Alexandra Llewellyn is an entry in our Great British Brands 2024 book.
Alexandra Llewellyn: Great British Brand 2024
‘It’s been a wonderful year with some amazing private commissions. I’m so happy with our showroom. Being in the heart of Belgravia in a beautiful mews has meant we can host events and clients can come and see us by appointment. It’s really made a difference.
My shop window will always be games, because that’s the wonderful niche we love and own, but we’ve started making things like humidors, furniture and desks. We made five one-off humidors and a backgammon board for the Surf Club at the Four Seasons in Miami, launching a lovely relationship. We’ve also created a new table-top backgammon board, working with beautiful printed leather for the first time.
I’ve started doing more corporate commissions with two or three massive projects on the go, but I don’t want to grow too big as everything I design is limited-edition. More and more people want one-offs so we’ll always be making in small quantities.
I’m designing so much that I’d be thrilled if AI could replace me – but it can’t because what I do is so very personal! We still hand-make everything in England, except for our Spanish-made travel sets. I rely totally on my skilled creatives – Joe for marquetry, Phil for cabinetry and Stewart for polishing. I probably speak to Joe six times a day and I love seeing first-hand how the products are developing. To design really well I need to understand the making techniques, so it’s a symbiotic relationship and we’re in a constant conversation about how to improve things.
I have a small, intimate, wonderful customer base and I focus on my relationships with them rather than on press or PR. Given most people only know about us via word-of-mouth, it’s exciting and amazing that our biggest market is in the US now.’
Alexandra Llewellyn, founder
Five Proudest Moments
- Designing the first circular backgammon board in 2014. It was satisfying to see fans enjoying this ancient game in a completely new format and seeing how it makes total sense.
- Working directly with Terry O’Neill on the ‘Goddesses’ backgammon set in 2016 was the greatest honour and we’re proud to have collaborated with artists and makers from different disciplines, providing an inspirational window into another world.
- Moving our offices and studio to Belgravia, a beautiful mews location, in 2022. It’s perfect for us to showcase our work and host games evenings.
- Being awarded the Excellence in Craftsmanship Great British Brands Award in 2022, a proud moment for our team, craftspeople and collaborators.
- Launching a mid-sized board in 2023 was a key milestone, after years of planning and development to get it exactly right.
What I’ve Learnt…
- It’s all about relationships with craftspeople, suppliers and customers.
- There will always be ups and downs but take it on the chin, keep learning and keep moving forwards.
- The importance of integrity and remaining true to yourself in terms of design. Don’t rush and let creativity take the time it needs.
3 Kinnerton Place South, London SW1X 8EH
+44 (0)20 7183 1058