By Margaret Jackson | Mar 20, 2023
Sanding block kits
A car crash when he was 16 years old started Green down a career path that includes building cars, a reality TV series, and starting a manufacturer in Big Kid Blocks.
When his father refused to pay for any of the repairs needed after the accident, Green decided to do the restoration himself. In the process, he discovered he had a knack for fixing cars that ultimately landed him a spot on the MotorTrend reality TV show Bitchin' Rides.
Green found that body-working panels covered in hard and dense materials were inefficient when using a soft sanding block, so he started prototyping hard-faced blocks that could provide a flat finish and cut through hard materials faster. In the process, he created a more ergonomic design, which helps with wrist fatigue and other discomforts that come from sanding.
"I wanted to make my guys faster at what they were doing, and I realized it would be good for other people to use," says Green, who also owns car builder Big Kid Custom Rides.
Bitchin' Rides gave Green the following he needed to successfully launch Big Kid Blocks in February 2020 -- just as the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the world. While it wasn't the easiest time to start a business, Green says it took off by the second weekend.
"I just figured it would be something that a few people here and there would be interested in, but by week two, it became a full-time three and within three months, we decided we had to hire people and outsource manufacturing," Green says.
Today, the company sells its products internationally, including in Canada, Australia, Europe, Sweden, Japan, and the United Kingdom. And it's working on bringing all its production back in-house.
The company provides a 100 percent warranty on all handle attachments and Big Kid BOSS Blocks. If a customer breaks an acrylic block, by dropping it or using excessive force, they can buy single replacement blocks.
In addition to selling its automotive sanding block kits, Big Kid Blocks has partnerships with companies like Angelwax and INDASA so customers can purchase complementary products. Big Kid Blocks offers products like mixing boards, sanding sheets, sponge pads and masking tape as well as polishes, compounds and microfiber polishing pads.
"I wanted to be a one-stop shop," explains Green. "At first, it was for do-it-yourselfers, but now we see a lot of businesses and companies placing bulk orders through us."
The company's YouTube channel provides tips and tricks for using its products. It also offers classes held in its customers' shops to help them take their work to the next level.
Challenges: Keeping up with demand is the biggest challenge -- especially since Big Kid Block brought production in-house.
Opportunities: The demand for the sanding block kits extends beyond the automotive and is now being used in the cabinet and painting industries. "We started developing dust extraction blocks and launched those last year," Green says. "We sell those all over the world."
The market is growing: Abrasives were valued at about $41 billion worldwide in 2021, with projections to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5.9 percent to nearly $65 billion by 2029, according to Fortune Business Insights.
Needs: While Green says he's satisfied with the direction Big Kid Blocks is headed, he is still working on bringing all of the manufacturing in-house. He says he's about halfway there and expects all of the company will handle 100 percent of its own production by the end of the second quarter of 2023.