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Laura Ashley Heading Logo

Laura Ashley

   

Laura Ashley the person

   

Laura Ashley was born in 1925 in Merthyr Tydfill in Wales as Laura Mountney. She married Bernard Ashley in 1949 and remained married until her death in 1985. Laura's interest in fabrics started whilst she was working as a secretary for another company. During this time she started to design quilt covers for the local Women's Institute, based on the skills she had previously learnt from her Grandmother. Before long she had progressed from just designing quilt covers and instead also started designing napkins, table mats, headscarves and tea towels etc. At this point her husband Bernard got involved. He designed a printing machine in the attic flat in London that they were living in that could print all the designs directly onto plain fabric. However, it was the headscarves that gave the Laura and Bernard the break they needed. This came about after Laura visited a display of traditional Victorian handicrafts at the Victoria and Albert museum in London. Laura started to look for other examples of Victorian designs that she could actually buy and she soon found that nothing existed anywhere. She quickly realised that here was an opportunity to re-invent designs that were once very popular with the Victorians. The easiest item to re-make using the Victorian designs would be the Women's headscarves, so between them in 1953 this is what Laura and Bernard concentrated on making.

   

Before long the Ashleys' Headscarves had become very popular, so much so that even the big retailers such as John Lewis where also selling them. They also developed a successful mail order sales channel as well. At this point Bernard left his good job in the City to help produce more headscarves along with the development of new product lines. 

   

Between them they then set up and managed their own fashion retail company which in 1953 was originally just called Bernard Ashley Fabrics, shortly afterwards the name was changed by Bernard Ashley to just Laura Ashley as he felt that a female based company name would be more appropriate to the product range. Laura Ashley was in charge of the design side of the business and Bernard was in charge of the operational and sales side. Laura Ashley kept working until her death on the 17th September 1985 from a brain haemorrhage. This resulted after falling down the stairs at her daughters house 10 days earlier on the 7th September 1985 (on her 60th birthday).

   

   

Laura Ashley the company

Since 1953 the company has gone from strength to strength with sales in the year 2000 totalling 276 million pounds. In 1985 the company was floated on the stock exchange which was 34 times over subscribed. The company now has retail shops all over the UK and throughout world. In the UK there are 207 shops and in the rest of the world there are now 251 stores. The Laura Ashley's first shop in the UK was opened in Machynlleth, Powys at 35 Maengwyn Street - it is still there today and now trades as an interior design shop, however the Laura Ashley connection is commemorated by a small plaque on the wall outside.
   

Laura Ashley Foundation

   
The Laura Ashley foundation was created in 1987 by Bernard Ashley after the death of his wife Laura Ashley in 1985. The Foundation was set up with the aim of helping young individuals develop their talents and potential. The remaining Ashley family members are still to this day actively involved in the day to day management of the foundation.
   

Laura Ashley Store Locator

   
You can locate your nearest Laura Ashley store by clicking here:
   

The Laura Ashley Product Range

The Laura Ashley product range is extensive and covers most Interior Design items as well as a few personal classics such as the Laura Ashley Headscarve.
     
Laura Ashley Rose Scented Hearts   Laura Ashley Accessories
     
Laura Ashley Alberton armchair   Laura Ashley Armchairs
     
Laura Ashley Hyacinth Baskets Laura Ashley Baskets
     
Laura Ashley Charlotte Bed Laura Ashley Beds
   
Laura Ashley Throws for beds   Laura Ashley Bedding
     
Laura Ashley Blinds
   
Laura Ashley Bookcases
   
Laura Ashley Coco Storage Boxes Laura Ashley Boxes
   
Laura Ashley Pink Lotus Candle Laura Ashley Candles
   
Laura Ashley Chaise Laura Ashley Chaise
   
Laura Ashley Bramley coffee table   Laura Ashley Coffee Tables
     
Laura Ashlet Comforters Laura Ashley Comforters
   
Laura Ashley Capri Console Table Laura Ashley Console Tables
   
Laura Ashley Fitzroy Cotton Penci Pleat Curtains   Laura Ashley Curtains
     
Laura Ashley Wooden Curtain Rings.jpg   Laura Ashley Curtain Poles
   
Laura Ashley Shoes Cushion.jpg Laura Ashley Cushions
   
Laura Ashley Brompton Dark Dining Table Laura Ashley Dining Tables
   
Laura Ashley Floral Drapes Laura Ashley Drapes
    
Laura Ashley Dahlia Drawers Laura Ashley Drawers
   
Laura Ashley Emilie Pillow Laura Ashley Emilie Range
   
Laura Ashley Darcy Footstool Laura Ashley Footstools
   
Laura Ashley Kendal Bed Laura Ashley Futons
   
Laura Ashley Madison Lamp Laura Ashley Lamps
   
Laura Ashley Blue Stars Shade - Click for more details Laura Ashley Lamp Shades
   
Laura Ashley Linen
   
Laura Ashley Elisse Mirror Laura Ashley Mirrors
   
Laura Ashley Duck Egg Blue Paint Laura Ashley Paint
   
Laura Ashley Pillows Laura Ashley Pillows
   
Laura Ashley Placemats Laura Ashley Placemats
   
Laura Ashley Bella Butterfly Rug in Pink Laura Ashley Rugs
   
Laura Ashley Louise Runners in Silver Grey Velvet Laura Ashley Runners
   
Laura Ashley Sophia Shower Curtain Laura Ashley Shower Curtains
   
Laura Ashley Sophia Sheets Laura Ashley Sophia Range
   
Latticed Frill Top Vase Laura Ashley Vases
   
Laura Ashley Marciana Floral Wallpaper Laura Ashley Wallpaper  (Laura Ashley Wallpaper Sale)
   
   
Laura Ashley Weddings
   

 

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