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.
June is the Gateway to Summer!
And around here that means convention season kicking into high gear. Just in the month of June 2017 we will be at both ConCarolinas in Charlotte, NC (June 2–4) and Origins Game Fair in Columbus, OH (June 14–18).
We’re particularly thrilled to be returning to ConCarolinas as we (Jodi and Clint) are attending as the Gaming Guests of Honor. That’s primarily for our work with Pinnacle Entertainment as publishers of Savage Worlds, but we definitely will also have a space in the exhibit hall as Carolina Game Tables. Still, for the roleplayers and future game designers, we have some great panels and of course, we’ll be hosting a Savage Saturday Night (a variety of Savage Worlds games in the 8-12pm slot that evening).
Origins June 14–18, 2017
Now, that’s not to say we aren’t excited about Origins! It’s 5 days of gaming. Five. Days. I took a quick glance at the schedule and there are over 6000 events on it. It’s amazing. For gamers who have never gone, I highly recommend trying it at least once.
Dining Game Table in Sagamore Hill and Dark Blue.
If You Want a Game Table for Christmas—What, Christmas?!
If you’ve been waiting for a chance to see our game tables in person, both of those cons will be an excellent opportunity. They’re also a couple of the last chances (barring a visit to our office in North Carolina) before we hit our holiday deadline for ordering.
That’s right, the holidays. Thanksgiving. Christmas. New Year’s Eve. Party Central! If you know you want to have a table delivered in time for the holidays, June and July are the best time to place your order! Our average production time is holding steady at 16 weeks, but it’s the busiest manufacturing time—and delivery time—of the year. If you live in one of the farthest states from us (Washington State, we’re looking at you–White Glove Delivery time can be 4 weeks) the timing is especially tricky. To be safe, order before the end of the July (or better yet, June, so you can have it for Thanksgiving, too!).
Dining Game Table in Sagamore Hill and Dark Blue.
That’s it for now. We’ve got conventions to prepare for!
Celebrating our New Offices and Showroom!
We’d love to see you and your friends at our Open House to celebrate the new offices and showroom for Carolina Game Tables! But before we get into the details…
Sale the ENTIRE Month of April: Free Cup Holder Upgrade!
To celebrate our new offices and showroom, we’re offering a FREE Cup Holder Upgrade for all Dining, Streamer, and Tablezilla sales during the month of April, either online or in person at our new offices! That’s a savings of $150 on the Dining and Streamer; and $200 on the Tablezilla Game Table!
If you’re placing an order online, just mention you want the free cup holders in the notes at checkout.
Here are the Stats for our Open House:
10 am-6 pm Saturday April 22, 2017 at the Carolina Game Tables offices and showroom
940 Tate Blvd. SE, Suite 108
Hickory, NC 28602
10 am Dedication Ceremony
Led by Pastor Bill Miller-Zurell (from our church, Holy Trinity Lutheran of Hickory). It’s not always cool to talk about faith and business, especially in the game industry, but our family and our business are based in Christ’s teachings. That’s why we’re asking for the Lord’s continued blessings on Carolina Game Tables with a short Dedication Ceremony in lieu of a “ribbon cutting.”
Come See the Game Tables!
We should have ALL of the table designs there for you to see in our showroom:
$899 Coffee Game Table
$1199 Kitchen Game Table
$1599 Dining Game Table
$1999 Streamer Game Table
…and maybe the $2199 Tablezilla Game Table will arrive in time. Here’s hoping.
We’ll also have our chairs and side tables/benches for you to see, and the finish samples and fabric samples so you can dream about owning your own Carolina Game Table.
Classic Gamer Food!
We’ll have donuts, fruit, coffee, and juice for the morning and pizza, salad, soda, and water available around one o’clock.
We know gamers tend to focus more on the games than on making sure they’re fed. We gotcha covered. 🙂
Please click “Going” on our Facebook event so we know how many people to plan for.
We’ll have games set up and ready to go on most of our tables in the showroom. Call of Catthulhu RPG, Savage Worlds RPG demos, Ticket to Ride, Settlers of Catan, Starving Artists, Apples to Apples, Crap or Slap, King of Tokyo, and more are scheduled to be run at different times of the day!
Not a board game fan? We’ll have a jigsaw puzzle set up on a Coffee Game Table, too.
Prizes and Giveaways!
What’s an Open House without some prizes?
Everyone signing up for our newsletter at the showroom that day goes into a drawing to win cool stuff from us and our friends! Drawing will be held at 5:30pm, and you do not need to be present to win. But you do need to stop by in person to sign up!
