Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture

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Rachel's Blog

Monthly Archives: January 2012

  • LEAVING LONDON

    I am just coming to the end of my trip to my home country, London. The main purpose of my trip was to see my father and regroup with my London store.

    londonfront

    In February it will already be 2 years old. It's a teeny little hole in the wall, just off of Portobello Road, but thanks to a lovely staff (Paulina, Pascale and Amel), it's becoming a solid little powerhouse.

    bigtreasures

    While this store has the same "village" of support that the U.S. stores have, This staff is literally on an Island but they do a wonderful job in making the ocean apart seem like a puddle. Our values and quality at Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture is a labour of love for those behind the scenes and our big little presence in London translate all that we stand for.

    When I travel I always keep my eyes open for literal inspiration and abstract. Resting my head at The Covent Garden Hotel is my indulgence. I have always loved the opulence of their needlepoint curtain and valance, and I translated this story at The Prairie by Rachel Ashwell B&B with some faded vintage fabric in the Rangers Lounge.

    archways

    With my store being on the doorstep of Portobello Road, I am able to pop in and out..... not so much time for fleamarkets, so my favorite treasures I am able to fit in my bag.

    brooch

    Much different to the magnificent masterpiece I found in a flea market last time.

    masterpiece
    (Check out the header in the photo of our fabric archway above)

    I had a couple of rainy day walks through the streets of London. Selfridges is one of my favorite large stores. They do a lovely job to be a huge store with a boutique mentality.

    window

    They had an installation of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy......
    of course I loved the scrap book, art studio elements. A different world to my florals and fluffy world, but the exploration and depth of substance makes it just as intriguing to me.....

    I took a train ride to Petersham Nurseries. A little bit of a shlep, but again, a passionate project with careful attention to detail. A very famous place to eat, buy plants and flowers, and home accessories too.

    shortcuts

    hyacinths

    You may see me borrow some of these ideas down the road.

    A highlight of my trip was to visit Pearl Lowes Home (for those of you who follow my Facebook, twitter or now Pinterest, you will have seen some of these photos, as I was too excited to share.)

    She lives with her adorable hubby and children and dog, deep in the heart of country side. (you may have seen her home in my latest Rachel Ashwell Inspiration Book)

    It's lovely to see all the elements of cozy cottage living, that I love, in an authentic settings. Muddy boots, runny noses, baking of cakes and lots of mushy cushions......

    bluedoors

    perfectsofa

    sticksandcurtains

    I hope soon to be carrying these in my Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture Stores, in the UK and U.S., in this lovely raspberry shade, and other yummy colours too. Pearl loves my Notting Hill shop and happily hung this rustic star in her cottage.

    guestsleep

    While I didn't sleep over, one day I hope to. Just love her guest area, love of course the palette, the personal touch while also minimal......

    countrybathroom

    So all in all, I had a lovely whirl wind trip. Dad is ok for the moment. I am off the NY to see Jake and my New York store, and then home to get ready for my seminar at The Prairie.

    A few planes in between, so once again the angel wings will come out, and then for back up, my butterflies too.

    angelwings

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  • Enjoying Our Dreams

    The last few years has been the stage of my life of much movement. It comes with the territory for us all as parents, as career people, as seekers in life.

    Many beginnings, adjustments, endings, letting go and of course growth. Somehow the daily rhythm of life keeps us on track, but with each New Year we are given a moment to double check ourselves, our goals and our values.

    opening

    So much in life excites me, and I so enjoy the process of creating, that I often find myself not taking quite the time I should, to enjoy what I have already accomplished.

    2012 is the year for me to stop and smell my own roses, enjoy my relationships and if I feel the inkling to build, I will build on foundations already laid.

    collage

    For those that have followed the my journey, my stores hit a wonky bump in the road in 2009. Thanks to passion, vision, hard work and a village, four Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture™ stores are proudly open for biz.

    For me, 22 years later than when I opened my first store, I still love nothing more, than popping by, seeing my associates and custys, fluff some pillows or move a chair. These stores are still my creative playgrounds, where not one spec of quality or design is ever compromised. its where we tell our whole story, where the magic starts.

    prairie

    I plan to spend a few months at the Prairie myself this year. The B and B is humming along. I will be hosting my first ever seminar on Inspiration and Business from Feb 24th thru Feb 26th.......golly I will be talking for 48hrs!!!!!!!!!

    Of course the flea market is work, finding treasures for the stores and online, but it's also my fuel for inspiration. I will be shopping the fleas till my very end.

    fleamarket

    Laurence Amelie and Ubaldo, my lovely French artist friends are planning to come stay with me and do another glorious collection of paintings.

    laurence

    Meanwhile my design team and I will continue to collaborate, and design for the Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture™ stores.

    designteam

    And we will continue creating loveliness for our program with Target under the Simply Shabby Chic label and other license partnerships.

    Even though our village has changed pathways over the years, we know our route so well now, that our days are productive and just lovely.

    page

    I plan to enjoy my own home this year.

    I have traveled much these past few years, but it is time for me to settle for a while.

    This is my kind of dream home. I had a vision and now I have to make some memories......

    home

    I plan to walk up and down that path loads this year.

    roses

    pathway

    I hope to slow down time , maybe freeze it if I can.....

    dress

    I saw this wonderful installation at Marburger Farms Flea market at Magnolia Pearl. Apart from being beautiful, I loved the idea of everything beautifully standing still!!!!!!

    So I am hoping for myself, and those who are on a similar track of life, this year, to pop on our angel wings and fly to our dreams, but to take the time to enjoy the dreams we already have.

    angelwings

    PS:

    building

    AND

    lily

    Set to launch at Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture™ Spring 2012!
    I love her but you can "like" her on her facebook page.

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