Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture

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Rachel's Blog

Monthly Archives: March 2013

  • Dream Created.....

    This week the village of Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture worked
    towards creating a magical moment in NYC for the DIFFA event held at the
    Architectural Digest Home Design Show.

    The Prairie by Rachel Ashwell serves as such inspiration in so many ways, from flea market shopping, to diversity of aesthetics that still all fall under the values of Beauty, Comfort and Function, so finding a way to bring the peace and magic to all corners of the globe.

    Any excuse to go to the flower market whether on the East or West Coast.  It's my one obsession and where I admit to being somewhat greedy.

    We have limited budgets when participating in these types of events. Jake and his buddy Ben built the structure in the basement of our Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture store. Paint fumes fought with our fragrant candles but I love projects that come together with the village and in our village.......

    Early mornings, late nights...all with the common thread of wanting to create something of meaning and substance.

    Somehow we got some extra teeny bags that were way to small for the postcards.....so now I will design something to fit the bag.

    I have a little traveling road show of my favorite special treasures that I use for magical installations.

    Panels of vintage lace and floppy flowers speak 1000 words, quietly but beautifully.sometimes my floppy flowers become smooshed and a quick steam over my kettle brings a spring back in their step.

    I love Bennison fabrics more than any other fabrics in the whole entire world. there is something about the palette and the touch that is unique. Spendy for sure, but a little goes a long long way.

    All the little details of drippy candles. mix match china, fake, floppy and real flowers, makes for a symphony of beauty. If you are in NYC area this weekend, please stop by Pier 94 at the Architectural Digest Home Design Show.

    My vision perhaps, but my treasures of bits and bobs and my team who
    shares my passion made for a special event .....all for a special
    cause.......DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting Aids)

    All that is left now is what do I wear to the ball......

    Maybe a dress from Lily's collection.....

    Next week will write and show photos from the fields of the flea markets in Texas and The Prairie......

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  • "Back to Blogging"

    If any one is still there.........I am finally getting caught up with my writing projects.


    My upcoming book is the biggest culprit  of why I haven't had the time nor the creative head space to blog these past months ........ But I think it will be a forgivable excuse.

    Rachel Ashwell Couture Prairie has been a joy to work on. I feel guilty to take much credit for such beauty, as the subject matter is just one big "eye candy".  And the story of how this London girl, found home on the range, was an easy one to tell.

    We will have our launch party for the book at The Prairie during Fall Antique week, so hoping as many of you can plan ahead for that event.....I promise to wear a dress (and jeans.)



    This was a proud milestone in my career. While photos have no language i am glad that my stories, values and journeys that are bring meaning to my aesthetics, can now be understood in other countries.








    It is a very challenging balance when one is creative, but also owns a company, of how to allow for creativity to flow, be recharged, have time to absorb and ponder......all while still being involved in cash flow, inventory, personnel and all else that goes into a business.

    A place to start for me, is to have a creative vibe within the office.....

    Chandeliers and floppy flowers, share space with legal files and spread sheets. Both are of equal importance to sustain a company.





    I find that every piece of my design process should be as inspirational as possible, journals, writing materials, tape, paper....somehow it brings depth to the end result.




    As I approach my 25th year in retail, (Santa Monica store is in the same location), I pride myself that my own personal standard for excellence has only risen and risen. It is so easy, with rising costs of rents, materials and every day life, to try and cut corners to either make more profit or offer a product of less quality......But in the world of Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture™, my value is to create products with meaning. with details that sometimes only we know behind the scenes are even there. But in the end, I do believe what is evident to all is that everything that has our label on it, carries with it a little soul of substance.


    I am happy to say i have had some time to make new family memories......

    I can go as far as to say, my dad is happy.......

    As much as I dearly miss mum, it is clear to me why dad is still here.

    A relationship I never knew was there, now has a place, and its quite lovely.......



    Life's biggest most ginormous and huge gift is that of our children.

    I could go on forever and talk and then there are no words to describe how much I love them.....but I like them too.....

    We had a lovely reunion in NY this winter, going down memory lane of ice skating and hot chocolate.....

    Jake keeping me steady on my feet, as I had done for him 21 years prior......and Sadie is Lily's new addition.....what a big positive presence this little puppy brings into the world.



    Growing up in London but living in Los Angeles is a quite a cultural change....and of course to me, now home. but my inner wiring yearns for seasons. I need the inward months, the months to be shy, the months to bloom and the months to shine........

    So I gave myself this January and February a winter this year in NYC.

    My daily run was along the Hudson River, and as freezing as it was, I think I finally found my endorphins.

    The NY skyline, the river with the ferries tugging along, the fluffy snowflakes and puppies in their shoes was all an exhilarating, sight and I could have run forever.


    For those you follow me on FB or Instagram, much of this isn't news. I do write all my own social media, therefore while I am a busy bee, I only have so much news to spread around......


    Even way back then, lily had a thing about vintage clothes, and oh so very fussy about the details. so it is rather fitting that now she has begun her own clothing line, simply,  www.lilyashwell.com



    I have been in the furniture business for 25 years, but in my mind sofas, bedding, accessories and fabrics are the manifestations of my story telling....

    I have observed, Lily too starts with her stories, and the clothes are her vehicles to tell her stories.



    Lily loves flowers as I do .......of course she is inspired by me, her dad and her childhood. but it is now full circle of the inspiration that she brings to me........



    I actually miss blogging. I love how spontaneous instagram and FB are to share my adventures, but I intend to get back on track with blogging, now my book is off to the printers, and before I begin the next.......my memoirs and history of Shabby Chic.....


    Or do think about coming to The Prairie B & B for Couture Prairie Book launch in the Fall along with a beautiful collection of Laurence Amelie Fall 2013 paintings.


    For whoever is still around to read this......thank you. thank you thank you........



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