At an early age, Founder Alex Siegel could always be found with a camera in his hand. It started when he was about 7 during a trip to the Grand Canyon with his family. His father had just bought the family’s first digital camera, and naturally Alex was drawn to it. Pressing buttons and having fun, he eventually figured out how to snap a proper photo. The views, wildlife, and surprisingly friendly squirrels made for great subjects. When he got home he continued.. After noticing a fondness for taking photos his father eventually bought him his own camera. That fondness soon turned to a passion.
Fast forward to college, Alex was studying Advertising at Otis College of Art & Design in Los Angeles. Despite not having pursued photography as his major, he found himself integrating photography into many of his projects.
After graduation Alex moved back to his hometown of Santa Barbara and worked for a restaurant in-house doing marketing and food photography. The small town afforded Alex some word-of-mouth and he started doing photography for other restaurants as well. Eventually he went off on his own and the next two years was spent as a freelance photographer. Everything from architecture to food; product, weddings, and even a few fine art series, Alex was there – camera in-hand.
After some time Alex had built up a nice portfolio of projects, including his travels. He loved the process but felt there was something bigger in store for him.
The night of Halloween 2017 someone put down a beautiful ceramic coaster they had been gifted, and the thought hit him – what if he could print his photos on coasters?
This idea couldn’t escape him. The next few weeks were spent researching printing methods and local companies he could partner with. He had heard of a company in Goleta that printed on Aluminum wall-mounted sheets, so he started there. After a few weeks of trial and error with tiles from Home Depot, he realized in order to scale he would need more. And his product would need to evolve.
That’s when he started making the calls..
Still with just an idea in his head and determination in his heart, he started calling all around the US. Every print shop and large-scale industrial printer, his days were spent calling, asking, and learning. He wanted to print his photos on coasters.
Eventually he was referred to one large-scale industrial printer in Wisconsin – a warm and friendly family owned business. I explained my idea to the owner Brian and he was up for the challenge to figure it out together.
The next 1 ½ years were spent prototyping, experimenting, and scrapping everything, over and over. During that time ceramic tiles turned into elegant glass tiles, and my products (and ideas) grew more and more. Not having a business background Alex had to learn quickly. Gross margins, importing, distribution, and wholesaling were all new to him. Brian grew from a business partner to a friend, but eventually after realizing their strategy wasn’t going to work, they parted ways on amicable terms.
If Alex was going to build a business he had to do everything himself.
After investing in his own equipment Alex continued to develop his products and skills. With quality at top of mind, MyMosaic was manifested to what it is today. A place where moments are made to memories. Where people can honor that which they love.