Rock Stepper Playmat

Case Study: Rock Stepper Playmat

Product website: 

Product Facebook name:



Rock Stepper is a revolutionary playmat bundle designed to merge style with learning. Its unique features include a dual-sided playmat, an engaging app, Alexa Skill, and flashcards aiming to promote movement and creativity in children.

The Challenge

Nathalie Bishop, the founder and a dedicated mother of three, observed an influx in screen time among children during lockdown. Inspired by her daughters’ creative play with an alphabet playmat, she identified a gap in the market: playmats that combined both educational and interior aesthetic appeal. The majority either catered solely to children with bright illustrations or were muted to blend with home decor. She envisioned a mat bridging this gap, ensuring learning and stylish aesthetics.

Development Journey

The idea for Rock Stepper emerged from the simple spelling game her children played. While the core team had a clear vision for the product, the challenge lay in transforming sketches into a manufacturable design. That’s where Innovate Design stepped in, bringing their expertise and a slew of creative ideas, particularly around integrated technology.


Finding the right factory was crucial for Rock Stepper, given the team’s emphasis on quality and aesthetics. Their collaboration with a factory, with which they secured a licensing deal, ensured the production of the exact quality of the product they envisioned. The factory was immensely supportive, guiding the team through every step and laying the foundation for a lasting relationship.

Collaboration with Innovate

“Innovate were instrumental in our design journey. Their team transformed our initial sketches into designs and prototypes – including integrated technology and different manufacturers and fabric options. Their flexibility and patience during design adaptations were commendable. They were committed to ensuring we were completely satisfied, accommodating even the tiniest of requested changes,” Nathalie Bishop, founder of Rock Stepper.

“The Rock Stepper is a fantastic example of how our personal experiences can help create innovative products. A gap in the educational toys market was identified through their team’s own desire for a stylish educational playmat. By testing prototypes with their children and friends, the Rock Stepper team validated their design and launched a product that not only makes learning fun for children but also elevates the style of its environment.’ James McInerny, CO-MD and Head of Design at Innovate Design.

Highlights & Learnings

For Nathalie, seeing Rock Stepper transition from a vision to a tangible product has been the ultimate reward. Their commitment to not compromising and ensuring every aspect of the product was perfect made the journey worthwhile. A valuable lesson she offers to budding entrepreneurs is to remain adaptable but true to their vision. “We spent hours refining the exact shade of moss green for our product, but the end result was something we’re incredibly proud of,” she shares.

The Future

The digital components of Rock Stepper, like the app and Alexa Skill, offer a dynamic element, allowing for quick updates and additions. The team envisions introducing new games, alternative mat designs, and diverse audio content, ensuring the product remains fresh and engaging.


“Innovate were a pivotal part of our journey, transforming our sketches into reality. Their dedication to perfecting every detail and ensuring complete client satisfaction stood out. We’re grateful for their unwavering support throughout.” Nathalie Bishop, founder of Rock Stepper

Do you have an idea that solves a problem?

Request a confidential idea review and one of our experts will give feedback on your idea and suggest what you can do next.