Canvas Conversation: Prepsetter Needlepoint's Ashley Vestergren

Today my Canvas Conversation features Ashley Vestergren, owner and designer of Prepsetter Needlepoint. Ashley has lived in Bermuda for the last 10 years with her husband and three young children. She and her family are in the process of moving to Connecticut this summer.  Ashley originally hails from Massachusetts and then went on to pursue a career in investment banking which carried her to New York and London. So moving to New England after island life feels like returning home.

An avid needlepointer (she clocks at least 1 hour per night!), Ashley is also the proud co-owner of @stitchwheel - a needlepoint canvas painting service that helps designers scale their production. Her work days have shifted from spreadsheets to now being 100 percent focused on needlepoint!

Follow along Ashley's needlepoint journeys on her Instagram page @Prepsetter.

Favorite needlepoint project. One of my favorites is a nautical brick cover I stitched for my son’s room while I was pregnant with him – but it’s hard to choose only one! I love that looking at a finished piece can immediately transport you to where you were while you stitched it. I always bring meaningful pieces on vacation, knowing that they will preserve some of the memory of the trip for me!

On your needlepoint Wishlist. I hope to finish stockings for my three children in the next year or two. I also love this Thistle Backgammon canvas from Thorn Alexander.

Dream stitching spot. Sitting outside a Parisian café in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, while I people-watch with a bottle of rosé.

13 or 18 Mesh Canvas. 18 mesh for daytime, 13 mesh for nighttime

Last book you read and liked. The last book I read and liked was The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave. I often listen to podcasts instead of reading – one of my favorites is How I Built This with Guy Raz. I love learning about other entrepreneurs.  

Favorite flower. Hydrangeas, peonies and bougainvillea

Guilty pleasure. Hallmark Christmas movies starting before Thanksgiving. They’re so bad they’re good.

On your nightstand. A Stanley cup, the longest phone charger I could find, and a few Prepsetter WIPs!

Currently listening to. The “Pop Goes Classical” playlist on Spotify

Currently watching. Ted Lasso – I can’t get enough.

 If there were more hours in the day I would. Design jewelry. One day!

Favorite places to shop. Tuckernuck and Willow Park Boutique. Beaufort Bonnet and Henry Duvall for my littles!

Favorite Instagram follows. @melissasmreker, @inslee, @juliaberolzheimer, @greystoneneedlepoint (obviously!)

Can’t leave the house without. SPF and sunglasses

Coffee or tea. I love both, hot and iced! I also adore a proper British afternoon tea complete with sandwiches and scones. My four-year-old daughter has taken on the tradition as well!

Favorite holiday to celebrate. My absolute favorite holiday is Christmas – I love everything about it! My second favorite is Easter in Bermuda, where my family and I have lived for the past 10 years. We fly kites on the beach, eat fish cakes on hot cross buns and celebrate outside for three days in a row with family and friends. We are moving to Connecticut, where Prepsetter is based, this summer!

Wardrobe staples. Living in Bermuda, I wear dresses almost year-round. My current favorites are from Victoria Dunn, Juliet Dunn (I guess I have a thing for Dunns?), Oliphant and, of course, Hill House! I also love classic white tops from Sea New York. 

Creative inspiration. I find inspiration everywhere and I keep a note in my phone to jot down ideas for later. A lot of my designs reflect vintage or classic themes. I have always loved old school prep, and it’s currently experiencing a bit of a mainstream resurgence as well (there was a recent article in the WSJ!)

Best piece of advice. Don’t forget to look around you and celebrate that you are living a life you once dreamed of. 

Favorite color. Blue and white forever! 

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