So far we have: Savage Worlds core rules, Starving Artists board game, Dinner and Dice: A Gaming Cookbook, and a set of our Carolina Game Tables coasters! More are being added every day, so be sure to sign up. 🙂
PAX East in Boston and New Offices!
We’re getting ready to hit the road for Boston, MA, and PAX East, but we’re bursting with news about our new offices!
New Offices in Hickory, NC
For those of you who’ve supported us from our humble Kickstarter beginnings, you’ll understand just how excited we are about this. Until recently we’ve worked Carolina Game Tables partly from our home office (which is where Jodi also manages Pinnacle Entertainment Group as COO and Managing Editor), and partly from Old Hickory Tannery (where Clint works as Vice President for his father’s factory).
Now we have our own space! It’ll have a showroom, offices, warehouse…it’s a dream come true for us. Thank YOU for helping us get here.
We’re tentatively planning an Open House for Saturday, April 22nd. If you live within a day trip of Hickory, NC, we hope you’ll join us.
Now, PAX East!
PAX started in 2004 with the folks at Penny Arcade who decided they wanted a show exclusively for gaming. After all, games are just as cool as comics, anime, and other nerd hobbies, right? Bursting out of their old venue from doubling each year, they expanded into Boston for PAX East in 2010 with tens of thousands of attendees in the inaugural year.
PAX East has tabletop boardgames (with games for all ages), console freeplay, a PC area, a handheld lounge, panels, an exhibit hall with all the con goodies, concerts and Ommegathon where the lone survivor of six games wins a trip to Japan.
Our booth for Carolina Game Tables is booth #10109. We’re close to the PAX Australia Road Show.
The Boston Convention Center has a grand entrance for their Exhibit Hall: ride down one of two escalators, taking in the view of all there is to see and do! To find us, take the left escalator down and then walk straight down that aisle. You should walk past Microsoft and Rooster Teeth. When you get to the PAX Australia Road Show, take a left. We’re on the left. Left…Left…Left…couldn’t be easier. 🙂
Here’s a map to help you find us:
Come out to experience the fun!
Y’all Come See: Game Tables at Con Nooga!
Con Nooga is located in the Chattanooga Convention Center and historic Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel February 24-26 2017. Y’all come see—it’s the biggest little con you’ve ever seen, with truly something for everyone!
If you don’t have a badge yet, don’t worry. You can pick one up at the door. The cheapest one day pass is Sunday $10 (ages 12 and up) and $5 (ages 7-12). Kids under 6 get in for free with a paying Adult badge. A three day pass for one adult is $60.
Here’s a shot of our booth at PAX South recently. We’re bringing a Dining Game Table with Cup Holders, 2 Kitchen Game Tables, and a Coffee Game Table to Con Nooga!
Con Nooga has over 500 hours of programming beginning at Noon Friday and ending around 3pm on Sunday. From every genre and fandom they add fun and informative sessions, contests and events for Anime, Artists, Authors, Console Gaming, Music, Horror, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Kids Track, Comics, Paranormal, British Media, Gaming, and almost anything else imaginable!
To see the gaming schedule, panels, and convention center maps, check out their app. You can view it in a browser here, and the link to download to your phone is on their main page here: http://www.connooga.com/home.html
Panels, Events, and Contests
There are lots of interesting panels at Con Nooga. Everything from Not Just Mathematical: Politics, Religion, and Feminism in Adventure Time to a funny series aimed to help you with your interpersonal skills like The Zen of Flirting – Interacting With Humans Part II. If you want to argue, there are panels on Camp Half-Blood vs Hotel Valhalla vs Hogwarts vs The Guard as well as the usual Marvel vs. DC Debate.
Our family is involved in several panels at Con Nooga including Game Mastering for Tabletop RPGs, Writing for Gamers: Story/Game World Creation, Spoiler Alert! What’s New for Savage Worlds?, Promoting Gender Equality in Kids Gaming, Kickstarter 101, and Growth Trend: Women in the Game Industry.
Don’t worry…we’ll make sure there’s always someone in the Carolina Game Tables booth to answer your questions about our beautiful game tables for everyday dining and game night!
There is a fantastic Kidz Track at Con Nooga for kids 12 and under. Our daughters were one of the first kids to get involved in the Kidz Track years ago as Game Masters and panelists (seven years ago, I think!). They have crafts, lightsaber duels, big wheel races, and costume contests.
