Three Generations of Color Now Exist in Color Harmony!
By Ruth Harris
I have always been into fashion and color. I had a cousin Ruth, whom I am named after, who lived in New York City. Whenever she came home to North Carolina, she had the most beautiful clothes and shoes that I had ever seen. I promised myself as a young girl that I would have stylish clothes and shoes when I grew up. So, when I went to work at IBM in the 1970s, I bought the most stylish and colorful clothes in the city. People knew me for the colorful way that I dressed.
Years later I continued my love of beautiful clothes and bought the prettiest clothes for my beautiful little girl, Lisa. I remember the sales clerk at the children’s specialty store telling me, “I think you have enough.”
When Lisa became a teenager, we shared the love and thrill of shopping and an inclination toward drama in dressing. Although sometimes we did not agree on certain colors, we agreed we loved shopping together. When she chose her own clothes, I remember often saying to her, “Lisa, that is the same color as you are. It does nothing for you.” I encouraged her to purchase colors that made her stand out.
Lisa modeled in high school, and she and I loved every moment of that. I tried to make all her shows and take photos. I was living my dream through my daughter! Lisa’s first job was at Marshall’s and we shopped until we dropped. Her father used to say that she spent her entire paycheck at the store. Even after she moved to California, I could shop for Lisa and she always loved any outfit or item of clothing that I picked for her. It was always the perfect color and made her look stylish.
When Lisa started talking about color analysis, my ears perked up. It was exciting and relevant to what I had been saying all of her life. I knew that Lisa had what it would take to be successful. I was her biggest encourager to start her own color analysis business and bring this body of knowledge and expertise to women of color.
Women of color need color, too.
Since I had always been able to buy clothes for my daughter, I assumed that I would be able to do the same for my granddaughter, Alexis. Much to my chagrin, when she was young, Alexis didn’t like to shop and she often didn’t like what I sent her. I was crushed.
Alexis was focused on being a dancer and not a shopper. She wore mostly black. Lisa tried to introduce color, particularly turquoise and hot pink. It wasn’t until Alexis was in junior high school that she shared with her mom that she really didn’t like that hot pink color. So, when Lisa started doing color analysis and did Alexis’s colors, I had hope that things would begin to change and Alexis would find colors she liked. She did! They were not like my colors, colorful and bright (Vital Spring). Nor were the colors like Lisa’s colors (Winter), rich and highly pigmented. Alexis’ colors were soft. As Alexis started to understand colors and her Summer essence, she LOVED her colors. She began expanding her color palette in her wardrobe, even occasionally veering away from her ever-present “dancer black” to include her soft pinks, muted reds and browns, and even deeper greens and navy. It was a grand awakening!
I observed that all these years Lisa had been trying to “fit her Summer daughter into her own Winter box”. Finally seeing and embracing that Alexis was truly different than her mother allowed their relationship to expand in a way that it hadn’t before. Lisa became more accepting of Alexis’s differences and celebrated them instead. There was less conflict around how Alexis dressed as Lisa appreciated that comfort was more important to her daughter than formality.
Once I saw this, I thought about my relationship with my daughter, Lisa. I realized how finding her colors had made her more confident, and how I might have tried to put Lisa in a box, too. I am now more accepting of Lisa’s differences and I celebrate them. Another grand awakening!
Thus, three generations of color now exist in color harmony!