Our founder Chris and his partner Manon are a passionate couple who embarked on the Petit Menhir journey over two years ago.
Since its beginning, Petit Menhir has been committed to providing parents with safe and quality educational toys for their children. As a small team, Chris and Manon put family, sharing and conviviality at the heart of their concerns.
How did you discover your love for toys and how did you break into the industry?
Manon: We were walking one day with our nephew on a beach by Lake Geneva. During the walk, our nephew collected different shapes of pebbles to complete his collection. Once back home, he started playing with these stones and stacking them for hours. Since he loved playing with his little rocks so much, we thought painting some would be a fun activity. Then the three of us played with those little colored rocks for the rest of the afternoon, building weird towers and inventing challenges, like height, aesthetics and speed challenge. We had a blast! And that's how the Petit Menhir wooden educational game was born.
Creating something new is not easy, made of ups and downs, we worked a lot to build this project. It's important to always be one step ahead, we talk regularly with our community and our partners in order to know their desires and their needs. We have been incredibly fortunate to meet great success with children and their parents, but also with education experts. They are the ones who give us the energy and the desire to move forward 💙
How did you come up with the idea to create these very unique shaped blocks?
Chris: Growing up in the 80's, we were nostalgic of our wooden toys and were desperate to develop a product that meets today's environmental needs. Simple and long lasting, wooden toys allow children to build and create to infinity.
To make the Petit Menhir wooden educational game even more interesting, we teamed up with the amazing teacher LilouTeach and created workshops to train children's memory and concentration skills, mixing geometry and spatial representation with the help of print at home cards.
These blocks look like Easter eggs and are even packaged like eggs in a basket! Was this done on purpose?
Chris: We always liked the way the Easter eggs were presented in their little nest, and it's also a great way to protect the blocks from bumping into each other. We also added a small pouch to make it easier to carry the little blocks. We know how much kids love to take their new favorite toy everywhere.
What made you decide to create these blocks in so many colors? That said, how many colors are available and do you have a personal favorite?
Chris: After surveying our friends and family, we settled on two different types of sets, one with bright colors and one with pastel colors. We have a slight preference for the pastel set. And after asking our community, it seems like it’s their favorite too, although the score is tight ;)
How did you find a manufacturer for these toys and how difficult was it to market them?
Manon: For us, it was essential to develop a game that was safe and produced in an environmentally responsible manner. After asking many suppliers, we found a supplier who shared our respect for people and the environment. Our Petit Menhir wooden educational game is made of beech wood from FSC certified forests. This means that the wood is controlled from its origin to the manufacturing and distribution process. This assures consumers that the resources are harvested responsibly and meet current ecological needs.
Our little menhirs are coated with a non-toxic water-based paint, making them completely safe for children.
How different were the prototypes from the final products?
Chris: To be honest, the prototypes were more or less the same, we made some small adjustments to the colors but we were very quickly satisfied with the final products.
You're a small company, so how did you manage to stay afloat in the middle of the pandemic?
Chris: As we sell our Petit Menhir games only online for the moment, the pandemic has not had an impact on our business, quite the opposite. We essentially worked remotely during the various lockdowns. Nowadays, we have all the necessary tools to work efficiently and collaboratively from home.
What other toys could you add to the line over the next five years? In fact, how would you like to see Petit Menhir evolve and develop?
Manon : That's a good question ;) We are actively working on an offer of our Petit Menhir wooden educational game for retailers as we have had many requests from small retailers. We are also working on adding new products to our Petit Menhir brand, not necessarily toys but products that are useful for children in general.
What are your upcoming projects and/or events?
Chris: Expanding our Petit Menhir wooden game collections, stay tuned...
Is there anything else you'd like to mention?
Chris: We would like to thank our community, our customers and our partners for their involvement and support since the beginning of Petit Menhir. Without them, we would not be able to do what we love. So a BIG THANK YOU to them!