Ricardo Evangelho's isn't a magician, but he is known for one very impressive trick.
In 2015, he took $500 and over five years, turned it into Hit Point Press, one of Ottawa's fastest growing businesses, doing more than $5 million in sales last year.
It's an impressive journey worthy of it's own board game for Evangelho. A graphic artist with a passion for fantasy board games, he began designing and marketing his own collectible card sets on Reddit in 2015 after seeing the success Shopify was having in e-commerce.
Hit Point Press makes accessories; tokens, campaign books and collectible cards that players can use in games such as Magic The Gathering and Dungeons and Dragons.
“People have been making accessories for games for ages, as long as there have been games,” Evangelho says. “We happen to find a niche with games with influencers. We know e-commerce and how to build for that specific gaming market.”
It's not all about making profit, however.
"I like building teams and working on projects. I love what I do," explains Evangelho. "I get to come up with ideas and create things that didn't exist before.”
Hit Point Press has since expanded its lineup of board game campaign books and PDFs for Humblewood, Heckna, Big Bads, Fool's Gold, The Island of Sina Una and The Griffon's Saddlebag. In 2022, it'll release five new campaigns and a new role-playing game called Fool's Gold on its website.
Evangelho now employs 18 full-time staff and 50 freelance artists, and is looking at adding jigsaw puzzles, new board games and toys to his product line. Ninety-five per cent of Hit Point's sales are in the U.S.
“It was inspiring the way the community came together during the pandemic,” Evangelho says. “People are reengaging with physical things because they feel there's something tactile missing with all the digital stuff that's going on. They want to get away from that.”
While pleased with the success he's had so far, Evangelho doesn't want the company to grow more than it already is.
“I like the size of the company as it is now,” he says. “I don't want Hit Point to become a bureaucracy. My goal is to have something which allows me and my colleagues to have a stable lifestyle building fun stuff and stretching imaginative possibilities. We just want to collaborate together and make cool stuff.