Published: April 19, 2022 | Updated: April 19, 2022

“I’m absolutely blown away – I couldn’t have imagined a better start for my new business”

Nat Ashton and her partner, Dave James, toast the opening of ROSE the store. Picture: Dorset Biz News.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

The owner of Westbourne’s newest shop says she’s “absolutely blown away” at the response to her latest venture.

Nat Ashton launched ROSE the store in Seamoor Road on Good Friday and says she’s already reordering sold out items such has been the “overwhelming” demand.

The independent lifestyle shop includes fashion, accessories and home goods and is aimed at the ‘country meets coast’ individual.

For the last nine years Nat, 35, has owned OSOboutique in Salisbury with her mum, Jan.

It has won several awards and was voted as one of the top 50 UK boutiques by Grazia magazine last year.

Nat, who previously worked for Lush cosmetics, said: “The onset of the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 brought with it unprecedented challenges for business owners but for me, in particular, it also brought time.

“It was during our first three months of enforced closure, and a time of self reflection, that I took the opportunity to explore new avenues and I began to see the potential of this ‘passion project’ which had been niggling at me for years.

“With a background in Australia, and living on the South Coast just a stone’s throw from the ocean, my life is filled with a love of the salty ocean air, of laid-back living and of beautiful, earthy home comforts.

“In satisfying my own vision, and through my continual love of retail, it’s become more and more apparent that there’s a community of like-minded souls all around me here in the UK who yearn for long sun-kissed days and crave the kind of free-spirited, bohemian inspired lifestyle shops so often found on the shores of Byron Bay and California.

“ROSE the store aims to capture the nature of those feelings and convert them to a way of UK living, grounded in raw textures, rugged beauty and modern silhouettes with a strong emphasis on environmental and social respect.”

Building works for the new ROSE the store were carried out by Nat’s partner, Dave James, who works in the emergency services.

Nat said: “I’ve been absolutely blown away by the response here over the last few days.

“I was so nervous to see whether the concept would be well-received here in Dorset and whether there was a market local to me who wanted this style of ‘outdoorsy Australian lifestyle store’ that I myself so yearn for.

“I’ve met some utterly gorgeous new people and am madly reordering sold out items already due to the overwhelming response to the new shop and online store.

“I couldn’t be happier and everyone, including other local businesses in the Westbourne area, have been so welcoming and pleased with the new store.

“I honestly couldn’t have imagined a better start for the new business and a special thanks goes out to everyone who have been passing on the news and sharing the store etc on their Instagram and social media feeds.”