From her famed backgammon boards and poker sets to exquisite games tables and card-boxes, Alexandra Llewellyn Design’s beautifully crafted, intricately detailed games turn play into something magnificent and treasured.
Founder Alexandra Llewellyn says, ‘I have adored games since childhood. My aim has always been to create peerless, handcrafted games that are beautiful objects in their own right, lasting for generations.’ Her creations harness and sustain traditional British craftsmanship, using materials that will still be around in decades to come.
Undoubtedly 2021 was its busiest year to date: the company launched new signature backgammon collections, signed important partnerships and undertook more bespoke commissions than ever before. It developed the corporate arm of the business and unveiled a brand new website. ‘Never,’ Alexandra says, ‘has spreading love through games been more needed than in the past 18 months. Against a background of pandemic, I am so proud of our achievements at Alexandra Llewellyn Studio.’
None of this would be possible without the talented craftspeople it firmly supported throughout the pandemic, who work tirelessly to bring Alexandra’s designs to life. She adds, ‘We were very fortunate in that we didn’t have to furlough any staff. Instead, we redoubled our focus on quality, craftsmanship, and innovation, with some truly amazing results.’
‘Every day brings a new creative challenge,’ Alexandra says. ‘I am so happy that the artisans with whom I work share my passion.’ No challenge is too great for them; her designs become canvases for their meticulous marquetry, delicate hand-painting and bewitching print. This year marquetry artist Joe Geoghegan created everything from hippos to tarot cards from miniature pieces of delicate veneer, and master cabinet-maker Phil Rose crafted an ingenious poker box with secret compartments.
There are many stand-out moments from 2021. Alexandra collaborated with Net-a-Porter on a range of butterfly-themed backgammon sets. ‘I have grown up with the phenomenal rise of Net-a-Porter,’ she says, ‘and it has been a real honour to work with such an iconic British brand.’ Launching Alexandra Llewellyn Corporate was an exciting moment, bringing several very special commissions from luxury watch brand Richard Mille. In addition, personal commissions for bespoke backgammon sets continued to flood in from all corners of the globe. A great lover of interpreting stories and understanding people’s characters, Alexandra loves the bespoke process, and delights in creating designs that are perfectly personalised to their owners.
Alexandra loves the opportunity to interact with her clients, and to involve them in the process of commissioning a bespoke item from her, either for themselves or as a gift – there has been real desire to understand the process and materials. It’s all worthwhile when the client sends a private message saying how much they are enjoying their Alexandra Llewellyn creation. She says, ‘My brand is a celebration of the simple pleasure of playing games, and hearing about the happiness our creations bring to their owners keeps me continually inspired. For me, to create something beautiful and lasting, with love and thought, is the ultimate satisfaction.’
As Alexandra Llewellyn Design celebrates its tenth anniversary, its unique backgammon boards, poker sets and luxury games continue to bring delight and joy.