Friday, June 12, 2009
No matter what you design aesthetic is there is probably something about Rachel Ashwell and her signature Shabby Chic look that inspires you. I bought her books and stopped by her flagship store in Santa Monica every time I was in town. I admired her for turning nothing into something by popularizing junking and re purposing almost anything.
She was my first introduction to slip covers as a cool design element and not just something your great grandmother used. I loved her do-it-yourself attitude, she was not afraid to get her hands dirty and encouraged her fans to try everything and to never be afraid of making mistakes as they were part of the beauty of the finished project. She made thrifting and yard sales into a new form of social experience.
I just ran across her blog the other day - I didn't even know she wrote one - and I was stunned at what I was reading. I had no idea that her company was going into chapter 11 or that her stores were closing. I began reading and was filled with overwhelming sadness as she recounted the sad journey her company and her life have taken over the past year. Throughout all of her posts documenting the loss of her beloved mother, the closing of her stores, her production facility and the loss of her employees, she has a resolutely positive and philosophical attitude. For someone who rose to such extreme heights of her industry to once again find herself with an uncertain future like the rest of us to remain so gracious and inspiring is a testament to her true nature.
She talks a bit about doors opening and closing, she mentions a new book , and she looks forward to an unplanned life. In this age of such uncertainty I am grateful to have read about her experiences. It reminds us to never take anything for granted and to always pay attention to the things we love most, family and friends.
I am sure we have not heard the last from Ms Ashwell. She is a formidable talent and I am sure she will rise from this setback to once again inspire the world.
Read her inspiring blog here