Like so many businesses, the Laura Ashley textiles originated from a woman doing what she loved as a hobby in 1953. Creating napkins and headscarves in her spare time, Laura found that her designs were unlike anything currently offered on the market, so therefore the business flourished. With her Husband Bernard Ashley creating the printing equipment, they found a synergy that would see their year on year turnover soar and eventually decided to move to Wales to benefit from the transport routes. By this time, Bernard had created sophisticated printing equipment and Laura was designing fashionable attire for both work and leisure, much to everyone's delight. Within two decades of starting the business, Laura Ashley stores could be found in London and across the whole country, as well as Paris and other continental destinations, turning over £5 million a year with 1000 employees. It continued to go from strength to strength until Laura passed away in 1985 and Bernard struggled to maintain profitability. In 1993 Bernard Ashley retired and today, the Ashley family still hold an interest in the business.