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Guest Writer, Kate Stoltzfus: How a Quest for Color Can Change Your Perspective

Today The Hudsucker welcomes the multi-talented Kate Stoltzfus—blogger and host of CreativeMornings/Pittsburgh. The outgoing and congenial Pittsburgh inhabitant is also the creative mind behind Yinzpiration, and co-pilot of Propelle.

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Kate Stoltzfus is a talented and enterprising young woman. Wishing to live in a world where heartfelt conversations regularly take place, dinner parties outnumber meals in front of the TV, and handwritten notes are almost as common as tweets, Stoltzfus is one the web’s most creative and enthusiastic minds. With great creativity and passion, Stoltzfus who is also the host of the global monthly breakfast lecture series, CreativeMornings/Pittsburgh, founded Yinzpirationan interview and networking adventure blog that changes the way people think about making friends and meeting their neighbors. In addition to the friendly Pittsburgh site, she is the co-pilot of Propelle, an organization dedicated to empowering women to achieve their goals and dreams, and inspiring them to reach their full potential.

To connect with Kate, follow her on Twitter and Instagram. Visit her ventures, Propelle on Facebook and Twitter, and Yinzpiration on Facebook and Twitter.

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I’ve never been a stranger to color.

Growing up in the 90’s, I was mesmerized by bright colors—think Lisa Frank and all things neon. During our annual trips to shop for school supplies, the item I most looked forward to purchasing was a new box of 64 Crayolas.

My most treasured activity? Playing dress up with a trunk full of colorful (and sparkling!) clothes and boas.

But later in life, there was a time when I tried to repress my love for the vivid spectrum of colors I so adored as a child. For some reason, I decided wearing bright colors was not serious or smart—perhaps even unprofessional. Suppressing my color loving tendencies, I admired women who were donning all black or subtle earth-tones. One fall I decided to acquire more grays and tans because I was certain they were “classy.”

Making the switch to the new shades did make me feel a bit more grown up, but when I was wearing those clothes I never felt like myself.

At the beginning of this year, I made a conscious choice to not hold back and invite more color into my life…just as I did as a little girl.

I bagged up all my earth-tones, took them to a clothing swap, and proclaimed on Instagram that I was officially on a color quest.

Enter #morebrightsin2014.

Every clothing purchase I made ever since my proclamation has been colorful one, and I’ve noticed a difference in the way my clothes make me feel.

Soon my color quest expanded to more than just my wardrobe. I decided I wanted to be surrounded by color everywhere and all the time.

{Artwork by Michaela Maderic}

So now …

  • My desk and workspace is adorned with colorful fabrics.
  • My walls of my apartment are filled with more and more colorful art.
  • My husband and I are in the midst of reupholstering our couch in a teal and red stripe.
  • My cellphone background is now a bright fuchsia pattern. (Even little things like this have made a difference!)
  • My Instagram feed is full of other color-lovers like Mara Hoffman and a four-year-old paper dress designer, Mayhem.

But the best realization this color quest has helped me to recognize is that experiencing color is one of the best ways for me to relish the present moment. 

Every time I pass something that strikes my fancy, I take a minute to study it and soak it straight into my heart.

Seriously.

Even when I meditate or exercise I imagine colorful light all around me.

I’ve been reminded often of this quote from Alice Walker’s The Color Purple:

“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.”

Another great bonus of sharing my quest for color and using the hashtag #morebrightsin2014 on Instagram is that it has helped me create relationships with other color enthusiasts.

Additionally, my friends have started associating me with bright colors and they now send pictures my way when they’re having a colorful experience.

In turn, my color quest has been something that has enhanced connection as well as my personal brand.

So what does all this mean for you, lovely reader?

I understand that brights are not for everyone. But what I encourage you to find is the colors and surroundings (or maybe even lack of color?) that make you feel the best and make you want to approach life at full-throttle.

Invite more of whatever color(s) and environments you enjoy the most, and decide not to settle on anything else.

And if you aren’t sure what colors work for you, here are some tips:

Don’t fight what you’re naturally drawn to:

Trends can be fun…but they come and go. There’s always an “it” color of the season. Think twice before you blindly follow what magazines say are must-haves. Evaluate what works for you and stick with it.

Study your favorite outfit:

Ask yourself why you love it so much and there will be a lot of clues. Take note and look for items that have similar features.

Use your phone as a color testing tool:

Sometimes simply looking in the mirror, it’s hard to tell if a color is right for you. I find taking a picture is very helpful and usually I know right away how I react to a color. (You can apply this to clothing, art, nature, your house…anything!)

Stick to a color palette:

My neighbor has four or five colors she rotates on a regular basis and pairs together in different ways. Personally, I stick to a wide spectrum of brights. Some women prefer all black or all white. (This isn’t for everyone, but it can really simplify your getting ready time and soon everything in your closet works together!)

Follow along with Kate’s color quest via Instagram!

{Image Credit: Brian Cohen/imaginepittsburgh.com}

All photographs courtesy of Kate Stoltzfus, unless otherwise stated.

Disclaimer: Kate Stoltzfus is in no way affiliated with The Hudsucker. Please direct any official inquiries to her via Propelle or Yinzpiration.

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