Admin Api to Storefront Api for collection filtering

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Hi all, I require some assistance with the search functionality of Shopify.


we have recently been developing a custom theme for a client and require some specific filtering capabilities on our collection pages.

Everything was working perfectly with the admin api, but deploying the theme live I realised that we don’t have access to the admin api.

What would be the best way forward for querying products via an api, as in the docs, filtering by vendor and other filter types doesn’t work (this is what we need) 

Do I find a workaround using some hack on the admin api or am I better to build out an app (with the storefront api) to use the custom filtering? 
Is the storefront api how the apps on the Shopify store currently work? 

- Yes this is my first time developing with Shopify so any help is greatly appreciated!