Finally, we’d like to say this convention does a fantastic job of separating the 18+ events like the burlesque and concerts from those looking for a family-friendly convention experience. They keep the “after dark” stuff at the Choo Choo hotel…and nothing starts before 8pm. Bring a babysitter to put the kids to bed in the hotel room–you don’t want to miss the cheeky fun of the late night panels and contests!
Find Us in the Exhibit Hall
You can find us in the Exhibit Hall in booths J12 & J13. Here’s a handy map of the Exhibit Hall. Click to make it larger!
Find Carolina Game Tables at Con Nooga 2017! Booth J12 & J13, close to concessions and gaming!
Post PAX South 2017
Streamer Game Table in Matte Cherry finish and Purple fabric, and with cup holders!
PAX South is one of our favorite conventions and holds a special place in our hearts as the first “official” show (in 2016) for Carolina Game Tables. Plus getting to visit sunny, warm, and welcoming San Antonio in January is always a treat! This year, we decided to make another debut at PAX South 2017 with the Streamer Game Table.
Streamer Game Table Convention Debut!
A game table designed specifically for tabletop game streaming at a PAX convention? Yeah, it got a LOT of attention. For those who weren’t there or didn’t get a chance to see the Streamer Game Table (there is a TON to do at any PAX), check out these shots from the exhibit hall floor!
New Purple Fabric and Cup Holder Options
You may also notice a couple of other features to “debut” at PAX South: the new Purple fabric option and the cup holders add-on seen on both the Streamer and Dining Game Table. Both of these were hugely popular as well, and we were personally thrilled to be able to finally show those in person.
As we said though, the Streamer was really the star of the show. The (inner) gamer website (podcasts and videos) interviewed Clint on the new table while at PAX South, and you’ll find that on their site soon. While you’re waiting to see Clint in action with the Streamer, check out this video of a lot of other cool stuff making a first appearance, like the Nintendo Switch!
If you want to see more of the Streamer Game Table, you can check out the original prototype on Geek & Sundry’s Twitch channel on Game The Game with Ivan Van Norman and Becca Scott Kerns playing tabletop games every Thursday, or you will eventually see the actual table taken to PAX South on Penny Arcade’s Acquisitions Incorporated the Series as they decided to “upgrade” from our Dining Game Table* to a Streamer.
Geek and Sundry’s Twitch Channel: https://www.twitch.tv/geekandsundry
Penny Arcade’s Acq. Inc. the Series: https://www.penny-arcade.com/patv/show/acquisitions-incorporated-the-series
*Word is, the Dining Game Table has gone to the Penny Arcade office so they can game on it there. That’s got to be an awesome place to work!
What’s Happening at PAX South 2017?
We can’t wait to see our Texas friends in San Antonio for PAX South January 27-29, 2017! We are in Booth 10055.
Find Carolina Game Tables in the Exhibit Hall
If you enter from the Queue Hall, follow the right hand wall through the labyrinth of booths until you find us.
If you enter from the PC Room or Tabletop hall, look for the left hand wall and follow along it. Either way, we’re easy to find at PAX South!
Click here to see our PAX South 2017 Exhibit Hall map in a larger resolution, or click on the image.
What Else Can I See at PAX South?
Oh, a LOT.
Video games take center stage at any PAX convention, and PAX South has plenty. You’ll get to play games before they’re released, talk to game developers, and hang out with game enthusiasts like yourself. Some people like to cosplay as their favorite video game character, the more obscure the better! But you won’t feel out of place in a T-shirt and jeans.
Tabletop is bigger at PAX South than any of the other PAX conventions. So if board games, card games, or tabletop roleplaying games (like our own award-winning Savage Worlds) are your thing, this is the show to see! We’ll have Savage Worlds core rules available for sale in the Carolina Game Tables booth (10055) and Clint and I love to talk about our game developer experiences—and our furniture experience! There should be demo games of Savage Worlds in the Tabletop hall often throughout the convention.
Panels on everything from web comics, breaking into the industry, and Game Master advice pepper the schedule like sprinkles on a cupcake. Mmm…cupcakes.
Penny Arcade drives the organization that brings you the PAX conventions, so if you’re a Penny Arcade fan you just don’t want to miss it! One of the things they’ve become known for is their Dungeons & Dragons group, Acquisitions Incorporated. We’re proud to be a sponsor of Acquisitions, Incorporated: The Series and you can see one of our tables in their videos! They have a mega Acquisitions Incorporated live play event at PAX South from 2–5pm Saturday. Add it to your schedule!
