Her real talents flourished after the typical messy life we all go through and she needed to find a way to make a few dollars while supporting her young children. Turning to her own memories as a young British girl, Ms. Ashwell used her skills and began spending her time at some of the famous flea markets in California.
Purchasing old furniture, broken light fixtures, odd pieces of teacups, she restored, refurbished, and repurposed (long before those words became fashionable). And with limited inventory, she opened her first shop.
She followed her own road map, clarified her vision, and began an industry whose influence can be seen daily on HGTV. Many fell in love with her creativity, her unperfected perfection, the way she mixed and the way she matched. She made COUNTY/COTTAGE cool again, she introduced flea market swank (with a nod to the Junkyard Gals), created a surge in BOHO, and her biggest impact; the MODERN FARMHOUSE fever as seen in every magazine. With two little words, she changed an industry.
Her use of delicate roses with crystal chandeliers worked beautifully with the time-worn elegance of salvaged screens and architectural columns. The distressed tables she filled with old baskets, christening clothes, French soaps, and petite accessories created a balance almost impossible to conceive. For me,
Rachel Ashwell and the way she reinvented slip covers and tucked old photos into worn shutters deserves a STANDING OVATION as it not only appealed to my aesthetic but saved several of my loveseats from two active boys. Who knew women across the country would be deciding between the Bahamas and Round Top, Texas. So on behalf of myself (and women everywhere) the MORE SHABBY, THE MORE CHIC!