March 04, 2020 3 min read 1 Comment
If I had been born just a few weeks later, I would be considered a Gen Xer. A birthday in November, 1964 makes me one of the youngest of the Baby Boomers. That generation made the most transformative contributions to American culture in the late 20th century. Thanks to the boomers the 1980’s saw women entering the business world in record numbers and blazing new career trails.
I was good in math and science so everyone assumed I should go into business, including me. I enrolled in Syracuse University’s School of Management focusing on Personnel Management because I really liked people! As much as I enjoyed my classes, something creative called to me and I jumped on the opportunity to take some Art History classes. I was fascinated by all the beautiful paintings and how they illuminated world history. I took as many classes as I could. While my business courses involved logic and structure, art history helped me to see life from a whole new perspective. Looking back, I was destined to combine my love for art with an affinity for business.
Surprisingly, it was a book my mother brought on vacation that first introduced me to Personal Color Analysis. On a long car trip to Florida for spring break she brought Carole Jackson’s, “Color Me Beautiful.” This book popularized color analysis in the 1980’s. We attempted to determine each other's colors, my aunt’s colors and even my poor father who spent the entire vacation listening to us talk about color and seasons. We never could figure out where we all fit. I graduated with a degree in Personnel Management and a minor in Art History and joined the corporate world.
While working in Human Resources interviewing, hiring and training candidates I started recognizing how color affected me, my impression of people and assessment of their abilities. Those wearing black I barely remembered no matter how accomplished or capable they might have been for the job. Those dressed in a color that seemed to drain them or overwhelm them distracted me in a negative way. Those dressed in colors and styles that were appropriate appeared to know themselves better. So they seemed a better fit for the position and were hired.
Around this time my cousin Julie "got her colors done" and the results were amazing! She was already attractive & stylish but now she always look pulled together and there was a confidence and glow about her. I sought out my own personal color analysis in a 4-season color analysis system similar to Color Me Beautiful which was the only thing available at the time. More confusion. Some of the colors seemed right, but others did not work for me. How did color analysis create amazing results for some, but not for all?
I began listening to my inner compass and paying close attention to the ways colors looked on me. Julie and I read books and combed the internet learning everything possible about personal color analysis and discovered a more expansive concept than the 4 season system. Professional Munsell Colorist Kathryn Kalisz of SciArt offered training in color harmony and we became certified in her 12-season Personal Color Analysis System. The subtle differences between the 12 seasonal tones accommodate every person and every color. The science behind this system reinforced what I had learned about color harmony as an Art History student. Everything finally made sense!
This system was an important resource and it was clear this knowledge needed to be shared with a wider audience. Incredibly, a perfect space where I lived in the village of Pittsford, NY became available and Rochester’s first personal color analysis studio was in business! Since 2005 I have analyzed colors for thousands of clients, guiding them in creating their own color harmony. Each brings me a greater understanding of how we all fit into the natural world and also reinforces the theories outlined in the 12-season color analysis system.
Analyzing which colors look best is the first step. Providing clients with additional services and the tools they need to look pulled together makes Indigo Tones unique. I am especially proud to have designed and developed my own unique personal color swatch books, created a line of botanically based non-toxic cosmetics, and curate clothing and accessory pieces for all shapes, styles, colors and budgets for the online resale boutique.
My journey to finding color harmony in my personal and professional life has been exciting and rewarding. As a Personal Color Analyst and business owner I meet new interesting people each day. I love helping them feel confident wearing color and being themselves. It’s very fulfilling making the world a more colorful harmonious place!
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September 07, 2023 6 min read
It’s a treat to introduce you to this month's colorful lives feature, Soft Autumn Tim Stich who is also my son!! Tim’s experience with shopping for clothing and wearing color is unique as I become a color analyst when he was quite young. When he and his sister Clare were little, I tried dressing them in bright colors with strong patterns as was the style then.....but even before learning about personal color harmony, I started to sense that the clothes overwhelmed them and began dressing them in softer colors and solids. I was even shocked the other day to discover when I pulled out his school photos that every single photo (even before I learned of his color palette) was taken in a Soft Autumn color. You can see how his life has evolved wearing the soft, earthy colors that suit his ruddy hair, freckles and soft blue/green eyes.
Over the years, he has mostly been very eager to wear what suits him and looked to me to help him distinguish soft autumn colors from the two seasons nearby - warm autumn and soft summer. We enjoy shopping together, especially now that he lives in Manhattan and the shopping is abundant. It can be a challenge to find his colors in sizes and style that fit but when its perfect, it feels great and he knows it. Read on to learn more about what it’s like to be a guy whose mom is a color consultant!
August 01, 2023 7 min read
I am so excited to introduce you the “entertainingly irreverent” (Associated Press) Soft Summer, Valerie Peterson. Valerie is an extraordinary storyteller in a variety of media including scriptwriting, screenplays, fiction, non-fiction and book publishing/consulting. I analyzed her colors years ago in Rhode Island at a girls weekend hosted by a mutual friend (color analysis and girls weekends make a great combo!). In the years since, Valerie has embraced her Soft Summer colors in spite of living and working in New York City where black is a standard and practical.
It was a thrill when her publisher chose a photo of my family for her wonderfully spirited book, Peterson’s Happy Hour. On page 46, you can find me with my family - brothers, Mike and Tim and my parents Marcia and J. Michael Jones circa 1970. The book features many more photographic gems and recipes for a fabulous social gathering!
In this month’s colorful lives blog, Valerie shares her journey with her color palette. As with all her writing projects, she is humorous, colorful and entertaining! She has kept in great condition and still uses the Sci Art swatch book that I provided back in those days!! Be sure to check out her large body of work on valeriepeterson.net and read more in the blog:
July 25, 2023 4 min read
While doing color analysis in Boston in June, I had the pleasure of meeting Danielle Burton and giving her a 12-Season Color Analysis. Danielle had recently experienced a 4-Season Color Analysis with a House of Colour consultant and was told she was a Winter. I was skeptical that she was any type of Winter (in the 12 season system, there are actually 3 Winters - Dark Winter, Cool Winter and Bright Winter). Her light eyes, natural lighter and soft brownish hair and skin tone were much more consistent with my clients who fall into the lighter seasons, especially Summer.
Since her hair had been highlighted, we covered it with a neutral gray cap to do the testing portion of the analysis, ensuring that the lighter color did not sway the results of the analysis. It was clear from the beginning that Danielle was responding more harmoniously to the cool tones even some of the lighter cool winter drapes which was consistent with her 4 season color analysis.
But, while she contrasted with any drapes that were dark and bright, she was softened and balanced by the lighter cool tones, particularly Summer. The dark colors brought out shadows under her eyes and the brighter colors overwhelmed her and brought attention to themselves. In the end, she looked lovely and perfectly balanced and harmonious in the Cool Summer colors!
"While I had a great experience at House of Colour, I do think they are missing out on a ton of research and color science by not including the 12 seasons and variants. The added layer of cool vs bright vs dark was a huge difference for me and really solidified which category I best fit”.
Enjoy reading more about Danielle’s experience with both systems and her reaction to her diagnosis as a Cool Summer:
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