Please Introduce Yourself
My name is Amanda Preske, and I am the owner of Because Science.
Where are you originally from?
I’m originally from Upstate New York.
What made you decide to be an entrepreneur?
I don’t think it’s something you ever decide to do. It’s something that just sort of presents itself over and over again until you go, “I am one of those.”
How did you come up with the idea for your business?
Before establishing Because Science, I ran Circuit Breaker Labs, a venture started during my undergraduate years that involved transforming electronic waste into art and jewelry. I was fascinated by the aesthetics of circuit boards, which I combined with my love of art and science. Moving to D.C., I noticed the local interest in science-themed art, especially at craft shows, which led to the evolution of my business. The culmination of this journey was opening our retail storefront and The Craft Lab, an event space in the Adams Morgan neighborhood focusing on science and art.
When did you start your business?
I’ve been operating the business in various capacities since 2005, initially selling on Etsy and at craft fairs. In 2021 and 2022, we opened our storefront in Adams Morgan.
What makes your products unique?
Many customers are surprised to learn that everything in our Adams Morgan storefront is locally made. Our production studio is housed in the same building, ensuring true local craftsmanship.
What is your company’s mission?
Our mission is to share science with everyone and show them that it’s not just for scientists. It’s for everyone to enjoy.
Please describe your company’s successes.
A significant aspect of our success is The Craft Lab, our event space dedicated to merging science and art. It’s incredibly rewarding to see people, initially unsure about science, deeply engage in our projects and discover that science is indeed for everyone.
Why this location?
I’ve always had an affinity for Adams Morgan and noticed the lack of retail shops and family-friendly spaces that don’t revolve around alcohol. Our event space offers open craft nights and activities, filling a unique niche in the neighborhood. Because Science, being a science-themed gift shop, fits well within the diverse landscape of Adams Morgan. We’ve been well received and appreciated, especially by families in the neighborhood who really wanted something different to expose their kids to.
How does your business help your neighborhood and community?
We often hear from families about the lack of hands-on activities for kids in this area. Our store provides a space for trying new things, something that was previously missing. We are working towards building more relationships with local families and schools to find out what needs we can fill because we’re well equipped to do that.
A fun fact or unique thing about your business?
When they walk into a storefront, I think many people assume correctly that many of the products on the shelves are made in other places or shipped in from faceless, nameless companies. That’s not the case with our products. We make many of them ourselves, some of them we design, and then have other artists produce them for us, like magnets and greeting cards. We have local printers that help us with our designs. We also have local artists that we carry in the store. For example, a company based in Virginia a couple of hours away makes science kits, and we carry many of their products. It’s really awesome when they come in, and we get to meet them and really connect with these local sources of nerdy sciencey things.
How would you define your business in three words?
Artsy, Nerdy, Inspirational.
What is your favorite holiday?
My favorite holiday is a family-created summer event where we celebrate multiple birthdays. It’s an enjoyable time that combines my love for summer, family gatherings, and shared cooking.
What would you recommend people buy from your store?
Our store is known for white elephant gifts featuring science puns and novelty items. We offer a variety of unexpected and humorous items, like anatomically correct mini 3D organs.
What is the best thing a customer has ever said to you?
Customers often express amazement at the custom circuit board art we create, especially when it holds personal significance for them. The best moments are when they see their interests and passions beautifully represented in art. Our website’s inspiration gallery showcases many of these custom pieces.