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"Thank You, Laura Ashley"

I’m a home body.  And I don’t get out much socially.  But this past weekend I went to dinner with some friends – a special group that boasts an English Masters student, advertising account manager, kindergarten teacher, neonatal respiratory therapist, flight attendant and … me.

About every six months or so, one of us will shoot out a reminder email that we’re due for a get together.  Then we spend a week coordinating schedules to find a date that’s a month or two away.  We rarely manage to get all six of us, but we lucked out this time.

Our history goes back some 20 years when we were young sales associates at a Laura Ashley store.  Our mutual love for the Laura Ashley brand is what we had in common.  Our time spent working together led us to becoming friends.  And despite our shop closing 10 years ago (and most of us leaving our jobs before then) we Laura Girls have maintained a great friendship.

Over the years we’ve shared in the success of graduations, praised new jobs, celebrated two weddings (three were child brides, and we’re still rooting for you Chica!), had several house-warmings, rejoiced at nine baby showers and mourned at four funerals.

When we get together we do all the usual things:  reminisce about the store, the other people we worked with, the customers, the products (don’t kid yourself, if we ever decided to get rid of all our Laura Ashley treasures – and that would NEVER happen – it’d be one sweet garage sale!).  We lament how the Laura Ashley of the 90’s is gone forever.

We share photos & stories, catch up, laugh/cry about how the aging process is affecting us, sympathize over difficult situations and just enjoy being in each other’s company. 

We all – husbands included – find it remarkable and pretty special that a part-time job at a little store so long ago could have forged such a long-lasting bond among six girls.

I think of myself as a Laura Girl because of how much I loved the style.  But I call myself a Laura Girl because I’m a proud member of this select little circle of friends.

If it’s true that you can judge people by the company they keep, then I’m deeply honored & humbled.  Thank you ladies for keeping me in your lives.  I love you all.

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Reader Comments (5)

It's great when friendships stand the test of time and lovely that you can pick up where you left off even if years have passed!
I loved the Laura Ashley of the eighties, then I loved everything from the eighties!
Vivienne x

February 25, 2011 | Unregistered Commentergreenrabbitdesigns

Big fan of Laura too ... Although, she managed to piss me off once! I bought this really cute outfit in Amsterdam for the ticket price (silly me .. should have known better ...) and a few days later I was in the store in The Hague and it was on sale ... "Silly me" had already taken the tags off (and disposed of them) so there was no "going back to the store to get my money back" routine happening any time soon ... ARRGG ... in other words, Laura still owes me ;-)!

Happy weekend!

February 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterYvonne

Wow. What a cool story! And so interesting the career choices that everyone went on to have. I have a group of long-time quilt friends and I love that we're growing old together!

February 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterThimbleanna

From one of the above mentioned 'Laura Girls' here's to 20 more years of friendship!! Love this piece and love the blog! :))

March 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNatalie

I was a big fan of Laura Ashley in my late teens, which I guess was in the 80's :) Such a pretty style. There is a Laura Ashley shop here in Perth (Australia) but each time I've visited, have been a little disappointed...the stock on show just never lives up to the images in her books!

March 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSuzitee

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