Inspired Living at Asha’s

ashaAsha’s Inspired Living in the Bazaar on West Street has only been open for 18 months, but has already become a shopping destination.

One unique attraction of the shop is that it is one of only 190 retailers that stock the popular range of Annie Sloan paint in the UK. After a vigorous selection process, including a presentation and an interview, owner Barbara Katavich was granted the coveted paint to sell. It is quite an achievement that they have managed to secure a contract, as the company receives eight enquiries per hour about stocking the paint, and they reject more people than they accept. The paint is unique in that it is chalk based, and therefore is a straightforward application process, without the need to sand down surfaces beforehand.

Asha’s also runs painting courses upstairs in the old chapel, a beautiful space that now serves as an art studio on a weekly basis. The courses are only for 4 to 6 people so everyone gets individual attention.

In the beginner’s workshops, participants are taught to distress the paint to appear aged, crackle with either glaze or paint, and colour wash.

More advanced courses teach gilding, stencilling and decoupage. Asha’s is also hoping to expand, with plans to introduce supervised furniture painting and lampshade making courses. A typical course runs from 9.30am to 2.30pm, and includes a delicious lunch, and discounts on any Annie Sloan products purchased on the day of the workshop. The courses have already proved popular not just for individuals, but also for children’s parties, school groups and as birthday presents for those eager to discover their creative side.

By Alexandra de Stanford Wallitt