We’ve always had a special connection to Rice Krispies and Cocoa Krispies. At eight years old, when Kellogg adjusted their recipe for Cocoa Krispies, we felt they had taken out too much of the chocolate. So, we took pen to paper and wrote a very heartfelt and demanding letter to the cereal company outlining the reasons why they should go back to the old proportions of Krispie to cocoa.
Alas, they did not change the formula back after receiving just one letter from two bored young girls who were clearly coming down from a sugar high. They did, however, send us what seemed like a lifetime supply of Kellogg’s breakfast cereals as not only an apology, but an enticement to stick by their product. And it worked.
So we have made our share of gooey, sticky Rice Krispies Treats in our days. But, like everyone else, we put them in a rectangular pan and cut them into four-sided pieces for our culinary enjoyment. But, recently we were excited to hear that Jessica Siskin at Misterkrisp has reinvented the Rice Krispies Treat by adding color and forming them into all sorts of pop culture shapes. A girl after our own Rice Krispies-shaped heart! What’s more she has teamed up with the cereal company this holiday season to raise money for Toys for Tots.
In a recent interview Jessica recalled how she got started on this unusual endeavor. After being invited to a friend’s birthday party, she was fretting about what to bring. Ready to fall back on her old standby, star-shaped Rice Krispies Treats. She said, “My friend had seen me do this, and suggested I make a Rice Krispies Treats surfboard for the potluck, a nod to the birthday girl’s passion.”
This exercise led her to the discovery that she could add food coloring to the classic recipe and take it up a notch. She said she “had an overwhelming impulse to make a Rice Krispies Treat cheeseburger.” So she did.
After posting the Krispies cheeseburger on Instagram, she immediately created a bit of a buzz. She experimented for almost a year with her new technique, and then decided the edible works of art should have their own Instagram page and @mister_krisp was born.
Jessica Siskin’s passion turned into a viable business
Little did she know that this Instagram account would lead her to a business. She noted, “I knew from posting images of my Rice Krispies Treats sculptures on my personal account that people liked to look at them, but I didn’t really know if anyone would want to order them. I put an e-mail address in the bio of the profile and got my first order the first day the Instagram went live. I’ve received new orders every day since.”
Two months later she quit her day job in fashion sales at Elizabeth and James apparel division to keep up with the demand of her Rice Krispies Treats art. She says her background has definitely influenced her work at Misterkrisp. “The contemporary market is very much about adding unexpected twists to classic items and consistently reinventing wardrobe elements, and I think that same element of surprise and innovation is what makes Misterkrisp so much fun.”
Misterkrisp has teamed up with Toys for Tots
This year she has teamed up with the cereal company in an effort to raise funds for Toys for Tots for the holiday season. She noted, “I’ve partnered with Rice Krispies to not only inspire families to get creative with their holiday treat-making, but also to give back in the process through the Treats 4 Toys program… With Rice Krispies always being the inspiration behind my treats, I couldn’t be more excited to finally be teaming up together!”
Every time someone makes their own Rice Krispies Treats creation and shares the photo on Instagram with #Treats4Toys, Rice Krispies makes a donation to Toys for Tots. Jessica has created a series of holiday Treats like decking classic emojis in holiday garb or recreating a Rockettes kick line. People are encouraged to try their hand at these designs or come up with their own spins on the Treats.
Jessica explained that it’s quite simple to make your own. “Aside from them getting a bit sticky at times (and my hands constantly being covered in food dye), Rice Krispies are seriously so easy to work with – it’s almost like molding with clay. And, even if they don’t turn out like you envision, the mistakes are still delicious. It’s really hard to mess up a Rice Krispies Treat.”
It’s very heartening to see what Jessica has been able to accomplish in just a short time with her Misterkrisp business. She offered some advice to someone who wanted to start a company that was outside the (cereal) box. “Make sure you’re passionate about what you’re doing. There are times when it’s hard to run a small business, but at the end of the day I love making Rice Krispies Treats art and I’m always inspired to keep going.”
She added, “I’m still working as a one-person business, so I had to learn how to say no and avoid taking on more than I could handle. It’s important for me to challenge myself and do as much as possible to grow my business, but I also had to learn my own limitations and be honest with myself and my customers.”
We asked Jessica about what motivates her to do this work and she replied, “I’m extremely passionate about many forms of creativity and the platforms on which this creativity can be shared. I think misterkrisp appeals to people because it doesn’t take itself too seriously and allows people to take a break from their day to look at something as silly as a bagel made out of Rice Krispies Treats.”
To view Jessica’s Rice Krispies Treats art and to share your own creations to raise money for the Treats 4 Toys program visit @mister_krisp on Instagram.