Through the Lens: Misterkrisp
November 29, 2017
Jessica Siskin’s enviable job title? Food artist, or more specifically, cereal artist. The “no bake” master behind treat brand, Misterkrisp, posted her first gram of a cheeseburger made out of Rice Krispies back in 2012. Fast forward five years, and not only has Siskin been generating buzz filling out orders for the likes of John Mayer and Chrissy Teigen, but also filling the steadily growing @misterkrisp Instagram feed with her cheery and delectable creations.
With a bright and goody-filled feed featuring everything from bubble gum dispensers to cans of LaCroix, it’s no wonder Rice Krispies reached out back in 2015. The brand was looking to collaborate with Misterkrisp to create a #treats4toys holiday window in NYC featuring an enchanted toys concept. This year, Siskin will partner again with the cereal brand as well as Hasbro, so the toys she creates will look like real toys.
Jessica’s favorite part?
“I love working on the #Treats4Toys program every year, because I’m excited that there’s a charitable component to the program(for each treat someone makes at home and shares on social media using the hashtag #Treats4Toys, Rice Krispies will make a donation to Toys For Tots) while also encouraging people to make treats with their friends and family. Everyone wins!”
This year’s window, located at 873 Broadway, will be on view today through this Friday December 1st. Stop by to celebrate the season and read on for a taste of Siskin’s lens on Instagram. It’s a treat, we promise.
#misterkrisp #jessicasiskin #treats4toys #ricekrispies #holiday #cerealkiller #treatyourself #krispy #foodart #treatyourselfbook #sweettreats #dessertprofessional
When you find your calling, listen and act.
What was happening in your life when you decided to start Misterkrisp? Were you drawn to baking (or no-bake!) recipes from childhood, or did it develop later on?
When I started Misterkrisp, I had been working in fashion sales for 7 years. I liked my job, but always had the feeling that I hadn’t found my calling yet. I don’t know how to cook, and my best friend taught me how to make Rice Krispies Treats when I was 26. I’d always make them when friends came over and mold them into super simple shapes, like hearts or stars. When I was invited to a potluck birthday party in December 2012, a friend suggested we make a Rice Krispies surfboard for our surfer friend. When I went to make the surfboard and realized food coloring could be added to the traditional recipe, I was overcome by the immediate impulse to make a Rice Krispies cheeseburger. I made it the next night, and posted it on my personal Instagram, where it became my first post to break 100 likes. I kept experimenting for about a year, and started the @mister_krisp instagram account in October 2013.
Create the space for growth.
What about making and sharing rice krispy treats encouraged you to do it professionally? Basically: how can you tell when you can start a business, and turn something you love into a job?
When I started the @mister_krisp account, I didn’t really know if people outside of my personal network would be interested—I just thought it would be a fun thing to do. The first day the account went live, I got my first few order requests. Orders kept coming in, and since I had wanted to leave my job and go to grad school for a while, I thought the timing was right to pursue Misterkrisp while getting my master’s degree (in creative nonfiction). By the time I graduated 2 years later, I had a full-blown business and my book, Treat Yourself! was in the works. I was fortunate enough to be in a position where I was able to create the space to allow Misterkrisp to grow into a business organically and for me to pursue further growth.
Keep it honest, and show your face.
When you began Instagramming, did you articulate a specific editorial strategy or engagement plan—or did it evolve naturally?
I did not, and still don’t, have an editorial strategy for @mister_krisp. I really follow my instincts and just try to keep my posts as honest and authentic as possible, but I do make sure I post to my feed once a day and try to show my face at least once a week.
Invest in Cultural Capital.
What catches your eye when you’re looking for inspiration for your treats? What are some things a picture or treat must have for you to post?
I love to make treats that are visually appealing but also have cultural capital. My favorite posts are the ones that manage to speak to pop culture—not just because they tend to perform best, but because they’re the most fun to make. There’s a real rush to seeing something in pop culture and working quickly to transform it into a treat and get it posted right away.
Continuity is a function of authenticity.
What’s the value of continuity in a person or brand’s Instagram?
Is it important to define a visual style that becomes familiar? I think continuity and authenticity go hand in hand. If you’re being truly authentic, it’s not important to focus on continuity—it’ll be inherent to the content.
Don’t sweat the analytics.
What information do you get from looking at your own engagement (if you even look at it)? Do you use that information to see what’s driving your business forward and then set priorities around those things?
I try not to focus too much on analytics. Of course I notice when something performs particularly well or particularly poorly, but for the most part, I try to let my instincts guide how I develop and choose my content more than the numbers.
Sometimes, it’s good to widen the lens.
Who takes all your photos? Is it as simple as snapping your own? Do you have any outtakes when developing a new treat design?
I take my own photos and videos and edit them in Instagram, though lately I’ve been enjoying posting photos from my book also. I take photos of every treat I make, even if it isn’t something I’d post on my feed– I try to make sure that everything that goes up has general appeal, which is a shift from a few years ago, when I’d post whatever I made, even if it was highly specific.
Slide into the DMs.
Do you have a dialogue going with your Instagram audience? If so, how do you communicate? Do you ever draw ideas from your fan base?
I love to communicate with my followers—I solicit DMs and comments on occasion, whether I’m asking what type of content they want to see or asking them to swipe up on a story. I’ve gotten some really good content suggestions by asking for DMs in my stories! Ever since my book came out, it’s been really great to message with people about their experience making treats from the book.
Plan for the gram.
As your fan base and reach has grown and Misterkrisp has made appearances on many popular platforms, has anything significant about your process changed for Instagram or otherwise?
As @mister_krisp has grown, I find myself creating a lot of new content explicitly for Instagram. In the past, I’d post when I had content, and regardless of what that content was. Now, I make sure to post consistently and for what I post to be timely and relevant.