Day 25 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project is here and it’s the final day of the Pink Collar Power Series. Sharing some of the insight I’ve gleaned from graduate school, the workplace, and home has been rewarding. The blogging itself and the views of posts, and even a few likes and comments bolster my confidence that I not only have something to say – a readership – hopefully Pink Collar Savvy & Chic women (savvy & chic gentlemen welcome too) are out there in the blogosphere eager to listen. Sometimes when we take on an endeavor, whether it be a return to our roots, the pursuit of a long held dream, or an invention born out of sheer necessity, when there’s a lack of response, the silence can be deafening. Rachel Ashwell, the founder of the lifestyle brand, Shabby Chic, had no such problem when she opened a tiny shop in California that was encompassed a return to her roots, the pursuit of a dream, and necessity. In fact it that store opening has been called, “The shop heard round the world”.
The second type of power that is categorized under Personal Power is referent power. This type of power results from leaders and widely respected people being able to influence those who admire, respect and are loyal to them or who wish to gain their approval. For me, Rachel Ashwell is an example of Pink Collar referent power. Back in 1989, as a newly divorced mother of two young children, this English born American needed a source of income (necessity). She’d grown up watching her mother restore dolls and her father collect and sell books. Combining her mother’s creativity with her father’s salesman skills (return to her roots), she took the slipcovers she’d made for herself and friends and the vintage furniture she’d restored, along with other flea market finds, and opened a store (invention). She then turned that into the Shabby Chic empire (the dream). Nearly thirty years later, despite every type of imitation possible, Rachel Ashwell’s name is still synonymous with the style. Rachel’s need to make a living did not supersede her desire to have a beautiful, comfortable, functional home for her small children. It supported it. They were equally important. Both/and.
Rachel Ashwell’s story – her home life and her career life have and continue to be such an inspiration to me. Other than my great aunt and a professional mentor (more about both of them in later posts), no other woman has had more influence on me. Much of my home decor is either from her Simply Shabby Chic line from Target, or Shabby Chic inspired. It’s not the name brand or that vintage pedigree that brings me joy. It’s the utter peace and serenity I feel when I’m at home. My office decor carries through with this theme as well. It’s smart to be serene at work too.
If you’re not a fan of the Shabby Chic style and can’t relate to this post, I hope you will still take away the main point: As Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose women, whether in the workplace and/or at home, we can all be a source of referent power for another Pink Collar girl. You never know, you’re voice may end up being the next one heard around the world…