Friday, February 6, 2009


For the past few days I’ve had my face stuck in my paint box and I haven’t been listening to the news nor have I paid much attention to on-line business chatter. The result of my personal preoccupation was that I was blindsided by the news that Rachel Ashwell’s most beloved Company, Shabby Chic, filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection last Thursday.

I’m just going to tell you straight out that I’m heartsick. I really am… This Flea Market lovin’ gal, blazed a fiery trail that helped jump-start many of the businesses you see in operation today…including mine. From the largest Department Stores to the tiniest of On-Line Boutiques, we benefited from her incredible vision. If not inspired by her success, many of us certainly traveled for free as we clung tightly to the hem of her lace-trimmed coat tails, hoping against hope we might also find personal triumph and victory along the way.

On a tremendously smaller scale I can sadly relate to the sorrow brought about by the closing of a deeply loved business. I faced the same decision in the mid 1990’s so I can truthfully say I’ve been there. It’s not a pleasant place to find oneself and crawling out of what I’m quite sure looks like a deep, dark hole, will be challenging.

I chose not to reorganize my business after slamming my face into what felt like concrete. I didn’t have the strength or the money to fight for what I felt like was mine...worse yet, because the business wasn’t incorporated we almost lost our home. I willingly accepted a job in retail management to pay back literally thousands of dollars we had borrowed. In the end the only thing I salvaged from owning the business was the name originally chosen for it, “A Gathering Place"... When wooed back many years later, sentimental ties convinced me to continue using it. I'm incredibly thankful that EVERYTHING the locust devoured was eventually restored to me…

May God be with you during these difficult days of change, Ms. Ashwell. May His comfort surround you and encourage you as you press forward through the storm! The God who first blessed and anointed your dream is more than capable of doing it again…and again…and again!

“He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wing you can hide.” Psalm 91:4



Sharon's Cottage Quilts said...

Amen to that!!

Tanza said...

Sweet ~r~..
This so saddens me.. I just Love her, and all she creates.. I was just in her BIG store, in Fashion Island, Newport Beach.. It was lovely as ever, and not a word or sign mentioning of this..I'm sure just another fall-out from this terrible economy we are all facing.. Rachel is a strong determined individual, and I'm sure she'll bounnce back into something even more wonderful and romantic that we'll all fall in love with.. God is good, even when we can't figure out His every way at the time..I can't believe you heard this before meee..hahaha.. I love you sweet adoring friend..Your soo my Rachel..
hugs to you, ~t~xo

Anonymous said...

As a fellow artisian this saddens me to no end. The economy is not being kind to anyone no matter how much money we make. I look around see people everyday being affected it hits my stomach hard. She has been a huge inspiration to me personally and I truly hope she recovers from this and carry's on.

Jil~Say It With Roses said...

I have loved her style from the beginning and I am so sad for her and for us, too. She is a smart and savvy woman and she will survive! We will see her again!

My Pink & Cream Cottage said...

What a shock when I read Rachels blog & although not being American & understanding what Chapter 11 means, it bust be pretty bad from her post. I have always loved anything *old* but after seeing a few *Shabby Chic* shows I realised that all my treasures I have bought over the years should be brought out of the cupboards & used & if they get damaged in any way thats fine, theres always something else to take its place.
I just hope Rachel like so many others recover from these very trying times.

Have a lovely weekend Miss Rebecca.

Lyn xxx

Stephanie ~ Angelic Accents said...

A sad sign of our times. I, too, just heard yesterday of Ms. Ashwell's dilemma. But on her blog, she shows great determination & courage (endurance is the title post) & I believe something good will yet come from this.

Happy Pink Saturday!

Big TX Hugs,
Angelic Accents

Anonymous said...

Hello, dear Rebecca! I just wanted to stop by and say hello, and to thank you for the gracious comments you left on my blog about the suit I finished. Have a blessed weekend!

Jennifer Chronicles ( said...

great post, beck. very heartfelt and true!

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