Interview: The Wandering Bard

You requested it and here it is. We have managed to spend some time with the awesome couple behind the ever popular The Wandering Bard who are currently strumming their lutes in sunny California, USA!
 
Get those bad rolls out of the way, boost that intellect and hold onto your lucky rabbits foot because its time for the latest Interview with a Dongsmith.
[Fergus] Who are you guys?
 
[Bards] Murdos & Teenie, 2 caffeine fuelled geeks
 
[Fergus] What are your backgrounds? What did you do before Dongs?
 
[Bards] Murdos was a District Manager at Gamestop while Teenie designed socks and hosiery.
 
[Fergus] What do you do in the shop?
 
[Bards] Murdos does a lot of the daily planning for orders, corresponding with customers, and running our Twitter account. Teenie is in charge of design, photography, accounting and color planning.
 
We both do pours, shipping, and cleaning! 
 
[Fergus] Tell me about the theme of your shop and where you got your name from.
 
[Bards] We are high fantasy/D&D themed, Murdos has played D&D for most of his life, starting with 1st edition and introduced the game to Teenie and it has really become a huge part of our lives. The name really plays off the typical bard stereotype, ya know “seduce the dragon”
 
We decided to just lean right into it. It is really centred around the idea of adventuring bards sharing conquered monsters.
 
 
[Fergus] Have you been making toys before the shop opened?
 
[Bards] Well Murdos started getting interested in making toys about 6 months before we opened, some close friends of ours started 3D printing molds for masks and really sparked an interest in sculpting and printing. Honestly it didn’t really seem possible before.
 
[Fergus] Do your Families know you do this and if so, what are their thoughts?
 
[Bards] Teenies family knows and has been very supportive. Her mom was actually one of our first customers! 
 
Murdos’ family knows, and tends to keep the knowledge at arms length, they found out after saying they would buy things from our new business for christmas presents!
 
[Fergus] What was your journey to becoming makers?
 
[Bards] Well, it just seemed like there needed to be even more sex positive makers in the world, and we wanted to get our vision out there! It really was a whole lot of research, testing things out, and learning about how difficult silicone can actually be to work with! XD
 
Murdos really put his mind to it and basically brute forced through getting it started!
 
[Fergus] What does a normal day look like in your shop?
 
[Bards] Absolutely, when we started it was just Murdos working full time on The Bard, with Teenie putting in time for photography, and design every few weekends.
 
But that quickly changed to both of the Bards you know today working full time!
 
[Fergus] Favourite toy around at the moment?
 
[Bards] Teenie really diggs Ohdan from strangebedfellas and the Bone Devil from Pleasure Forge
 
For Murdos, it would be Parasite, such an awesome sculpt!
 
[Fergus] With unlimited time and resources, what is that one item you want to do but just can’t right now?
 
[Bards]We really want to expand into toys that aren’t typical dongs.
Teenie would love to make external stim toys and Murdos wants to work on more penatrables as well as gender affirming models like packers.
 
[Fergus] Do you have any memorial pours?
 
[Bards] We honestly get surprised every week with color combinations people choose.  The first time we did a marble swirl it took our breath away, it was simple white and midnight blue but the stars aligned in some supernatural way. We pulled it and were blown away by the fact that we made it. 
 
[Fergus] What is your favourite and least favourite parts of running the business?
 
[Bards] We each have our own favorite parts, Murdos really likes pouring while Teenie loves anything to do with color.
We are looking at our drops as a way to really play with color and pours, something we haven’t done a lot of before. It’s been a lot of fun and we’ll probably be adding guided surprise as a custom option.
 
The least favorite part would be cleaning cups and the little silicone boogers they leave behind. Also every article of clothing worn in the shop is somehow magically covered in silicone.
 
[Fergus] Personally speaking, when it comes to spiral pours I always think of you guys. Do you see the spiral as a signature of your shop and style?
 
[Bards] They are a bit tricky, so it is a huge compliment to be associated with them.  We like to think of both marbled swirls and marbled fades as our signatures. Most of our custom requests are marbled fades we don’t really get a ton of swirls but we always really enjoy making them.
 
[Fergus] What is your favourite model that you make? And why is it your favourite?
 
[Bards] That’s a tough question really…
 
The Basilisk is definitely Teenies favorite, it’s the first one she designed. The Mind Flayer is another really good one, pours always look really good on that model. It isn’t our most popular, but it always makes us happy to pour…
 
Teenie always gives a little squeak. Murdos likes the Kobold; because, well it’s a kobold. Lol
 
[Fergus] Any up and coming makers we should look out for?
 
[Bards] Rabbit Hole Toys has some really impressive sculpts and concepts 🙂
 
[Fergus] What advice would you give to a new or aspiring maker?
 
[Bards] Be prepared to sand till your fingers hurt, and to dream about cleaning cups!
 
[Fergus] What’s next for The Bards?
 
[Bards] Sleep, lol … actually we are currently taking some time away from made to order & customs to focus on getting some new models out we have a few passion projects on the way!
 
[Fergus] Where should people go to find you?
 
Twitter: @bardtoys
 
And anywhere there is adventure to be found!

Final Thoughts

This has been an interview with the shop owners of The Wandering Bard. It’s been interesting learning more of the people who create these amazing products and to get an insight into what goes on in an independent shop.

I want to thank the awesome Bards for their time for my pestering questions. If you are interested in more interviews then give us a shout on Twitter or [email protected]monstersmash.co.uk.

Equally, if you think you might have an interesting story to tell and want to talk then feel free to contact us as well, we would love to hear from you.

Also feel free to talk to us on our discord server!