Welcome to Thinking Monk Studios!

Let us introduce ourselves...

Thinking Monk is driven by a passion for the games we love and a dedication to a level of craftsmanship missing in the the digital age. The idea was conceived over many nights spent laughing around a kitchen table game of Catan and journeys through the latest Pathfinder campaigns. The games we play are powerful tools to exercise our imaginations and we wanted to create products that would complement the beauty of the experience with heirloom quality.

We're a family of tinkerers, artists, and engineers.  So it's not surprising that our first board prototype was created as a fun little project, intended only to enhance the family experience playing our favorite game, Settlers of Catan.  At that point, and for many months after, we never even considered the possibility of going into business.  The concept of what would become Thinking Monk wasn't really conceived until we'd been through many revisions and refinements of our board and had received extensive feedback and encouragement from friends and family with whom we shared our favorite game and our new creation.

 

As more and more people responded positively and encouraged us, we decided what we'd made was special and that Catan lovers around the globe would benefit from the opportunity to enhance their experience with our boards.  We began scheming, teasing through social media, and in February of 2017 our first Kickstarter campaign went live.  The original fundraising goal was $5,000.  We underestimated the community's appetite for what we were selling and ultimately raised over $19,000.

This success allowed us to expand our production capabilities far ahead of our anticipated schedule.  Every penny went back into the company.  Laser cutting machines, 3D printers, CNC routers, we invested in all the best toys.  We're proud of that first campaign and that first product.  It laid the foundation for our method of leveraging the latest technology and integrating it with classic craftsmanship to deliver Heirloom Quality products.

 

 

The success of our board didn't decline after the conclusion of our Kickstarter, in fact word spread and soon we'd surpassed our Kickstarter sales numbers through organic traffic.  Soon we expanded our product line to include our Game Board Vaults, Player Pouches, and Accessories.  We found ourselves selling to gaming enthusiasts, grandparents and uncles wanting a unique gift for a child in their life, as well as dozens of requests for customization of boards and boxes.  These requests commemorate anniversaries and special occasions as well as incorporate family crests and sentimental imagery into our designs.  With such a voracious appetite for custom work, it is a service that we began offering officially to those with specific needs and the patience to let our design team come up with something truly special for them.

Our desire to create new, beautiful, and unique gaming accessories is ongoing.  Even as we were working on our original board we'd find ourselves waking in the night to quickly sketch an idea.  Inspiration would strike at the strangest times and soon we found ourselves with piles of ideas drawn on the backs of receipts and cocktail napkins.  Everything from dice towers and trays to dice boxes or game vaults was conceived in this way.  Soon these drawings were joined by a pile of rough draft prototypes.  These prototypes accompanied us to our Pathfinder game on Saturday nights and we got real feedback from real table top gamers.

 

We let the community guide our creative process.  As the gamers got excited about a prototype, we got excited to refine it.  Thinking Monk is fueled by the enthusiasm of our customers and that fuel has propelled us to our next project: our new Kickstarter campaign!  This campaign is designed to bring a heirloom quality collection of Dice Boxes which can be nested inside our new Dice Trays for convenient storage.

The prototypes of these new offerings have already visited several game conventions where they were fussed over by adoring gamers across the country.  Despite our gentle refusal to sell our prototypes, there was a huge amount of interest in these products with people especially loving our inlaid designs.  We're tickled to death about the reception we're getting and we are just as excited to bring them to market as your are to receive them!  Keep checking back here for updates, the Kickstarter is going live in July!

What's next after the Dice Box and Tray campaign?  We'd hate to spoil the surprise, but suffice to say there is an awful lot of tinkering going on at the Monastery...