It’s been an interesting week since Geek Chic announced they closed their doors.
The announcement came immediately before Origins Game Fair started, so we were asked about it a lot. We don’t have any facts to add to their story, but some questions about ourselves were asked often enough we felt we should address them publicly.
How are you doing?
Or to be blunt, how financially stable is Carolina Game Tables?
Well, we don’t owe money to a bank, family, friends, or anyone. Heck, we don’t even carry a balance on our business credit cards. What we do owe is a debt of thanks to our Kickstarter backers. We started our company with a Kickstarter, and after running more than a half dozen between the two of us, we knew what we needed to fulfill our rewards to backers and still have enough to fund the creation of the company. And that’s what we did.
What if something unexpected happens?
We have a business line of credit set up to use in case of an emergency, so if we need money fast, we are prepared. We also have contingency plans in place should something happen to either Clint or Jodi (or both of us). We hope we never have to use them.
How long have you been in business?
Carolina Game Tables was created in 2015 as a DBA of an already existing corporation, Beautiful Brains, Inc. Beautiful Brains was incorporated in 2009 by Clint and Jodi Black. We’re the sole owners with no partners, silent or otherwise.
Now, if the question is one of how long we’ve been in the furniture business, then the answer is decades. We often discuss Clint being a third-generation furniture manufacturer, but it’s important to note those have all been family-owned businesses. Meaning as soon as he was old enough to push a broom, he was working in his family’s furniture factory. Ultimately, he made his way from pushing the broom to being Vice President of a multi-million dollar corporation.
How are you handling your money?
First off, the company only has two permanent employees, Clint and Jodi. Everything else is handled by a third party or on an as-needed basis. We’ll only bring in more people when it works financially.
Second, there are a lot of design ideas bouncing around in our heads, but we don’t want to overstep our market or demand. We take our time, insuring the design is feasible before committing money to production. We’re pretty proud that we’ve been able to implement five designs in less than two years: the Dining Game Table, Tablezilla, Kitchen, Coffee, and now the Streamer.
We’re doing great. Better than we expected, honestly, but we’re trying to stay cautious. We’re heartbroken about the news of Geek Chic (they have been incredibly supportive of us). But if it forced us to do nothing else, we’ve written this to hopefully settle any fears potential customers have when evaluating their choices in the game table industry. The fact there is a “game table industry” shows the lasting influence of Geek Chic—one which we think will continue to grow as people reconnect face-to-face around board, card, and roleplaying games.