You’re probably already aware of them, maybe even own one. Board gaming tables are all the rage right now in the tabletop scene. Humble dining desks that transform into the coolest-looking piece of gaming furniture, with soft material to roll your dice on, drink coasters, card holders, LED lighting, and many other bells and whistles.
It’s always interesting when a new table manufacturer enters this space, shaking up the scene. We recently got a chance to talk with Cezary Mieleniewski, founder of The Crown, and wanted to learn what it’s like running a new company for producing board gaming tables and accessories.
Thanks for taking the time to chat with the Boar Gamer crew. First of all, can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your involvement with The Crown? When was the company founded?
I’ve been a board game, RPG, and card game geek for over 30 years, as well as a carpenter. I’ve been running my carpentry business since 2008. I decided to combine these two passions and do something that brings me satisfaction. A few years ago, I made gaming tables on the side, but now they are the main product in my company.
Besides you, who else is also part of the team? How did you assemble the team?
There are 6 people in my team besides me. It wasn’t easy to find specialists for crafting such refined furniture, but now we have a great cohesive team. As a result, our products are of very high quality, meticulously crafted to the finest detail. Since we’re gamers ourselves, we know how to design a table that meets the expectations of even the most demanding player.
Can you tell me about how you make your gaming tables?
The tables we create are handmade, not mass-produced. Each table is made from raw wood to the finished table for shipping. We offer our customers the option of customization so that each table fits their specific needs as closely as possible.
As a young company, have you run into some difficulties? What helped you the most to get to your customers?
The biggest challenge I’ve encountered so far is reaching customers all over the world. Currently, we ship our products practically worldwide, but dealing with the paperwork and understanding regulations in each country remains a significant challenge. It has also been difficult to sustain the business during these tough times, as the COVID epidemic followed by the war in Ukraine caused a massive increase in material costs and severely limited their availability in the market.
What would be the things that you’d say put your tables above the rest? What can a customer expect when they order a table from The Crown?
What sets our tables apart is primarily the highest quality of craftsmanship and materials used in production. We decided to create our tables as premium products for the most discerning customers, and that comes with a tremendous responsibility.
You don’t just make tables, right? There are some gaming accessories manufactured in your company?
Yes, when it comes to products for board gamers, in addition to tables, we offer sets that can convert our tables for Role Playing Games and wargames. We have special trays for tokens in hex shapes, with engraved recesses, card slots, a DM screen, a dice tower, phone chargers, and more. Furthermore, players can order neoprene mats from us with custom graphics. New items that facilitate organizing the gaming space and maintaining order are constantly appearing. Soon, we will introduce a wireless sound system to our tables. In 2023, we also plan to launch a budget-friendly table to meet the needs of gamers on a tighter budget.
Are there already some fan-favorite products that you make? What would you say would be a must-buy product?
Our customers’ favorite product is definitely the SOJOURN model – a table with magnetic extensions. This table offers the greatest potential for expansion and customization among all our models. As for accessories, customers adore our ergonomic shelves, which no other manufacturer offers. Thanks to their shape, we don’t mount them in front but beside us, so all components are within reach while allowing us to sit very close to the table. Neoprene mats are becoming increasingly popular as they are much easier to keep clean. Another must-have item is lighting, chosen by 95% of customers now. 90% of gamers opt for tabletops to make the table multifunctional, suggesting that our tables usually find their way into dining rooms (not everyone can afford a dedicated gaming room).
You recently had a crowdfunding campaign on Gamefound. Are you satisfied with its results?
Yes, this is our first campaign. Unfortunately, no one warned me that preparing and running a campaign would be such a labor-intensive and demanding endeavor. Thankfully, our offer has been warmly received, and we’ve managed to achieve our set goals. We’re very grateful to the backers for choosing our tables. We also appreciate the overwhelmingly positive feedback. Throughout the entire campaign and even now, as the Late Pledge is still ongoing, we haven’t encountered any negative comments or opinions. So, definitely, this is not our last campaign!
What’s next for The Crown? Any new exciting projects, or collaborations in the works?
In our plans, we have participation in large board gaming events in various countries in 2024. We have established partnerships with several companies, making it easier for us to reach a broader audience. Orders are coming in from all over the world, and we are incredibly excited that board game enthusiasts from even the most distant corners of the globe appreciate our tables.