June 12, 2024

A Game-Changer: How Four Friends Revolutionized Mahjong with Style and Innovation

  • Key takeaway one: Four friends from Preston Hollow and Park Cities transform their passion for mahjong into a thriving business, Bespoke Mahjong.
  • Key takeaway two: Bespoke Mahjong offers uniquely designed automatic mahjong tables, game mats, and accessories, blending art, fashion, and functionality.
  • Key takeaway three: The opening of Bespoke House of Mahjong in Carrollton creates a vibrant community hub for learning and enjoying mahjong, fostering social connections.

In September 2023, a group of four friends from Preston Hollow and the Park Cities gathered around a new automatic mahjong table. While they were fascinated by the automation, the plain green mat left much to be desired. "We thought, how can we make this more us? Because we love the game," Ally Abbasi reflected on that pivotal moment. Little did they know, this quest for personalization would lead them to dismantle the table and embark on an entrepreneurial journey that would redefine the mahjong experience for players across the nation.

A Game-Changer: How Four Friends Revolutionized Mahjong with Style and Innovation

Combining their diverse professional backgrounds with a shared love for art, fashion, and design, Sheri Wood, Ally Abbasi, Caren Krumerman, and Krista Shea founded Bespoke Mahjong. This venture marries the traditional game with modern aesthetics and functionality, offering automatic tables, game mats, mahjong tiles, and accessories adorned with bold, beautiful designs. From California to Arkansas, their products have captured the imagination of a wide array of customers, including an almost-sale to a fraternity brother who envisioned a table emblazoned with his frat's logo.

The highlight of their journey came on May 8, with the grand opening of Bespoke House of Mahjong in Carrollton. This space is not just a store; it's a vibrant community hub where enthusiasts and newcomers alike can gather to learn, play, and connect over mahjong. Offering classes, private parties, and open play sessions, the House of Mahjong is a testament to the friends' vision of creating a fun, inclusive environment centered around the game.

The décor of the House of Mahjong mirrors the creativity and passion that drive Bespoke Mahjong. Upon entering, visitors are greeted by a copy of their first tabletop design, featuring avatars of the founders as imagined by Krumerman, complete with unexpected pink hair for Abbasi. The space is filled with nods to their mutual love of art and design, from a bright pink wall adorned with leopards to exquisite tables that double as art pieces, showcasing the versatility and aesthetic appeal of their creations.

Bespoke Mahjong's offerings are not limited to those ready to invest in an automatic table. They also provide uniquely designed, machine-washable mahjong mats, catering to a broader audience. Abbasi highlights the practicality of these automatic tables, which allow players to enjoy up to four times as many games, emphasizing that "They’re not just mahjong tables. They’re also a table you can use to eat, to play chess, to do whatever you want."

At the heart of Bespoke Mahjong and the House of Mahjong is a desire to bring people together. "Women like to be together. Families like to be together," Krumerman observes. Through their innovative approach to a traditional game, the four friends have created a unique platform for social connection, proving that when passion meets creativity, the possibilities are endless.

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