Making Shabby Chic, Again - October 14, 2009
New York Times
Shabby Chic a furniture company known for its squashy sofa and a baggy white slipcover filed for Chapter 11, bankruptcy, last January. This was a very low point for Rachel Ashwell, the founder of the company. She has been around for almost a decade. The company’s signature product even had been noted by the Encyclopedia Britannica for its slipcover: “not the trim, well-fitting kind, but sloppy, wrinkled ones dubbed ‘Shabby Chic’ by a California company of the same name.” The furniture was based on function and most of all comfort which many people fell in love with.
All the merchandise along with the store had to be sold. Although all that is gone, Ashwell still had one final asset, the name of the brand. Enter Brand Sense Partners, an investment and marketing company, has decided to buy “Shabby Chic” from Rachel Ashwell. Ramez Toubassy, the company’s president, is the new chief executive officer of Shabby Chic. He plans to make furniture for the higher end of the middle market which will sell to furniture stores. The new merchandise should appear sometime next year. The flagship stores in Manhattan and Santa Monica will be names Shabby Chic Couture. Toubassy is planning to target a higher price point with the “couture” added to the name, which makes it sound more luxurious.
This article is relevant to Chapter 15, Home Fashions. Just like apparel, people want to have chic and fashion forward homes. In the chapter, the text states that the store brand name is very influential. Shabby Chic is one brand that holds a value in the customer’s eye. Rachel Ashwell was very smart by being innovative in bed linens. Bed linens are a good investment because they are inexpensive to change as a result it is more frequently purchased, as oppose to a brand new sofa. Shabby Chic developed its own signature slipcover, making it an exclusive and in demand item.
I was surprised to hear that Ashwell opened up...
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