bACKgammon Girl

By Anna Lombardi | June 16, 2017


When we learned Nantucket local Jessica Griffith quit her 9-5 to follow her dream of creating bespoke backgammon boards, we needed to learn more! Say hello to Nine Fair. The perfect gift for any occasion, don’t be surprise if you end up ordering a board as you create an itinerary for your Nantucket getaway inspired by Jess’ life.

To say that we are obsessed with your backgammon boards is a total understatement. What inspired you to create Nine Fair?

After searching online, I found that majority of the backgammon boards were either over-priced or simply not that special. I wanted to create a product that was not only unique and attractive, but also somewhat affordable.

When is your earliest memory of falling in love with the game?

I fell in love with backgammon as a little girl playing on my family’s porch on Nantucket with my dad. He is definitely the backgammon guru of the family!

What has been the most difficult part of starting your business?

The most difficult part has been sticking to a schedule and maintaining normal business hours. As I am sure you can imagine, Nantucket is full of temptation – great beaches, activities, and socializing.

Prior to Nantucket you were living in NYC. What motivated you to make the move?

After living in NYC for 3 years, I wanted to take a break from the city and spend time on island with my family. Nine Fair primarily targets the Nantucket crowd so headquartering up here made the most sense. I do, however, have plans to move back to the city.

Where is your favorite place in Nantucket to escape the crowds?

I absolutely love walking Sanford Farms – 780 acres of preserved land by the Nantucket Conservation Society with water views are hard to beat. As for beaches, Gunrack has been a favorite of mine this season.

Do you have a favorite time of year to spend time in Nantucket?

September – the crowds thin out and the water is warm! I personally do not swim in the ocean until mid-late August or September.

For somebody visiting Nantucket for the first time what do they have to do?

How much time do I have? Top three things to do:
1. Bike to Sconset from town. Once there, walk the Sconset Bluff Walk and visit Sankaty Head Lighthouse. Afterwards, grab a sandwich from Claudette’s followed by an ice cream from the Sconset Market.
2. Bring a bottle of wine and a pie from Steamboat Pizza to watch the sunset in Madaket.
3. On your way to Ladies Beach, stop at Bartlett Farm to grab a fresh lunch. After the beach, stop by the Brewery to hydrate, listen to live music, and enjoy 167’s raw bar.

The food on the island is delicious. Where do you love to eat?
I think Lola 41 arguably has the best food on the island. If you can get a table, order the truffle fries, lobster mac n’ cheese, and as much sushi as you can handle. My favorite of all time would have to be the Ships Inn. The restaurant is right next to my house and is classic Nantucket. They have a great bread-basket, which comes with Ships Inn rolls and a variety of freshly baked breads. The soufflé is a must. They change the flavor daily, but chocolate is always an option even though its not mentioned.

What does a typical summer day look like for you?

Typically I wake up and grab an iced red-eye from The Hub. After checking my emails, I take my dog, Lucy, for a walk at Sanford Farms. I paint for a few hours and then hit the beach. After the beach I put in another hour or so of work and then go for a run on Cliff Road. After my run, I usually find myself out to dinner with family or friends.

After Hours:
My drink of choice is: Anything with bubbles – champagne or sparkling wine.
If I could have a glass of rosé with anybody it would be: Anna Lombardi and Landon Clements, obviously!
When I am not working I am: at the beach or out on my parent’s boat
My favorite meal is: Tuna Tartare from Black Eyed Susans – this is also not on the menu, but is usually a special every night.
I can’t live without: Unfortunately, probably my iPhone
My favorite way to unwind is: Grabbing drinks at Back Bar at Ventuno or the Galley (just not on the weekends)