Normally, we write our own introductions. However, when our Monday Motivator is getting her MFA in Creative Writing and has written a better intro on her own website than we ever could, we thought we’d share:
“My name is Jessica Siskin and I am a human woman, but sometimes people call me Misterkrisp. Three years ago I didn’t know how to cook anything besides oversized heart-shaped Rice Krispies Treats (but I had other redeeming qualities). When I was invited to a potluck birthday dinner, I was stumped. The birthday girl was a surfer, so a friend suggested I make a Rice Krispies Treats surfboard. When I realized that food coloring could be added to the side-of-the-box recipe, I felt an immediate and overwhelming impulse to make a Rice Krispies Treats cheeseburger.
I’m weird like that. When I put all of the pieces together I screamed out loud– it was the coolest thing I’d ever seen. None of my neighbors came to check on me. I brought my creation to work the next day, where people freaked out before devouring it; I posted a photo of my creation on Instagram, where my ex liked it and I freaked out. I continued to experiment with Rice Krispies Treats recipes, techniques, and designs until Misterkrisp was born in October 2013. I’m inspired by my previous career in fashion, everything pop culture, the internet, and the library of emojis that are slowly eliminating the need for traditional expressive language. When I’m not in the kitchen, I’m pursuing my MFA in Creative Writing at the New School and eating all of the ice cream in the Tri-state area.” Thank you Jessica, and we are thrilled to have you as our Monday Motivator!
1. How did you start Misterkrisp? How has it grown since then?
Misterkrisp started when I had the idea to make a Rice Krispies Treat cheeseburger one night after I realized that food coloring could be added to the traditional recipe. I posted my creation on Instagram and brought it to work the next day where I got a ton of positive feedback. I continued to experiment privately for about a year until I launched the @mister_krisp Instagram account in October 2013. I got my first order the first day the account went live, and I’ve continued to receive orders every day since! My following has grown to over 43K on Instagram and I make up to 15 krisps a week for customers in NYC. I’m also working on developing DIY products to ship nationwide.
2. When did you know you had a winning idea?
I knew Misterkrisp was special when my following began to expand and strangers started to tag their friends in my posts. I realized pretty quickly that people really connected to the irreverence of Misterkrisp and the idea that they could take a minute out of their day to appreciate something as silly as a bagel or boombox made out of Rice Krispies Treats.
3. When you aren’t creating your amazing designs, what else are you up to?
I’m currently completing my MFA in Creative Nonfiction Writing at the New School. I’m working on a collection of personal essays with elements of cultural criticism and hope to begin a feminist YA novel once I graduate in May.
4. So you basically have what some would say is at least two full time jobs! How do you do it all?
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, but I make lists and do one thing at a time. I like to devote full days to my writing and full days to Misterkrisp, as opposed to weaving between the two each day, but sometimes I have to switch back and forth. My two pursuits are very different, but they’re both about the kind of creativity that takes something ordinary and renders it in a different, surprising way.
5. What is your favorite Misterkrisp creation so far?
It’s so hard to name a favorite; I imagine it’s like being asked to pick your favorite child. The cheeseburger holds a special place in my heart since it’s how this all began!
6. Any advice for our aspiring writers? In your opinion, what makes a piece of writing really engaging?
Honesty and authenticity! Even when you think you’re telling the truth, it’s helpful to put even more pressure on your words to make sure you’re really getting to the root of what you mean. And read as much as you can!
7. Please share with us your favorite quote, favorite song or other piece of inspiration or wisdom.
On the dry erase board in my kitchen I have a note that says “laziness is a form of fear.” I tend to shut down when I feel overwhelmed, so I need to remind myself to keep hustling because if you remain stagnant, you’ll never know your full potential.
8. Looking back on college, any advice for must take classes or for things to be sure to do during those 4 years?
In college I didn’t study writing because I didn’t think it could become a lucrative career. After I graduated, I had a great career in fashion, but my desire to be a writer never went away and seven years later I went back to school to get my MFA. I think it’s important to follow a track that you feel will lead to success, but if you’re passionate about something don’t completely leave it behind! I don’t regret what I did study in college, but I do regret that I didn’t take more writing courses when I could’ve.
9. What makes you feel confident?
I find the most confidence in my authenticity. When I know deep down that I am being true to myself, I feel I am doing my best work and being my best friend/sister/daughter/classmate/woman/writer/rice krispies artist/human.
10. What does “She’s Fit To Lead” mean to you? How does someone become Fit To Lead?
I think being Fit To Lead is about silencing the voices that don’t come from or resonate with your gut. There are so many factors that condition women to behave in ways that don’t serve them, whether it’s politeness conditioning preventing women from expressing when they’re uncomfortable so as not to ruffle feathers, the tendency for women to apologize for having opinions or needs, or the fear of being labeled bossy, difficult, or even “crazy.” These cultural patterns often cause women to question their instincts, and to me, being a leader is about really considering those instincts and overcoming what stands between our true desires and the way we behave in light of cultural expectations.
Get some more SFTL inspiration at Connect To Confidence, May 21, 2016 in NYC. Meet up, Eat Up, Shop up, Make up, Learn up! Find out more.