Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture

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Rachel's Blog

Monthly Archives: March 2009


    back of a truck new new copy

    I write this blog to thank each and every one of you who have taken
    the time to write over the past few months.
    Your words of wisdom, words of encouragement, words of belief.
    Words to the future where Rachel Ashwell and Shabby Chic has a home.

    New windows doors new. copy

    There have been many a night when I have come home and doubted
    everything. Doubted my abilities, doubted my judgement, doubted me.
    I even doubted some of your comments, but then i would read another,
    and another, and another and decided that you can't all be wrong.

    So I thank you for being my reality check.
    That Shabby Chic did make a difference to the lives of many.
    The beauty, the flowers, the pink, the white, the sparkle.
    All part of the Shabby Chic world.

    serenity prayer new

    white group new newcopy

    Pretty in Pink Collage xxnew copy

    sparkle new new

    On this journey we have all been on together, I think we
    all know home can be anywhere...it's in our hearts.
    As I reflect back onto my career .... it's priceless.

    Gathering treasures at the flea markets was always my core
    of inspiration.

    Flea Market pic new new copy

    Popping into one of my stores was the time I was able to see
    how all the avenues of my creativity come together.

    Austin Store Collage New copy

    Brainstorming in my design studio with my team is where we all
    enjoyed exchanging ideas.

    desing studio final final copy

    Travelling from China to Europe, developing new product, challenges
    for sure, but adventures and dramas.

    China collage new copy

    Shabby Chic has been the rhythm of my existence for twenty years.

    travel inspritation copy

    My car is on auto pilot to my office my brain is always designing.
    Wherever I go, I see beauty and possibilities in most anything.
    I see ruffles and sparkles, color and patinas, floppy fabrics and
    faded paintings.

    Ruffles copy

    sparkle ballerina cake topper new copy

    Like us all I rip up magazines, see something in a film, a hotel room,
    something by the side of the road.

    india color newnew

    marie antoinette new copy

    And then I hear a song....

    Music takes us all through so many stages in our lives..
    My little nano ipod has been all over the world with me.

    Glamorous lovely hotels, and less than nice places.
    Music carries me.

    Hotels new new copy

    To be able to identify feelings from songs, is so comforting.

    The last few days, songs have found me,
    giving me the words I have needed.

    With the recent events with Shabby Chic, and the 5 month
    mark of my mum leaving, there were many songs,
    flowers and friends that have supported me, prayed for Shabby Chic..

    Garth Brooks-
    "Sometimes gods greatest wishes are our unanswered prayers."

    (With all stores closing my prayers were not answered, and I
    am so very sad. I do trust that one day I will understand why
    things are happening the way they are.)

    hershey kisses  new new copy

    "Everybody hurts"
    (And yes it hurts... it hurts because I love my stores,
    I love my employees, I love my artisan vendors, I love my customers,
    and things are broken for the time being.)

    Mat Kearney
    "Breathe in breathe out"
    (When I cannot think of anything else to do.)

    Breathe copy

    In order to regroup I am having to let go.
    No matter what you see happening, and however little,
    faded and tattered I become, please know that it wont be
    long before I come back.

    tattered chair new new copy

    Leonard Cohen.
    "Cracks cracks everywhere, that's how the light gets in."

    I will write soon.

    Someone close to me had to leave,
    my mum needed to leave and
    all Shabby Chic Stores are dimming their lights.

    But still I have the crown jewels.....
    I have hundres of comments from all of you. I continue to print them all.
    They are all so very special. Some have caused streams of tears, and small smiles.

    vintage crown copy new new

    The jewels sit safetly on a solid gold band .....for I have the knowledge
    that my childrens character has been forever changed.
    They have never experienced the world without Shabby. Its a beauty
    and strength they assumed came with breathing. They have learnt the
    fragility of everything. Consequently they understand life,
    just a little bit more.......

    An email to me from my daughter Lily-

    "Morning Mama,
    I just wanted to say I have been thinking all day about Shabby,
    and I can't believe it. Its just so so sad. But I want you to know
    that I am so proud of you. You have made such an amazing and beautiful
    creation and while it is so sad that Shabby wont be around anymore,
    nothing is forever, and its just time for Shabby to say goodbye.
    It got us through these 20 years. You should be so proud of what you
    have done and excited about whats next. Your so talented, kind and
    hardworking. Me and jake, as always will be there to hold your hand
    every step of the way.
    Lots of Love, Lily"

    For all Shabby Chic lovers- Simply Shabby Chic Collection at Target will continue the tradition of beauty, comfort and function.

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  • Flowers

    springtime 2 finally

    March is upon us with spring around the corner, which of course means

    Like so many I have learnt to live and breathe in the space
    of uncertainty. So many unanswered questions.

    But spring flowers will still bloom and that is such a reassurance.
    No matter what, they will visit us soon to give us
    beauty and inspiration.

    Variety copy new final

    As I continue to shoot my new book, it is a rare photo that doesn't
    involve flowers, either in their natural form, as a fabric that I
    have designed or on a mirror.

    carved mirror jpg

    bella bed final 1 jpg

    potted rose

    What would the world look like if there never had been a flower?

    Imagine new 1

    As always I look for guidance and metaphors in life...

    Some flowers are annuals, some perennials.

    Wildflowers have always been a favourite of mine.
    I love the idea of a beautiful flower blooming for a season
    and then finding a new home for its next bloom.

    wildlfower jar jpg

    Wherever it blooms its always just as beautiful, only in a different home.

    blue bonnets 1

    Even though some flowers just have one season to make their mark,
    they still leave behind memories, the same way some stores that we
    prematurely had to close, will.

    closed stores final

    Chicago, Illinois
    Natick, Massachusetts
    Austin, Texas
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Corte Madera, California

    As always, all employees worked with dignity till the end.
    From the time they knew their time of employment was limited,
    until the end, they closed the doors of Shabby Chic as gently
    as possible.

    Many customers were confused and concerned.
    "Is ShabbyChic going away completely?"
    "Why, what happened?"

    Questions I cannot fully answer. But I know in my heart I am
    doing everything possible to save as much as possible,
    and the support of so many continues to fuel the engine.

    All of your comments posted are heartwarming and enabling
    me to clear my mind to reestablish my creativity.

    My biggest fear is of letting the "business take that away."

    But I wont let any of you down, in how I will pour my heart
    into my new book.

    Cracks make for character, and authentic character makes for soul.
    I think you will all be pleased in the results.

    Still some stores and e-commerce remain open, selling
    floral inspired everythings, including our new sleepwear collection.

    sleepwear jpg

    Song of inspiration this week is the Beatles "let it be" it helps.

    let it be new final jpg

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