My journal seems to have had the story on Rachel Ashwell's new shop and book before The New York Times. Scoops are something that persons with journalistic blood respond to. The Times, however, with a few more resources than my journal and a lot more reach, have a comprehensive review of Rachel's career in the Home section of the paper today. The article deals mainly with trends and business decisions.
For those of us who just like Rachel's style and pluck, it was a lot to take in. I am sorry that some bad business decisions led to the closing of many of her stores. There has been a time in our national life when success has meant more instead of best and better. And not in just our country: When I was in Vancouver, Canada a few years ago, there were four corners with as many Starbucks (at least it seemed that way to me). I guess if you were desperate for a latte, you should not be asked to cross the street. I'm not in the business of marketing coffee, but it is a puzzlement to those of us who would walk a mile--or cross an ocean--for a cup of properly brewed tea with milk (never cream!) and a scone.
I have a chaise that has more than a few pillows. One of them is a Shabby Chic that Rachel presented me with at one point in my Victoria life. Actually, she sent a box full--and several of us now tuck one behind our back when a good book turns into a long reading session. (I am supposed to be keeping my nose to the grindstone in research and reading for my new book, but I have sinned recently with Provenance by Laney Salisbury and Aly Sujo. The subtitle tells the compelling mystery: "How a con man and a forger rewrote the history of modern art." It's a page turner. And the cover was so seductive, it lured me into buying it.) I like the soft, aged look of the fabric and it is soft and comfy.
I'm happy that Rachel is getting one of those "second acts" that Americans are not supposed to have. I think we need to edit that old saw, don't you?