Selling Romance, British Style

Laura Ashley goes from a kitchen table to sales of $100 million

A world in search of old-fashioned romance has closely followed this year's fairy-tale stories about Britain's Prince Charles and the Princess of Wales. Selling British romance has also proved a fine business for Laura Ashley Ltd., which has turned a blend of Victorian ruffles and patterns into a nearly $100 million-a-year women's wear and home-furnishings company. The firm's line of frilly blouses, pastel flowered bedspreads and quilted tea cozies now sells from San Francisco to Singapore and from Milan to Melbourne....

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