Words by Alice Casely-Hayford

Sister Sister: London’s most talented siblings

Sophie Ashby, Interior Designer, 28:Since we moved to London, we have been best friends. I trust and rely on Rose more that anyone and with our parents living abroad, Rose is my family here. When we were teenagers we bickered and fought constantly because she stole all my clothes, or worse, copied me! I even felt the need to padlock my wardrobe when I left to go travelling but she managed to unscrew the hinges and take what she wanted regardless! Eventually Rose realised she needed to stop doing that for us to get on and it’s been plain sailing and good times ever since. Nobody makes me laugh as much as Rose. Rose is the most care-free, chilled out, sweet and kind person I know. She doesn’t sweat the small stuff, which is something I sadly do so I think I admire her approach to life the most. She is really calm even though she is a chef [at Spring in Somerset House] and works in a very stressful environment! I always knew Rose would do something that involved working closely with people and far away from a desk. Rose is amazing with people, she can chat to anyone (and make them laugh). She is a great teacher, too. I know that she loves working with her team at Spring, training up the juniors as well as working closely with Skye and learning from her. Rose is absolutely killing it for a chef of her age and I am seriously proud, always bragging about my talented little sis.’

Rose Ashby, Chef, 26:I look up to my big sis and am convinced she is the coolest woman on the planet. This has always been the case, although growing up I displayed my love and admiration through punching and hair pulling – I used to be extremely annoying. I borrowed her clothes and left them dirty on my bedroom floor, I told porkies to get her in trouble and I used to pinch and punch to my heart’s desire (until suddenly she hit back, it really hurt, and I never hit her again). Then one day I realised it was up to me to make our relationship a friendship, so I stopped doing all those things and gradually we started to become best friends. Now I look to her for advice on big decisions I have to make, or problems that may arise. She always has the best advice and is constantly encouraging me to break through my comfort zone and strive for more. I depend on her in so many ways, but mainly she is the best best friend in the world – she knows me inside and out and no matter what happens she is stuck with me! I’m not sure what she would say about my role, I like to think I help her to see situations for what they are. Soph has a tendency to overthink a situation and analyse it too deeply. Sometimes I am blown away by the way she evaluates and thinks, it can weigh you down if you worry so much. She wanted to set up her own company at 25, so she did and she has completely nailed it. If she wants something, she will find a way and she will make sure she has it, and that is part of the reason she is successful and has built such a unique brand. I am not referring to material things, I’m talking about clients, contacts and career moves. As with most successful people, near enough is not good enough for Sophie, she has always been a perfectionist.When Sophie was seven she had a little book of shoes that she designed, her company was called S.K.A.G (glad that one didn’t stick) which is an anagram of her full name. So I thought she would go into fashion for a while, but it soon became clear that she had a good eye for furniture and was always trying to help Mum decorate the house. Her room was also very cool, with homemade lamp shades and headboards and her paintings on the walls. Mine was consistently a bomb site so she was always trying to help me improve and organise it, to no avail. I was too in to bugs and being a tomboy to care about colour schemes and bed linen. My favourite characteristic of Sophie would have to be that she is eternally kind and thoughtful of others. It does not come naturally to her to make fun of people or say anything hurtful, no matter how horrible that person is being to her. She is rather saint-like in that respect. She honestly does follow the mantra of treat others how you would like to be treated.’

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Studio Ashby Ltd.,Unit 215, Grand Union Studios, 332 Ladbroke Grove, London W10 5AD, 020 3176 2571,

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