Relating to the minimalist aesthetic and the desire to fill our closets with easy to wear dresses, Lily Ashwell has created a beautiful brand. And a beautiful shop to showcase it in! We are thrilled to be touring Lily Ashwell’s Venice Beach home & the Lily Ashwell flagship store on our lifestyle blog today. It will make you want to live in this cute, eclectic neighborhood just like Lily. Or, it will have you shopping her frocks so you can channel her boho beauty. Be inspired by her stylish digs and tell us what you love most! Our pick? Her all-white bedroom that’s hidden behind a bougainvillea. Every pinner’s dream! Without further ado, step into Lily Ashwell’s world for a moment…
Tell us a little bit more about Lily Ashwell and how the concept for the brand began?
While at art school in England in 2012, I became a bit obsessed with vintage clothes hunting + curating my archives (Victorian dresses, 1940’s slips, French indigo workwear). The fits, fabrics, washes + attention to detail of my finds strongly inspire my aesthetic – but what differentiates me from most brands is a shift I experienced moving through my twenties, where I became a bit of a minimalist. This evolution has challenged my design process, inspiring me to develop detailed + special pieces that are also useful wardrobe staples. My pieces are timeless + easily styled into any woman’s wardrobe + worn season to season + day to night.
Did you always want to be a designer?
Growing up, clothes + styling was always my thing. I grew up in an artistic household – my mom’s creativity + aesthetic was truly the backdrop to our childhood. The combo has resulted in my love for designing clothes + curating an all-encompassing lifestyle around my collections.
Everything you create is so fresh and unique, where does your inspiration come from?
Thank you 🙂 More than anything, I’m inspired by life + beautiful, well-crafted, timeless items. I’m inspired when I pinpoint a void in my closet – designing into that void is an exciting challenge as I balance beautiful, refined materials with diverse, useful design.
Did you have an "I've Made It" moment?
Opening my Venice flagship last summer was a pretty profound moment for me. I live in the neighborhood + have always daydreamed about that little spot – so it’s a beautiful testament to the universe + the power of hard work + manifestation for me.
I think most people experience this, but there are moments throughout the day where I feel “I’ve made it” + moments in that same day where I feel I haven’t at all. But the shop remains a nice grounding anchor for me + always reminds me how far I’ve come.
You're home and office are beautiful! How would you describe your decor aesthetic?
My approach to creating spaces is no different to my clothing design process. I’m drawn to vintage inspired interiors with soulful details + clean, minimal modern lines. My style is a real fusion, it’s desert minimalism meets English farmhouse. I somehow find a way to balance these contradicting images + create eclectic, modern synchronicity.
How do you spend your typical work day? Do you typically split your time between the shop and your office? Where do you feel the most productive?
Between running the shop, designing + producing my collections locally + overseeing my ecommerce – my plate is quite full. I’m a free spirit by nature, so I’m easily overwhelmed by my to-do list + feel most productive when I delegate full days + my attention to a various department.
When I’m in the office, I immerse myself in design + buying/merchandizing for the shop. I usually do one day hitting the pavement in downtown LA where I source fabric + get inspired by my materials. I also do one or two full days a week in store, where I connect with the space + customers – making sure it’s a reflection + embodiment of the lifestyle I believe in.
I also try to remember to give myself rejuvenation time – for me it means yoga, puppy, boyfriend, friends, family, painting, writing, astrology – not necessarily in that order. But if I stay disciplined about giving myself “play” time, I am always more focused + grounded in my day to day.
The Lily Ashwell shop is gorgeous! You also carry so many unique and beautiful decorative objects and home decor. How did you decide what you would source?
While designing, I always imagine a lifestyle around my clothes + in that way, the shop has been a daydream come to life. Filling the store with home goods + useful daily items in support of my vision has been incredibly natural. It’s a small, curated space + an ongoing project to source local, likeminded artisans to bring life to the shop. It’s been a real labor of love + so much fun.
What's your favorite part about living and working in Venice Beach?
I grew up down the coast in Malibu, so this part of the Pacific is home to me. I love the seaside vibe with a touch of urban culture – it’s cultivated a laid back, creative community I find incredibly supportive + inspiring.
Additionally, the small town girl in me loves living down the street from my little corner shop. Walking my pup to the store in the morning is one of my favorite moments of the day.
Is there any business advice you live by that you want to pass on to other aspiring designers and entrepreneurs?
Stay true to yourself + work hard. That’s it!