"The best colour in the whole world is the one that looks good on you" said Coco Chanel. But do we all know what these colours are for us? Local mum, Katie Hone has launched The Coloursmith an independent colour and image consultancy where every client has a bespoke analysis that brings out their personality, style and individuality!
Meet with Katie and the compliments will fly. Here Katie tells us why we should all know 'our' colours.
Tell me about you? Your background? How long have you been living in Cookham?
I grew up in Marlow but spent most of my adult life living in London, Norway and Japan. I have worked with colour in design and textiles for years and I love teaching adults, so the idea of becoming a colour consultant was incredibly appealing and an obvious career move. We moved back to the area when we had children and settled in Cookham about 8 years ago. My children go to Cookham Rise Primary and we all absolutely love it here.
What was your experience of colour and style analysis?
I had my colour and style analysed years ago for my 40th birthday but had mixed feelings about the process. Although I could see the benefit of certain colours I noticed the consultant didn't take into account my personality or my preferences. She was so busy trying to put me in to a category that everything else was overlooked. During the style consultation I had to strip down to a vest and leggings in front of total strangers and have my body scrutinised – totally humiliating. She then talked about what I should wear to a board meeting, or what to wear 'when my husband's boss comes to dinner' (don't even get me started on that one!) but never stopped to actually ask me about my lifestyle. At the time I was working from home and Mum to two young children so what I needed to wear in a board meeting was totally irrelevant! I think the industry has a rather dated image and is overrun with franchises but things are changing.
How did the idea of launching the The Coloursmith come about?
I often hear stories from women who have had their colours analysed but not been happy with the results because the consultant just wanted to pop them into a category, sell them a swatch wallet and send them packing. Or they've had to strip down and be measured in a style consultation. Theses women haven't been understood or listened to. Colour and style is a personal journey so I wanted to go in to this industry as an independent business with a different, more up-to date approach – one that puts the client first and makes her feel at ease.
How much training have you had to undertake to get to this point?
I have trained in seasonal and tonal colour analysis, personal style and colour psychology. My trainer is a real maverick who has been in the industry for decades. She understands how things have moved on since those pioneering days in the 1980s when the consultants were very coiffured and polished. I like to think I'm more down-to-earth than that!
Why is knowing your colours important, what benefit does it give?
As Coco Chanel said “The best colour in the whole world is the one that looks good on you”
When you wear the colours that work with your skin, eyes and hair it makes you glow. Your skin looks younger and healthier, you get compliments and people notice you. Putting together an outfit is so much easier and quicker, you don't waste money on 'mistake' purchases because you only buy what you know works, and your wardrobe can work together much better as a whole .Above all, it gives you self-confidence which is such an attractive quality.
What can a client expect when having a consultation?
Consultations take place at the studio in Cookham or I can do mobile visits within the Cookham area. We have an informal chat about what she actually wants from a consultation and discover her colour psychology. Ladies can come to me for a variety of reasons - they want to know how to look good doing the school run with minimum effort, they want to be taken seriously at work, they are looking for a new partner, they want to know how to wear colours they love but that aren't necessarily their best, they want to find their best lipstick colours, the list goes on... Each consultation is personal and bespoke so I only offer what's relevant to that particular client.
We then look at physical colouring to find out her best neutrals and accent colours, then also look at her preferences and personality until we find what works for the client. This applies to clothing, make-up, jewellery and accessories.
Once clients have had their colours analysed they can book a style consultation. This is where we look at body shape, proportion, and combine it with style personality (romantic, dramatic, classic, natural and so forth) to find which clothes flatter them and help them express who they really are or who they want to be.
Who is your style Icon?
I don't have one icon in particular but I greatly admire Gwen Stefani for the way she changes looks from vintage Hollywood, to sporty, to creative, but always captures the essence of who she is. I also drool over some of Marilyn Monroe's wardrobe from the film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
What is your no. 1 piece of advice when choosing an outfit?
Know your own colour and style rather than being a slave to fashion. Fashion can certainly inspire us but knowing your best colours and style can make you look amazing, no matter how much or how little you spend.
What are your goals for the future of the business?
To spread the joy! In this country 70% of the clothes we buy are black but it's really not the most flattering colour on many people. I think we lean towards black and grey because they feel safe, I certainly used to. I want women to feel comfortable in colour and confident to wear the colours they love. It doesn't mean necessarily dressing like a rainbow, it could simply be small changes such as switching from black to their best navy.
I'm also planning to do more fun and informative talks on colour and style, and colour and make-up evenings with a professional make-up artist I work with. Details are on my website,
Facebook: The Coloursmith