I had the pleasure of seeing Rachel Ashwell in person this past Thursday night. This is the not the first time I have seen her speak, but it was the first time without kids, which was so wonderful {you can read my Rachel Ashwell + kids story HERE}. Lucky for me, she was speaking at a furniture store in Santa Rosa the same day I was going to be there picking up Jake from my parent’s, so I talked my nieces into watching the kids and my mom and I ran downtown for a couple hours to hear her.
This was a much different atmosphere than the last time. It was held inside the furniture store and hors d’oeuvres were set up in various places around the store on showroom dinning room tables. It was very well done and relaxing. Then we all sat down on chairs and listening while Rachel discussed her inspirations and how she develops ideas and concepts for her stores and books as her new book is entitled “Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Inspirations and Beautiful Places“.
As I was sitting there listening, I began to think about my inspirations. After all, I’m not much different than Rachel was when she first started her business over 20 years ago. At the time, she explained, she was a young mother with two young babies {her youngest was 6 weeks} and she came up with an idea to sell slipcovers….and the rest was history, we all know her story. And here I am, a mother to two young babies who somehow found myself selling embellished hoodies. So how is my story going to end?
Rachel talked a lot about visual things things that she sees and loves and then it inspires her to create something in particular. I realized as she talked, that is exactly what I do… certain things I see inspire me to create. My end result might not look exactly like what inspired me, but that’s not really the point is it? The point is inspiration pushing you to creating SOMETHING. That’s the idea behind inspiration.
In the beginning of Rachel’s talk, she mentioned that she simply wanted to create a house that looked lovely but that could withstand her young children and their “sticky fingers”. So she created this white slipcovered sofa, which was her first sofa design, and sold it. This is also the same sofa I have and LOVE…
You can read a very interesting write up about Rachel HERE, which is also where I snagged this picture from.
Anyway, as I sat there listening, I thought about my own business. My hoodie, specifically the Brilla, which is one of the very first hoodies that I made, and how it came about it. Why did I even bother to embellish a hoodie anyway? I mean, seriously, what was I thinking? But I know what I was thinking. I had a 6 month old baby. I was still breastfeeding. I was a stay at home mom with no money. I never wore anything but sweats unless I went out and even then my outfits were iffy. I was looking for style AND comfort. I wanted to be able to pull on my fave hoodie and it still be cute. That is why I embellished my first hoodie. That was my inspiration.
As I listened to Rachel I felt God nudge me a little…a reminder of who I am,  and with His help, what I’ve done and what I could become. I can’t really sit down and point out exactly why I was inspired to create what I do, I can only give you general ideas. But I CAN tell you this- my little try at embellishing hoodies was God ordained. I never dreamed when I was sewing up those first ones that I would sewing up almost 2,000 hoodies two years later. This was definitely in God’s plan for me and I am glad I walked down that road and listened to the inspirations that He laid on my heart.
I don’t know where Evy’s Tree will end up someday. But I am so thankful that I went and listened to Rachel talk. Somehow God used it as a little spy glass for me. A suggestion of what could be if I just follow Him as He guides me to build this company. And those days that I feel that my hoodies are so done and over copied…I will remember that God’s hand in on this and He will give me the direction to turn, whatever that direction may be.
Such an amazing feeling.
So thank you to Rachel for sharing your heart in a little furniture store in Santa Rosa, California. You inspired a young business woman such as myself to keep dreaming, keep creating and to keep following the inspirations that pop up in every day life. And to of course have faith. To always have faith. Thanks Rachel.
Oh can I just say that I LOVE how Rachel always has a pair of jeans on, a nice top, her hair the same and boots of some kind. It makes me feel sooo good that another creative person has a “uniform”. Mine will be the hair pulled back, jean skirt, leggings, flats and comfortable top uniform. Ha.
Do you have any inspirations? I’d love to hear them!

One thought on “Inspiration

  1. 1
    Kelley says:

    You go, girl. Women inspiring women. Titus Two's all over that!

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