. I’m hoping this will help us improve our branding, as well as our production speed.
As for new products, I’d love to have more homegoods, so that our customers’ kitchens and dining areas can be furnished with matching designs. We’re planning to expand our line of ceramic mugs quite a bit, so there will be a lot more options for colors and styles.
We’re also planning to focus on the wedding industry a bit more, with fancier packaging for keepsake stemware, and hopefully some wedding design collections that will include paper goods!
Who’s your biggest fan?
I’m not sure we have one single biggest fan, but I’m constantly amazed by the dedication of some of our followers on Facebook and Instagram. Seeing the same names pop up with comments and likes makes me feel like my business is also a little community. Their feedback has been instrumental in a lot of our new product testing, and we like to reward our followers with special sales opportunities and the occasional giveaway to thank them.
What’s something you’ve learned through running your business in the past 12 months?
This has been a really tough year for us, financially, and we’re having to make do with a lot less than we’d like. I’m a “dream big” kind of person, and it’s hard to keep all my ideas on hold until we can afford more supplies, or upgraded equipment, even if they would be really great for our business. It’s good that we have 10 years of experience behind us, because I know that possibilities will open up for us soon. We’ve just been practicing patience in the meantime, and learning how to get really good at budgeting.
One of the toughest things, specifically, was letting go of our long-time assistant, Lea. She’s such a good friend of our family (we live 2 blocks from each other!), and she’s been helping with customer service and data entry for the past few years. Before that, she was our production assistant. It’s been a great learning experience for me to get back to those tasks myself, and I love feeling more connected with our customers and even more satisfied by doing the more nitty-gritty daily activities that our business requires. But I hope we can find a way to afford working with Lea again soon! She’ll always be a big part of Bread and Badger.