The Story of Triumph Play Systems isn’t really about wooden play ground equipment at all - it's about the love of family, friends, and dogs. The story starts at a bagel shop in Blairstown, New Jersey in 1994. That’s where Michael and Jaclyn first met. It wasn’t long before they became best friends, but there was a little time for a relationship between the two with their busy work and college schedules. When they told their friends they had gotten engaged, they replied, “of course you are!” It wasn’t until 2000 they got married - on the only sunny Saturday in August.
In 2001, after getting their first black lab, “Mr. Puppet”, Michael and Jaclyn Wooding began thinking about starting their own business. Jaclyn worked as a sales representative for one of those redwood swing set companies. Michael worked as a carpenter by day and a recording engineer by night. It wasn’t until their first daughter was born that they realized the importance of getting a family business going, this time specializing in cedar playsets.
To say the least, they got off to a rocky start. They had limited funds and there were many mistakes the first couple of years. The first load of wood showed up before their forklift did, so they had to unload the whole truckload by hand. After they moved into their first building they found out their proposed use was non-conforming and they would need a variance to use the building for woodworking. So they quickly moved out all the machines and lumber and tried to cut their losses.
By the end of the 2003 season, things started rolling somewhat successfully or as successfully as a new business can. Michael and Jaclyn had rented their first shop and a patch a grass in Marshalls Creek, Pennsylvania. The idea was simple, Jaclyn was in charge of sales and Michael would fulfill the orders, building, delivering and setting up every unit.
As the business grew so did their family. In the Fall of 2003 their second daughter was born and in 2005 their son. The kids would play on the swing set displays all summer long and they got very tan! The kids became the swing set testers, the catalog models, the envelope stuffers and stampers, and they were never very far from their parents - Michael and Jaclyn’s main reason for starting the company. You might have seen pictures of their kids on this web site or in their catalogs over the years.
In late Summer 2012 they found industrial property for sale in northern Massachusetts. The property consisted of old New England brownstone mill buildings, complete with a creek running through it and space to grow. Michael and Jaclyn spent the Winter months moving the swing set business and family to Ashburnham, Massachusetts where they are today.
Little has changed since the first couple of years. We have moved a few times and we have purchased better, faster machines. But we still believe a beautiful, long-lasting play set is a huge purchase. So Jaclyn will still work with every customer to make sure that your swing set is absolutely perfect. All the wood used in your play set is still hand selected by Michael to ensure only the best materials are used. And Michael and Jaclyn still spend many weekends out delivering swing sets as Grandma watches the kids.
Mr. Puppet died in September, 2011. His watch is over. He was part of it all from the beginning, from starting the business to watching our family grow. His post, standing guard by the big garage door has been passed down to our newest black lab, “Luna”, whose duties include, but are not limited to: grinding scrap wood into mulch, alerting us of all deliveries, and keeping our feet warm under our desks.
Even though the business climate has been anything but predictable over the last few of years, we have remained focused on delivering the best product from as many domestic suppliers as we can. You might not call Triumph Play Systems an American Success Story or anything - It has had its ups and its downs and hasn’t always been easy. But we’ve been together as a family and have been able to share in both our failures and our Triumphs.
And P.S. - Sometimes between 3:00 and 3:30, Jaclyn will be away from her desk meeting the kids at the bus stop, so leave a message, she’ll get back to you.