Wyrmwood’s Rise: Crafting a Gaming Empire in a Basement

Wyrmwood's Rise- Crafting a Gaming Empire in a Basement
Photo Courtesy: Wyrmwood

By: Mae Cornes

Douglas Costello never set out to be a corporate rebel, but when life handed him a pile of wood and a passion for gaming, he knew he had to roll the dice. From humble beginnings in a basement workshop, Costello and his partners, Ian Costello and Ed Maranville, built Wyrmwood into a force to be reckoned with.

Armed with a business model that combines incredible craftsmanship with new-age social media savvy, Wyrmwood has captured the hearts and imaginations of gamers everywhere. How did Costello’s refusal to play by the rules lead to a $30 million empire and a lot of really cool gaming gear? 

An Unlikely Start

The founders’ lack of experience in manufacturing and business management turned Wyrmwood’s early days into a trial by fire. Douglas recalls, “I had left art school without any meaningful skills, Ed was working a dead-end part-time job, and Ian was working a typical blue-collar job in a warehouse.” 

The trio had attempted to start a custom furniture-making business but struggled to find clients. It was then that Douglas, a stay-at-home dad with his first child, realized he needed to find a way to generate income in his spare time. Thus, Wyrmwood was born.

I needed to figure out some way to make some kind of income in my spare time – that is how Wyrmwood started,” he shares. 

The early days were marked by trial and error as the founders dealt with the challenges of starting a business with limited experience. “We had no clue what we were doing,” Douglas admits. “Ian and I were woodworkers – not manufacturing process engineers. None of the founders were businessmen.” 

However, their passion for craftsmanship and gaming fueled their determination to succeed.

Crafting Wyrmwood’s Unique Identity

Wyrmwood’s approach to the gaming market sets it apart from its competitors. The company manufactures high-end gaming furniture and accessories using premium hardwood. Craftsmen meticulously handcrafted each piece in American manufacturing facilities, guaranteeing uncompromising attention to detail.

Yet Wyrmwood is more than just a furniture maker. The company has cultivated a strong online presence, with a dedicated following on social media platforms and a popular YouTube series called “Wyrm Lyfe.” 

This reality vlog offers a behind-the-scenes look at the challenges and triumphs of running a growing business, showcasing the company’s quirky culture and the personalities behind the brand.

Kickstarter Success

A monumental moment in Wyrmwood’s journey came when the founders turned to the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter to launch new products. The overwhelming response led campaigns to regularly raise millions of dollars. Douglas attributes this success to the company’s reputation for quality and its engaged community of fans.

Unfortunately, rapid growth brought its own set of challenges. Douglas reveals that scaling up manufacturing involves a lot of investment. We plow all of the profit back into the company,” he adds. This reinvestment has enabled Wyrmwood to expand its production capabilities and workforce, employing over 150 people across two states now.

Continuing the Craftsman’s Promise

The company’s “Craftsman’s Promise,” philosophy demonstrates its commitment to customer satisfaction, a central part of its identity since inception. “If someone isn’t happy, they should be able to reverse the commercial transaction they engaged in,” Douglas explains. This ethos has earned Wyrmwood a loyal customer base and a reputation for exceptional service.

Douglas remains focused on maintaining the company’s unique culture and adaptability as Wyrmwood grows even further. “My goal is to maintain some degree of order, stability, and flourishing,” he muses. Under Douglas Costello’s leadership, this once-basement project has grown to become an industry leader. 

The next time people sit down to roll some dice or embark on an epic tabletop adventure, they should remember the story of Douglas Costello and his co-founders. They have proven that with a little grit, a lot of dedication, and in their case, even more sawdust,  anyone can turn a hobby into an empire. 

Published by: Nelly Chavez


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