Lisa Will

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Lisa Will is a Canadian entrepreneur. Lisa started Stonz in 2004 and is based in Vancouver.[1]

Lisa Will, founder of StonzLisa Will, founder of Stonz




@LisaWillLisa (124 followers)


@_lisa.will (343 followers)


Early Career

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Lisa started Stonz in 2004. They detail the beginnings of their company in their Starter Story interview: [1]

Q: How did you get started on Stonz?

My story started in 2004 with a dream that I could go anywhere, at any time with my 9-month-old, at the drop of a hat! That meant easily and spontaneously getting outside, no matter the weather, and he would love it as much as I did!

As a lover of the outdoors, I was frequently outside, doing anything from tennis, running, windsurfing, skiing, paddle boarding, hiking, biking, camping, or just long walks. To this day I need to be outdoors doing something! So many people told me once you have a child this all would change. I could get my head around not being able to play tennis every day, or continue driving 7+ hours often to Hood River windsurfing Friday night through Sunday, but I couldn’t get my head around not still having spontaneity in my life.

Bringing my infant son on adventures with me was going to be part of life...I was determined. When my son Lachlan was 5 weeks, my husband Mark and I headed to Hood River, Oregon camping. We wanted to see what it was like with an infant and see just how hard this really was. It was mostly a successful trip - we camped in our VW Van with only one trip-up...we overheated our son by wrapping him in so many blankets with worrying about him being cold. Our learning; no matter what it is our kids will tell us. That was the most he cried. Other than that he loved the fresh air, new places, and keeping on the go. More on that to come! I spent the rest of my maternity leave walking, carrying, or strolling him around just to get him to sleep!

While on an outing up at Whistler, Canada with my son Lachlan, now 8 months old, was in my backpack carrier and repeatedly kicking his footwear off, making his feet constantly cold. He loved being out so I couldn’t figure out why he was crying and fussing so much until I realized his footwear was always falling off due to him working them off with rubbing his heels. Also his pants were riding up in the carrier which was exposing his legs.

This added to his crying and continuous unhappiness on this trip. I tried wrapping my scarf around his legs but this lasted about 3 minutes and we were on repeat! Crying and fussiness. Looking back and believing everything happens for a reason, I now know why Lachlan was so fussy that day - he was helping me start pursuing a dream I’d had from the age of 7; Stonz!

I'm fascinated by contemplating nature vs nurture. As a kid I moved around a lot with my parents because my Dad was employed by a bank. Every 2-3 years of my childhood we moved to a new city and this meant new houses, new friends, new and different pastimes depending on the location and the need to adjust and fit in. I am not sure if this was my nature or part of my nurtured part to this day. I remain adaptable, can easily pivot and remain very open to new ideas and adjustments to my life. Perhaps a little too keen on changing things up :)


My entrepreneurship started around the age of 7 or 8, making crafts and having neighbors pay what I thought was extraordinary amounts of money for my painted rocks. This inspired me to move to painted Kleenexes (not my most successful - the ink came off on people’s faces when it was used!). This taught me about how valuable repeat business was and customer acquisition cost! Next was me putting on disco lessons. I had no business doing this! I would be shown a few moves each week by a friend’s mom and later that week held my own sessions, carefully tracking each student’s progress in duotangs. Even writing this seems embarrassing. Amazing I had any friends really!

My most profitable became garage sales, collecting neighborhood gems and reselling them. My friends were interested in a few hours and I could do it all day. They lost interest much sooner than I.

Still I didn't know what this was as a kid and no one in my family was an entrepreneur. In fact as a banker, my Dad would have taught me how not to be one if he could have. Growing up during the 1980’s he saw some disastrous times, with people all around us losing their homes, their cars and having to move away. Entrepreneurship was never going to be encouraged in my family.

I continued being curious and was a child who rarely could go with the flow of being told “this had to be done this way”. I wanted to know why...why did this work like that? Why did I have to do this for this outcome? What if the person telling me was wrong? What if things could be done a different way? What if I could figure that out?

Fast forward to finishing high school and me not being ready to accept that sitting another 4 years day after day with others telling me how things should be done. It’s not that they didn’t know but more that I needed to find out for myself. To test things. To try new ways of working on something. Little did I know this was entrepreneur-like as well. I decided to go to school at night and try getting to work.

I joined a Bank, moved into mining, found my way into a utility then found my happiest! I had a portfolio of my own, created by my discovery of deregulation of electricity markets and made a career of buying and selling electricity and gas contracts. It was an incredible experience, the hardest I’d ever worked but the happiest I’d ever been. I had also finished my degree in the evenings and done an MBA so that I also had the educational background, should anyone have required it. By 2002, I was fully entrenched in my work and loved every day of it.

I had my son Lachlan in 2003, and this changed everything. I no longer could keep up with markets day to day, hour to hour. It made it almost impossible to go into work at 4:30 am each day with being up throughout the night and be really alert. I needed to make a change. My dream had always been to run my own business. I had a million ideas which I noted daily. And this one day at Whistler with my son, unhappy with cold feet, changed my path.

> In 2015 I knew running a logistics warehouse was in itself its own business. I made the decision we would grow our sales and marketing departments and let go of fulfillment.

Source [1]