Laura Ashley in Bulgaria
I am Daniela Petkova and for the past 14 years we have been the main operators of the Laura Ashley brand in Bulgaria. Since their restructuring, we have been working with a wide range of UK companies, in order to maintain our success.
Representing a wide range of UK companies
The Laura Ashley brand has been bought by a US investment company, Gordon Brothers, and they are now rebuilding the company. It is a period of uncertainty and we have to survive in the meantime.
So we are now also working with a long list of other UK interior design, lighting and furnishing companies: iLiV – SMD Textiles, Art Marketing, Trade Fair International, Dar Lighting, Daro Cane, Daro Furnmiture, Roper Rhodes, ADB Furniture, Lanfine, RV Astley, etc.
The most likely scenario is that we will divide our business – one of our companies will look after the other UK businesses we are representing here, while the other will concentrate on Laura Ashley. We have a large stock of Laura Ashley goods in warehouses which we bought in advance of Brexit. We had no idea how things would change after February 2020 so we filled our warehouse. For the moment we have plenty of merchandise and we have no problems in supplies from the UK, even with the customs clearance that we can expect after 2020.
We mainly market our goods through social media and clients who are happy with our products. They spread the word because Laura Ashley has a good reputation and image in Bulgaria. My goal is to maintain this image. We have worked so hard for the past 14 years to protect their reputation and strengthen it, and I do not want to lose it.
All Laura Ashley’s precious personal archives have been kept. They contain original fabrics and wall papers and I hope they will be the inspiration for future collections. I also hope that we in Bulgaria can make our own contribution to the future success of Laura Ashley. We have already sent our own proposal to help the UK team and we shall wait and see. It could be a very good success story for Bulgaria.
We have our own very strong in-house design team. It is an important added value we need to provide in the present conditions. I hope Laura Ashley will listen to us and we will be more than happy to help, so that we can come together and work as a team. It takes more than just one person or ten people to ensure the future success of such a company. They need our support. In fact all the European franchises- Greece, Portugal, Spain, Norway, Sweden, work really well together, we are helping each other during this period. We have offered our full support and expertise to the UK office of Laura Ashley and to Gordon Brothers.