September 23, 2015 • PEOPLE
Draper James Darling: Ashley Brooke Designs
But it isn’t just the company’s coffee mugs, notebooks, and wrapping paper that have struck a chord with fans; it’s the cheerful, sugar-coated lifestyle that the brand—namely, founder Ashley Brooke Chambers—stands for that have garnered it 100K Instagram followers and counting.
We can think of no one better than Ashley Brooke herself to serve as our first Draper James Darling—a muse of sorts who will fill us in on what motivates and delights her.
Read on to see why this inspiring southern entrepreneur has us hankerin’ to swipe on some hot pink lipstick, throw on a twirly dress, and down a slice of her homemade chocolate chip banana bread.
If you could clone any room or home, past or present, real or imaginary, what would it be?
Can I pick the inside of I Dream of Jeannie’s bottle? Does that count? Because, I mean. . . this.
Interior design trend you’re loving right now?
Pattern play! I love pattern on pattern on pattern. It just makes a room interesting and downright happy.
The space or item in your own home you’re most proud of?
Probably the foyer. I had this crazy tropical leaf wallpaper installed when I first moved in and I just love it!
What do you collect?
Lipstick. I love a lipstick. It’s becoming a bit of an issue.
The best part of being an entrepreneur?
The feeling of excitement and hopefulness I get in my chest every time I finally see a finished product we’ve created. It’s the best.
The Instagram you admire the most?
@monlinglee. I think she has a brilliant eye. I want to be her when I grow up!
Your go-to hostess gift?
You can never, ever go wrong with homemade chocolate chip banana bread! When I have a spare afternoon, I’ll whip up a few loaves and pop them in the freezer, so I always have something ready for parties.
Your go-to cocktail?
Champagne! But if I’m feeling extra sophisticated, I can never say no to an Old Fashioned.
Your go-to flower, plant, or bouquet?
Garden roses. I love their natural color combinations and how big they get when they bloom. They are the most romantic flowers!
The beauty or skincare essential you won’t leave the house without?
A jar of coconut oil! I use it to shave my legs and as a moisturizer. I may smell like a piña colada, but when you’re glowing, who really cares?
Your personal style uniform on Monday morning at the office?
I love flattering and feminine sundresses. I live in Florida (I was born there, too), and it is hot 99.9 percent of the time. Easy, classic, and breezy is what it’s all about!
Personal style uniform for Saturday night?
We love to dress up around here. Anytime I have the opportunity to slip on a pair of stilettos (the higher the better!) and an extra swipe of lipstick, I’m in!
The fashion rule you’d like to make? (Or the one you’d like to break?)
Wait, are there rules?
Favorite color combos or prints?
I love denim on denim. Long live chambray! I think there is something so intrinsically chic about a pair of dark denim jeans, a light denim top, and a great handbag.
Your biggest extravagance?
Tickets to Paris! My husband and I just booked a trip on a whim a few weeks ago, and we could not be any more excited.
Your bad habit?
Eating popcorn for dinner. Not really the most nutritious, but I literally could have a massive bowl of homemade popcorn and a glass of wine for dinner any night of the week.
Your secret skill or surprising talent?
I may just be the parallel parking queen.
If you could take the time to learn something new, what would it be?
I’d love to learn how to play the piano. I am totally and completely musically challenged. Don’t get me wrong; I can bust a move. But I cannot sing or play an instrument at all.
Ten years from today, we’ll find you. . .
Happy. . . with so very many coffee mugs.
The Draper James item on your wish list?
The Casey Contrast Top Fit-and-Flare Dress—love it for the transition from summer into fall.