FRESH from exhibiting her collection at an exclusive Paris design show, Ashley Thomas is on the cusp of breaking through to the world of home design in a big way.
At just 24, the Chesterfield-based designer has already had work commissioned for big names such as Mama’s and Papa’s and greetings card companies The Little Dog Really Likes and the Marks and Spencer division of Tigerprint.
But after being invited to exhibit at Maison et Objet, Ashley’s career is set to go global, thanks to interest from companies as far flung as Tokyo and Russia, as well as others on home soil.
“It was such a fantastic experience,” she said, sitting amongst some of her most popular designs – a range of quirky but intricately patterned cushions. “It was amazing to be approached by all these designers, and to meet local people who were interested in my work.”
Ashley’s parents own a cattery in Chesterfield, and the family have always kept horses. Her interest in animals and nature is reflected in her work, with designs incorporating cats, dogs, birds and even dinosaurs.
“I take inspiration from everything,” she said. “I try and get out as much as I can and often I will go to the zoo and look at interesting animals there. I have to take a break from the studio because you work for up to a week on one piece.”
As well as her trademark cushions – which retail at £55 – Ashley has also worked on wallpapers, fashion prints and greetings cards.
Her work can be bought online at her website www.ashleythomas.webs.com and seen locally at Harley’s Interiors on Chatsworth Road and Gallery Top in Darley Dale as well as dozens of others across the country and abroad.
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