60 Years of Innovation and Creativity

The King family has a rich history of innovation and creativity, beginning with Elmer’s grandfather, Elam, who built a chicken coop for $10,000. Elam partnered with large pharmaceutical companies, using his newly built chicken coop as a source of chicken embryos for the flu vaccine. Then, in 1980, Elam and Benuel, Elmer’s father, leveraged their connections to launch a construction business inside that chicken coop that made swing sets. King Swings was officially launched.

Elmer grew up in the family business, starting in the shop at 7, doing odd jobs, and keeping a tidy shop. Even to this day, he loves a clean shop. He became a foreman at 19, and then, in 2014, he took over the company. 

Recognizing that customers were looking for more durable, maintenance-free options, Elmer’s innovative legacy kicked in, and he began transitioning the business from offering wood and vinyl swing sets to modern vinyl swing sets. 

Elmer is a risk-taker, and many of his calculated risks, such as embracing the gray color scheme early, drive the business forward. His understanding of modern consumer motivations and investment in a team to drive sales, marketing, and customer service have positioned King Swings for continued success.

Elmer has an insatiable curiosity that has allowed him to maintain his Amish life and yet run a company that is extremely savvy about what is essential to the “English” customer and how to communicate with them.

This knowledge compelled King Swings to take a consumer-direct path, forsaking the old swing set model of relying on a dealer network. From digital marketing to a stunning catalog to e-commerce, Elmer’s unending outside-the-box thinking has pushed King Swings to the front of the modern swing set industry while the man himself still rides in a buggy.  

The legacy of creative thinking and innovation lives on at King Swings. We embrace modern design trends to drive our product innovation. From color trends of black/white/grey to the shapes of modern playhouse designs such as the A-frame and lean-to-roof, King Swings is dedicated to providing heirloom-quality playsets that are both modern and timeless.

Elmer King: A Visionary Leader

Elmer King, the CEO of King Swings, is a man of energy, creativity, and deep-rooted family values. 

Elmer’s passion for life extends beyond business. He is a family man, deeply devoted to his wife, Lillian, and their children. Together, they have created a warm and loving environment at home on their farm that nestles up against the King Swings office. In 2020, Elmer moved his family and the business to a 76-acre property on the outskirts of Lancaster County. This spacious farm allows him to balance his dedication to his family and the business while indulging in his love for animals.

The farm is a testament to Elmer’s passion for nature and animals. It is home to longhorn cattle, horses, and bunnies, Daisy the Mini Scottish Highlander, and Rosa the Red Fox Labrador. Elmer’s love for animals is infectious, and his collection grows, adding a unique and personal touch to the King Swings story.

The farm has also provided a beautiful backdrop in many of our images. From evergreens to rolling hills, his farm is the perfect setting for capturing King Swings swing sets. 

Elmer’s interests extend to backyard sports, volleyball, and baseball. He is always up for a game of ball. His competitive spirit and love for games are reflected in the dynamic and innovative culture he fosters at King Swings.

With a business-savvy nature and a curiosity that motivates his passion for learning, Elmer empowers his team to bring innovative ideas. He surrounds himself with local business experts to continually learn and grow. He never says no to an idea without first hearing it through. This has opened up exciting networking options to get King Swings out to new audiences. 

(On a personal note, one of my favorite conversations with Elmer was the hour-long discussion where I tried to explain what Marvel comics were, why people cared about superheroes, and why the movies were doing as well as they were. He wasn’t just curious in the conversation; he wanted to learn what motivated people in an environment he wasn’t familiar with.)

The Future of King Swings

As King Swings enters a new era, we aim to make King Swings a household name and put a swing set in every backyard in America. With Elmer’s innovative spirit and the company’s dedication to quality and customer satisfaction, we are well on our way to achieving this goal.

Our commitment to innovation, quality, and modern design ensures that King Swings will continue to soar to new heights, providing families with safe, durable, and beautiful playsets that will be cherished for generations.

Justin Doutrich

Dad to three kids, Justin knows how important it is for children to get lots of physical exercise. His time as a school teacher reinforced that idea. He is passionate about creating fun, enjoyable playgrounds that are safe but full of learning opportunities.

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