Restoring History with Laura Ashley: A True Love Story

My husband and I were married in 2020, during the height of the pandemic in the Brazos Valley. Much like the relationship began, our next chapter was an adventure into not only a new marriage but a new business together. As the owners of a local creative marketing agency, we often find ourselves embarking on unique and out of the ordinary projects. There isn’t a day that goes by that is the same, after all it is one big adventure.  

Growing up I can still remember walking through the mall with my mother and visiting one of her favorite stores, Laura Ashley. The signature scent of orange blossom, gardenia, and roses filled the air, as I was cautioned by my mother not to touch any of the beautiful dresses that hung so elegantly from hangers. At a young age, I fell in love with the classic, elegant, and sophisticated style of Laura Ashley, a detail that my husband knows well.

When starting our business together, my husband and I talked about our dreams, and we started to look for partnerships that aligned with our passion for storytelling and adventure. I said, “Wouldn’t it be incredible to collaborate with a brand like Laura Ashley?” What happened next was a complete surprise to me and the continuation of a true love story.

The Secret       

Behind the scenes a special project was brewing, from emails to phone calls I was kept out of the loop of a very special surprise. As an auto journalist and talented visionary, my husband put together concept sketches, assembled a team, and sourced the perfect project car that incorporated my childhood memory of Laura Ashley and his passion for creating alternative history vehicles.

While setting the stage for a dream partnership, he surprised me with a trip to meet the entire Laura Ashley USA team to discuss the opportunity to fully restore a 1987 Jeep Grand Wagoneer featuring iconic Laura Ashley floral fabric interiors in celebration of their 70th Anniversary and campaign, “Spread the Print.”

The Wagoneer Project

A full restoration of a 1987 Jeep Grand Wagoneer is no small task. When we started the project from paper to recreate one of America’s beloved luxury SUVs, we did not know it would turn out to be a project of the lifetime in addition to all the new friends we made along the way who also fell in love with the Wagoneer project.

In 1987, the Jeep Grand Wagoneer was the first full-size luxury SUV, and it stood out with its distinctive wood paneling on the sides. It truly was a statement of luxury and style. The Wagoneer featured a 360 cubic inch V8 engine and a 3-speed automatic transmission. The vehicle was equipped with 4-wheel drive and had a towing capacity of up to 5,000 pounds. The interior was spacious and comfortable, with leather seats and a wood-trimmed dashboard. The Grand Wagoneer also had power windows and locks, air conditioning, and a premium sound system, all ahead of its time. Despite being over three decades old, the 1987 Jeep Grand Wagoneer still holds a special place in the hearts of car enthusiasts. Its timeless design and impressive capabilities make it a beloved classic car that will always be remembered.

The Laura Ashley brand combines traditional design elements with a touch of romance, resulting in a timeless aesthetic that has remained popular for decades. Laura Ashley’s products were first introduced to the US market in the 1980s, where they were sold in department stores across the country.

The 1987 Jeep Grand Wagoneer and the lifestyle brand, Laura Ashley, created the perfect blend of elegance and a nod to the iconic synergies among a classic automobile and luxury lifestyle. Answering the simple question of “If Laura Ashley had a Wagoneer in the 80’s, what would it have looked like?”

Restoring Community

What started as a project between a creative marketing agency and two iconic brands has reached National attention for the Brazos Valley. The fully restored Laura Ashley Jeep Wagoneer incorporated many talented craftsmen from the Brazos Valley and Texas who fully embraced our vision and helped to create the perfect vehicle to share the history of the lifestyle brands.

In the last year, the Wagoneer has been on display at events in Las Vegas, Charleston, and Brazos Valley that have become the catalyst to sparking conversations, telling stories, and has brought joy to so many people across the country.

From a field in North Texas to our garage, the Laura Ashley Jeep Grand Wagoneer is not only a continuation of my personal love story but has served as a connecting point for so many people and helped to create community.  

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