A few months ago, a newer friend who was
visiting our prior home for the first time
stepped inside and exclaimed:
“Oh my God, Rachel Ashwell lives here!”
Music to my ears.
She has long been an influence as I
strive to create a vibe at home that feeds
the soul, mind, and creative process.
I have interviewed Rachel over the years,
and she stays ever true to her roots and convictions.
Admirable since she has managed to eschew
trends and 5-minute fashion so gracefully.
Rachel Ashwell grew up in London, the child of an antique book dealer and a doll maker. She fell in love with fleamarkets at an early age and from her parents, learned the art of buying and selling. Still a teenager, she moved to Hollywood as a stylist for television where she met her husband. When the couple parted ways, she found herself a single mom with two children who she preferred to keep with her on the job. When her simple slipcovers (which were custom made for simplicity sake) were coveted by her friends, she realized there was a void in the market. Shabby chic was born, and she filled her first Santa Monica shop with fleamarket furniture with slipcovers in August of 1989. More stores followed, and her business boomed. For a season. Bankruptcy and store closings were a sad chapter in her career, but Rachel was able to pivot and keeps the brand alive and evolving in her own signature, simple, beautiful way.
While she doesn’t blog too often,
what soulcandy transpires when she does…
Humble, cushy, comfy and perfect for Malibu
If you are a part of the Shabby Chic®
brethren, you know Rachel’s mantra:
Other meaningful terms for her?
(“Keep away from mediocrity,” she reminds)
Shabby chic has come to encompass all sorts of things,
but it is Rachel’s interpretation I have long admired.
When I spoke with Rachel about timelessness:
She spoke with passion about
“continuation, rather than reinvention”
and how she joyfully anticipates a whole new generation of Shabby Chic® admirers who will embrace and interpret
for themselves the non-fussy style of Shabby Chic®
In terms of the hallmarks of the brand,
she says “25 years ago or tomorrow, they all fit seamlessly…in my heart, I walk my talk.”
She recognizes how objects become art simply with the passage of time and from being well-used.
Oh the peaceful tranquility speaks to me!
Soothing and inviting.
Peace to you right where you are.