Welcome to Bisque Imports!
We're glad to have you here. Read on to hear the story of how we got started!
It all began in 1999 when Alicia Toal, who had just started her own paint your own pottery studio, needed something more from her bisque suppliers. The sub-par customer service and ceramic selection she was receiving at the time prevented her studio from blossoming. This is the part where her husband, D.J. Toal, jumps in. His research and passion for helping his wife ignited his ceramic flame. So, he ordered his first container from an Italian ceramics manufacturer and set up shop in his property barn located in Charlotte, NC.
From there, D.J. hired his first Bisque Imports employee, Sherry, (who worked for BI for 13 years) and shuttled around the Carolinas selling bisque from Rubbermaid containers out of his car. As interest began to mount, D.J. and Sherry decided to attend their first CCSA Convention in the summer of 2000. The two novices had no idea what to expect as they drove a trailer full of 25 shapes down to Florida. After receiving a warm welcome at Convention, Bisque Imports began to build from solely selling kitchenware to a more versatile company including figurines and kid shapes as well.
In 2006, Bisque Imports announced their venture into the exciting world of Warm Glass. In 2007, they hosted their first educational event, CeramaJam. With these new changes, D.J. and the growing BI Crew committed their work to educating and inspiring their customers like never before. To this day, B.I. remains committed to education through events like CeramaJam, CeramaJam On the Road, Glass-O-Rama, Glass-O-Rama+, and Boost Your Business.
BI is now located in Belmont, NC, leaving more space for tractors, goats, and horses out in the Toal barn. Since the 1999 barn moveout, the BI crew has moved in and out of three Belmont warehouses, and completed restoration and revamping processes throughout each. Currently located in the Spinning Mill since 2013, Belmont BI employees are driven by the same passion and determination that brought D.J. into the industry in the first place. Although, the drive not only sits in the Belmont crew; Utah and Texas are also home to two warehouses filled with dedicated hard workers. Today, over 40 individuals make up the BI crew. They continue to work as a strong, creative team innovating the world of art as we know it.
BI will never stop improving upon their existing systems to foster a sustainable atmosphere, company, and industry. From the first Italian container to the ever-growing industry today, this is only the beginning of the Bisque Imports journey.
Meet Our Team
These are the awesome employees who make up the BI Crew!
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DJ Toal - CEO
Allen Burge - General Manager
Tesha Palmer - Sales & Marketing Director
Tina Roberts - Business Development Consultant
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Zane Burge - Customer Service and Fulfillment Manager
Patrick Williams - Product/Process Development and Implementation Manager
Chris Denison - Systems Nerd
Ashley Jones - AR/AP/HR Administrator
Mission, Vision, and Core Values