My interview with Rachel Ashwell was intended to be a feature in my magazine 'The Feminine Home", however with a new book coming out in Oct. and her latest project The Prairie B&B, it never came together to meet my deadline in Dec. Nonetheless, it is here now for you to read and find inspiration from this gracious, and talented lady.
My readers are die-hard fans of Shabby Chic, in general your philosophy for living a purposeful life of beauty in particular. For me, Shabby Chic is revolutionary in the design world- It has changed the way people decorate their homes in many aspects.
For starters, the name for instance; “Shabby Chic” is the perfect marriage and really says it all. Can you tell us how you came up with the name; when was your “light bulb moment” when the two- Shabby & Chic, came together in perfect harmony?
Over 20 years ago when I was starting the business there was an article in the British magazine World of Interiors titled Shabby Chic, the name suited the shop I was about to open perfectly.
You have said you have drawn a lot of your inspiration from your mother, who else inspires you and your style?
I get inspired by the unsung heroes. People who I meet at the flea markets who put their heart and souls into their products and their presentation. Always unique and heartfelt.
You have also said that you have no formal schooling in design, that life has been your school. If you were not an interior designer what would you be?
I think I would like to be a film producer.
So many designers are doing television shows on HGTV and other channels. I have seen your show on the Style Network years ago and loved it. Is that something that interests you now Rachel?
Doing a show is a lot of work, I am focusing on making the Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture™ stores as magical as possible as well as working on my licenses for Shabby Chic® and Simply Shabby Chic®, while I will never rule it out completely it is not on my radar right now.
Your blog is so warm, personal and inspirational- it’s like reading a book of poetry. Do you have a quote or motto that you live by?
I really like this quote by Kenneth Cole, I used it on a recent blog “It’s amazing what you find if you look in the opposite direction.
What do you do to relax? What is a perfect day for you?
Sipping tea, working in the garden, walking on the beach
If you could be anyone else for a day, who would you be?
Is there anything coming up for “Simply Shabby Chic collection” at Target? I love your white slip covered sofas- would this be something we could find at Target in the future?
We are always working on new launches in bedding for Simply Shabby Chic at Target. There will not be a line of slipcovered furniture for Target does offer Simply Shabby Chic Loose slipcovers that work with many different style sofas and are very affordable.
What are you working on right now?
A new book and the prairie a small b&B