The Standee Story: Fully Custom Wooden Decorations

The Standee Story: Fully Custom Wooden Decorations

The Standee's story is a humble one, rooted in a simple discovery, a desire to do things differently, and a well-timed “what if.” A few years ago, one of our team members came across an intriguing product online – a small, layered stand-up piece made of plastic. It was a really cool idea with a horrible execution, made from cheap, wasteful plastic. We knew that we could elevate the concept to be cooler, more durable, and more sustainable. But at the time we weren’t ready to leap into developing a new product, so we tabled the idea until the right moment. 

That moment arrived in the summer of '23 when a long-standing customer, from Calaveras Big Trees State Park in the Sierra Nevada mountains, came to us seeking a unique wooden product. We remembered our idea of how we could improve on the layered stand-up, and pitched them on what would become the Standee – a multi-layered decorative piece that stands tall, made out of sustainably sourced wood and designed to last. 


Featuring one of the Big Trees of Calaveras


Our client loved the idea, with the request that it include a redwood tree and their sign at the entrance of the park. We thought three layers would be better than two and decided to add a black bear who sits in front of the sign. Upon seeing our mockup, the only comment our client had was “How many can I buy?” 

And so we were off to the races to make the Standee a reality. As we moved into developing it, we focused on customization and sustainability. We wanted to work with what we already had, both with materials and with the manufacturing process.


Working our way through the design and conception process


Each piece is quarter inch thick Baltic birch from FSC-certified suppliers, ensuring responsible and ethical sourcing. It’s the same material we use for our wooden coasters, repurposed to reduce waste. The Standee is made entirely of wood, from the layers themselves, to the pegs that keep it in place, to the piece that the Standee pops out of when you go to assemble it. The only aspect of the entire product that isn’t wood is the packaging — and believe us, if we could, we’d make that out of wood too! But we settled for 100% biodegradable cellulose packaging, with a hole that can be used as a hook rather than using a piece of plastic.


The final product, made entirely of sustainable materials


The manufacturing process mirrors that of our other products to reduce the cost and environmental overhead of creating the product. We didn’t want to reinvent the wheel and buy new equipment, tools, and materials just for one product, as that contradicts our mission of sustainability. So, to create the Standee we use the same laser cutter and eco-friendly inks as for our other keepsakes. It’s all created during one production run to further minimize our impact on the environment, while of course maintaining the high quality our customers expect.

The structure of the Standee is 3 pieces: a front layer, a sign, and a back layer, with many options to customize and incorporate elements of your brand and the symbols of your location. The most basic version of this is an animal, a sign, and a tree, like we made for our friends at Calaveras Big Trees — but the options are virtually endless, limited only by the scope of your creativity combined with ours. The back layer can be a tree, a rocketship, a surfboard, whatever best symbolizes the magic of your destination. The front layer can be a local animal, or something else that is core to who you are. The custom design process is a collaboration between our team and yours, aiming to create something wholly unique to you.

The true charm of the Standee lies in its ability to capture the unique spirit of each location. Customers can choose from various animals, signs, and landscapes, making each Standee a personalized memento. From the stunning landscape of Banff to the iconic rocket ships of science centers, the range of designs is a testament to the versatility of this product. 


The famous bears of Banff National Park stands out amongst the mountains


The Standee is a symbol of our ambition to create meaningful, sustainable keepsakes. We're excited about the potential of the product to capture the uniqueness and charm of destinations and attractions that people love, and looking great on a shelf while doing so.

As we look to the future, we're mindful of the balance between innovation and sustainability. The Standee's journey is a reflection of our ongoing commitment to thoughtful design, environmental responsibility, and genuine passion for creating products that resonate with people and places. In sharing the story of the Standee, we hope to inspire others to embrace sustainability and creativity in their own endeavors. It's not just about making a product; it's about making a difference, one small step at a time.

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