How Dragon’s Den star Henry Blake used the web to boost family timber merchant business, WoodBlocX.

To ensure the survival of his sixth generation family timber merchant business, Henry Blake turned to the internet. In 2010, he launched his WoodBlocX site selling innovative Lego-like kits out of pine blocks and plastic dowels for building raised beds and seats for the garden. Such was his impressive business acumen and web foresight, he gained £75k from Dragons’ Den star Peter Jones. He now has over 2000 kits on the site and has produced over 1,500 bespoke designs for gardens all over the country. Thanks to the web, this family business based in Scotland has become the go-to brand for garden landscaping solutions.

My favourite website... Facebook - I am on it all the time every day, which is a little bit embarrassing. It’s kind of like admitting to liking Coldplay but I guess millions of people can’t all be wrong.

My favourite app... Google Analytics - I like watching folk on our website live and seeing locations and demographics. It’s like fishing.

My blog of choice... I’m not much of a blog reader. I’m more of a podcast sort of chap. I listen to English comedian, Adam Buxton and Wittertainment, the BBC’s flagship film programme.

My internet hero... American entrepreneur and social media pioneer, Gary Vaynerchuk - He talks sense in a language that even I can understand.

My most recent buy online... A flight to Prague from Inverness via Amsterdam.

Book just read... ‘Chicken Manual, The Complete Step-by-step Guide to Keeping Chickens’ by Laurence Beeken - It’s a very informative read about how to look after our new hens.

My favourite tweeter... @JekkasHerbFarm, who is actually one of my favourite people too.

Favourite instagrammer... @thomashogben - I am biased, as he is our creative director.

Social media allowed me to meet... virtually everyone - ButJamie Oliver stopped past our stand at the Chelsea Flower Show a couple of years back.

Stand out online memory... The fist time someone purchased some BlocX on a website that I had built. That was an air punch moment.

Most worthwhile newsletter subscribed to... I love sending newsletters but hate receiving them.

Pet hate about life online... It stops me getting out into the hills as much as I should.

iPhone or Android? iPhone

April 2017