Eco-friendly Stackable Blocks with Rock Block Shop

Eco-friendly Stackable Blocks with Rock Block Shop

"I figured if I'm going to contribute to this world in some small way, it needs to leave the Earth unharmed," Alisa Ellis, Founder of the Rock Block Shop

By noissue 12 May, 2020


"I went to school for graphic design, and absolutely loved it. It was whole new world of creation, making my artsy ideas come to life in a new way. I met my husband while going to school, and we were surprised with a pregnancy of our now 3 year old boy. I had stopped going to school, and became a full-time mother. We moved up to Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada to spend the summer months of 2017. I had seen these blocks that had all different shapes on a website from Denmark, however they were a local store, and didn't ship anywhere international. I wanted this toy for my kiddo, as they were the coolest most interesting toy I've ever seen! I expressed to my husband I wanted him to make me some, and he said, 'you can make those.'"

"Living on the island, we were surrounded by trees and had a lot of wood working tools available. I had never touched a woodworking tool in my life, but now I can't imagine what my life would be without getting over the initial fear of starting something new and learning how to work with wood. We launched a couple weeks after I had 'built inventory.' I told myself I would be happy if I had 4 orders within the first week. Well, our checking account went from $7 to $700 within the first day. I was floored, and saw the potential of this incredible product I had handcrafted. And best of all, I LOVED what I was doing. I get to wear every hat of running a business, which makes me feel empowered and able to conquer the world!"

"We've been running on all cylinders ever since. Working out the kinks of the business, and how to improve the product and everything that surrounds it is a constant job. Kids have enjoyed our products all around the world, and knowing these blocks bring joy and a fun challenge to their daily life keeps me going. I've thought about calling it quits a few times, but then I think about how much work we've put in, and how it's a toy that makes people happy and inspired, and this keeps me grounded and push on."

"We've seen the potential and want this product to eventually be available to everyone in every country. Big fat dream, but isn't it always?"

"Inventory, painting, and packaging have been the biggest challenges so far. I was waking up at 4am and working until 11pm, doing nothing but making blocks for months. I finally hired out a couple of people to make them for me, and that saved my business. We are actually in the process of streamlining the creation process of the blocks, which should cut our production time by more than half! This newly found process will completely change everything about our business."

"We have been hand-painting every block. Oh my gosh, this has been the absolute longest process! I would sit and paint for 16 hours at a time, doing multiple coats, and only end up with about 250 blocks at the end of the day if I was lucky. We are setting up a spray room as we speak, and will be spraying the blocks with paint from now on, which will again cut our time down by a lot more than half."

"Sustainability, I've found, there's a scale to it depending on the product you're referring to. How sustainable can our wooden blocks be? We can take trees from a tree farm that are specifically planted to then be chopped down and used. But, is this tree farm being sustainable themselves in their water usage? Or how they mill their trees? Are they using wind or solar power for their electricity to mill these trees? Are their chainsaws gas or power charged? Is our paint being made in a sustainable way? How sustainable is our wood, paint, or packaging materials compared to other materials? I could go on and on about the questions we have tried to find answers to!"

"Right from the first day of launching, I made a choice to keep my brand as sustainable and eco-friendly as I could. I feel if I hadn't made this choice to lead everything that surrounds my product, it would've been so much harder to make the switch. I am constantly learning about sustainability and try my absolute best to offer the most eco-friendly option to my customers. It's a learning curve, and if I said it was easy, I would be lying! It's hard! Packaging, for example: Plastic is cheaper, and can showcase a product in a retail store in a way that draws the consumer in. It would be an obvious choice financially and aesthetically. However, because we made a choice to stick to our guns and keep our brand sustainable, we find other solutions, and guess what?! I feel so much better about my brand and product in doing so."

"We're doing a complete re-vamp of our website soon, to show our customers what they are paying for. Our products, at first glance and if not understood, are expensive! We need to do a better job at helping our customers understand all that goes into the product."

"I figured if I'm going to contribute to this world in some small way, it needs to leave the Earth unharmed. I also want our customers to be confident in their purchases, and know they are making a choice that is good and helpful as opposed to the alternative. Being sustainable matters!"

"Packaging has been difficult to nail down, and we are constantly tweaking it as we learn what is more sustainable than others. We're so happy to have found noissue, as they seem to actually understand the needs of business owners and the sustainable options many are now seeking. I feel amazing everytime I slip my products into the "I'm a 100% Compostable Mailer", because when they are delivered, I KNOW customers see that and are surprised and excited! Their sustainable choice is smack dab in front of their face in bright pink lettering!"