Just like Amazon, HP, Google or Apple, Playwood was born in a garage in 2014, from an idea of Stefano Guerrieri, now CEO of the company. With a background in communication and experience in the digital world, Stefano was looking for a quick and easy way to furnish a coworking space. Instead of starting a long and expensive design, he uses his ingenuity and creates a small “facilitator” for the construction of furniture: the Playwood connector is perfect to assemble and disassemble your creation. Initially launched online with a Common Creatives license, the product was successful and, in 2016, Stefano decided to found his own Startup together with Carlotta Nizzoli and Mirco Bonilauri. The first product developed is the PlayWood ® Connector, an assembly system that allows you to transform simple wooden boards and panels into a piece of furniture, with the same simplicity of a construction game or, as Stefano says, of “a lego for adults”. The connectors have angles of 90 °, 105 °, 150 ° and also X and T, which allows different configurations and some freedom in the design.
The startup begins a path that in four years leads it to sell in over 32 international countries (78% of the company’s turnover comes from sales abroad), in large distribution chains such as Leroy-Merlin (Adeo Group) and BauHaus, with a total of over 15,000 customers online. LVenture Group and Barcamper Ventures, an investment fund managed by PrimoMiglio SGR S.p.A., together with many business angels, supported the growth and invested in the project. This allowed PlayWood to develop a highly scalable business model, based on international online sales. The startup has received numerous awards including the recognition of the second edition of “Innovators”, which the Milan Triennale reserves for entrepreneurial realities that have been able to combine creativity and ingenuity, applying technology in traditional sectors.
Until 2020 PlayWood was used to sell only the connectors but the recent pandemic brought changes: the shops closed and more and more people were forced to work and train from home. Once again, the team saw an opportunity and began to create their own furniture collections: in one year the brand launched 40 new products. Simple wooden furniture, made up of CNC-cut panels that can be assembled thanks to a mix of joints and connectors. From the Karya desk / table, the first collection that sold more than 2000 pieces, to Adakto, a system of modular shelves and drawers, Organizers, shelves and tables that can be infinitely recombined, for the office or commercial activities or exhibitions, even a specific line for children’s bedrooms and one of Made in Italy objects developed to enhance the creativity of fragile people.
In addition to the path of success, the attention to the product and sustainability are two very interesting aspects of the company. First of all the collections are versatile, despite the limitation of the corners and joints. This allows the furniture to be adaptable: it can change according to our lifestyle. The connectors are made of GRP (glass fiber reinforced plastic), so they have a life cycle of at least 150 years: difficult to recycle but they can last for 3 generations. The wood chosen for the furnishings comes from European forests managed in a sustainable way and with the PEFC or FSC brand, while the packaging is made of recycled paper. Some panels, such as those of the Organizer line, come from large slabs that the automotive industry considers second choice, recovering 80-90% of material that otherwise would be wasted.
A very interesting reality that in its simplicity manages to respond to different aspects of everyday life: from versatility to sustainability. Visit PlayWood on the official website and follow the brand on Instagram!