The evenings offer the option to keep gaming or participate in live music shows from SuperMES, Urizen, and Descendants of Erdrick on Friday, and the OneUps, Viking Guitar, and Bit Brigade on Saturday!
The complete schedule is here, and shows they pack a lot of diversity into one convention. If you come to PAX South, be sure to stop by the Carolina Game Tables Booth (10055) and say howdy. 🙂
New Fabric Color: Purple!
Streamer Game Table built for Game the Game! Cherry finish and Purple fabric. Note the trapezoidal shape? That’s so a single camera can get up to 8 players in one shot!
If you watch Game the Game on Geek and Sundry, you’ve already seen our new Purple fabric color option on the Streamer Game Table!
Game the Game with Ivan Van Norman and Becca Scott Kerns
Subscribers to the Geek and Sundry channel on Twitch can watch previous episodes here. Not a subscriber yet? Tune into the channel each week from 1:30-4pm Pacific to watch it for free LIVE. Subscribers get access to everything, and it’s only $4.99/month. Amazon Prime members can subscribe for free!
Game the Game is the self proclaimed “Sister Show” of TableTop by Wil Wheaton, where Ivan Van Norman and co-host Becca Scott play board games with friends Live on Twitch. Each week, Ivan and Becca play a new game (now on the Streamer!) for you to see. He started with the Harry Potter™ Hogwarts™ Battle cooperative card game from USAopoly. It looks like a very fun game. We’re suckers for anything cooperative, and you can play each year of Harry’s academic career.
Ivan is a friend of ours and contributed a Jenga-like recipe for our Kickstarter stretch goal Dinner and Dice, a Gaming Cookbook. Here’s his unboxing video of the Streamer on Periscope: https://www.periscope.tv/w/1lDGLmeYZeqJm
We think this is a fun show, and if you like board games, you don’t want to miss it. Ivan and Becca make for a great show. And the set piece is totally cool. 😉
Where Can We Get the Purple?
The new Purple fabric color isn’t just available for the Streamer, though. You can get it on any one of our five table designs including Coffee, Kitchen, Dining, and Tablezilla!
We’ve updated our “Spec Sheet,” an 8.5″ x 11″ page you can view or print, giving you all the details and options for our tables. This includes prices on the tables, their dimensions, whether there are cup holder options, and all finishes and fabrics. Carolina Game Tables also offers matching chairs and side tables/benches. As always, the finish and fabric options do not affect the price. All tables come with a table top. No upcharge! Download the Spec Sheet by clicking here.
Purple Swatch Preview
Here are some swatches to peruse, showing the Purple fabric with each of our four finish colors. We have other photos on the Streamer Game Table page, but please remember the lighting changes the fabric color significantly.
Come see the new Purple fabric swatches at PAX South in San Antonio, TX, Jan. 27-29!
Let us know if you have any questions by emailing gametableJodi@gmail.com.
Sagamore Hill with the new Purple fabric option
Cherry finish with the new Purple fabric option
French Couture finish with the new Purple fabric option
Elm finish with the new Purple fabric option
Holiday Sales at Carolina Game Tables!
Black Friday has come and gone, and Cyber Monday is behind us. No more holiday sales, right? Wrong!
Free Set of Coasters Shipped NOW With Each Table Order in December
We know budgeting during the holiday season can be a tricky thing. How much do you spend on your nephew, or daughter, or mother? If you have gamers to shop for, how do you know what they want–or what game they don’t have yet?
Perhaps you introduced a family member or friend to a new game over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, only to end the game early so the table could be set for supper. Or you sat down to your Thanksgiving feast and wish you’d replaced that wobbly dining room table and chairs in time for Christmas.
Imagine your family’s surprise when they unwrap a SMALL present—a set of our leather coasters—and see their BIG smiles when they read a Carolina Game Table is headed their way in 2017!
Instead of holiday dreams of sugar plum fairies and nutcrackers your children may have board games, card games, and RPGs swirling through their little heads. They’ll make lists of the friends they want to invite over to play the games. Your partner may dream of a shiny new mahogany table with matching chairs, and being able to add “just one more” with a small bench seat (and it matches).
That holiday scene, those holiday dreams. That’s why we’re offering a free set of our full grain leather coasters made from eco friendly 100% post-industrial waste with each table order during the month of December. And we’ll ship them to you for free, too. Orders placed before Dec. 21st will have their coasters in time for Christmas!
Use the coupon “Holiday2016” at checkout to claim the offer.
And since we know you’re thinking about your budget, remember we offer payment plans. Pay half now, half in 14 weeks. Or sign up for the 6 month installment plan. Read about both options here.
We have two tables available for those who really want a table for THIS holiday season! There are no delivery options on these pieces; you or a friend must pick up the table from Hickory, NC.
$1199 Kitchen Game Table in Elm finish with Burgundy fabric
$799 “Topless” Coffee Game Table in Cherry finish with Dark Brown fabric
These are convention show pieces we’re offering at a discount because we have more coming! Read more about them here.
The holiday season is for giving, and the charity raffle we kicked off with a Coffee Game Table is going great! Over $2900 has been raised to benefit the Chambers family whose daughter Liz is being treated for aggressive blood cancer. That’s a big help to these friends of ours, and we get warm fuzzy feelings just thinking about it.
The raffle ends on Dec. 9th, so please help us spread the word. You can purchase one ticket for $20 or three for $50, and there are more prizes being added daily! Check out the link daily to see what’s been added: http://bit.ly/fun4Liz
We can’t wait to find out who wins the Coffee Game Table so we can box and ship it. That winner will have a game table in time for Christmas!
#Fun4Liz Charity Raffle and our Black Friday Sales!
Cup holders were the #1 most requested feature, but we had no idea just how interested people were! We had some website trouble with the new feature rollout, but it all seems fixed now.
Dining Game Table with Cup Holders!
Payment options are back (half down deposit, or pay over 6 months), and we created a new category so you can mix and match seating for your table. Want 8 Chairs and 4 Side Tables/Benches for your Tablezilla? Simply order 4 sets of 2 Chairs (save $200 on each set!) and 2 sets of 2 Side Tables/Benches (save $100 on each set!). The Side Tables/Benches serve as extra seating for the holidays and a place to put rule books, tablets, or other gaming gear close by.
Clint and I were thinking recently about how lucky we’ve been this year with Carolina Game Tables. The response–from the Kickstarter in August 2015 through our first year of sales to the new cup holder announcement–has been overwhelmingly positive. But while our family has rejoiced, our friends in the Chambers family have suffered.
About this time last year, Jamie Chambers and his family were gearing up to welcome a new member to their household, baby Jensen. In March his 18 year old daughter Liz was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) and the lives of all in their family changed forever. Jamie stresses that they have insurance and are not destitute, but it’s been rough. He’s lost valuable working time as her bone marrow donor and patient advocate–things any parent would do.
How can we help? How can you help? Well, it’s simple, really: we have a Coffee Game Table in Cherry finish and Forest Green fabric left over from our convention season in excellent shape.
We’ve donated the Coffee Game Table AND shipping to anywhere in the lower 48 United States in this online raffle benefiting the Chambers family: Tickets are $20 each or three for $50!
Best of all, the #Fun4Liz Coffee Game Table prize will arrive to your home in time for Christmas!
Click here to win this Coffee Game Table!
We encourage you to share our raffle to benefit the Chambers family with this shortlink: http://bit.ly/fun4Liz
Many of our friends in the game industry have stepped up to throw in additional prizes, with more announced every day. Check out the raffle page for the latest prizes! And no purchase is actually necessary—check the link for details about getting your name in the pot for free.
Thank you to all who have already supported the raffle. We set a goal to raise $2000 and we’re more than halfway there! Thank you for giving. Let’s have some #Fun4Liz!
We have two tables left over from our convention season for sale at a big discount! Please note there is no delivery option–you must come pick it up from Hickory, NC.
Kitchen Game Table in Elm finish and Burgundy fabric (with top)
$1199 $999 (save $200!)
There are a couple dings on edges around the game play area (from hundreds of lanyards catching on it at PAX East, Origins, Gen Con, DragonCon, and MACE) and one bolt has been replaced in a table leg.
Coffee Game Table in Cherry finish and Dark Brown fabric (no top available)
$799 $599 (save $300!)
This was our prototype Coffee Game Table and arrived without a top (What do you mean “There’s no top on the schematic! Oh. Let’s fix that.” We do tops for all tables. Sort of our thing.).
We can order a replacement top if you like, but we think you may just want to go to the hardware store and have a piece of Plexiglas cut to fit for less than $50.
“Topless” Coffee Table in Cherry with Dark Brown Fabric.
There are only these two tables (one for each shown) and the first person to purchase them gets them!
If you have any questions about these tables, email GameTableClint@gmail.com.