International Women's Day is in just a couple of days, on 8th March, and we're thrilled that our own celebration of the women who have become the heart of the Kettlewell community falls so close to it. Because a year ago today (6th March), we at Kettlewell had just embarked on what would turn out to be one of our biggest and best adventures.
It was back in January last year that Kettlewell founders John and Melissa first raised the idea of the Colour Club. We thought we might end up with a few hundred or a thousand members, who could act as both a focus group and an opportunity for us to provide customer service to those who might be struggling with their colours or style. We ended up delaying the launch for a couple of months for one reason and another, but eventually hit go and I wrote the first welcome post to the Colour Club in early March.
"…the Club as an entity is a really anchoring presence for all these lovely ladies." - Claire
Within weeks of the official launch of the Colour Club, we were all in lockdown, and the group rapidly became so much more for both its members and us at Head Office (or, as we were by then, working from home scattered across the South West of the UK). The group provided comfort, support and nurturing, as well as joy, laughter and moments of downright ridiculousness in a time that was otherwise often grim and more than a little scary, and in the months (and lockdowns) that have followed, it has continued to be so much more than we had ever imagined it would be. The number of members is now heading determinedly for the 6,000 mark, and group members have led the way in shaping the direction and purpose of the group, shaping it into something far more powerful than we ever imagined it could be.
"Inspiration comes from different people on different days: There are the long timers, the frequent posters, the ad hoc’ers, commentators only, the creative posters, the story tellers, the demonstrators, the newbies and so on and so on. They all inspire and brighten my day, every day." - Lynne
As we approach International Women's Day, it seems to us the real joy in the colour club is in the power of women coming together to support, nurture and inspire one another, with no agenda or competition. And doing it all through the power of colour, and of feeling confident and fabulous in our clothes and in our skins. We were particularly struck by this recently when I asked the group to name their most inspiring member, and rather than nominating a woman each, they swiftly created the #everysingleperson hashtag, and reminded us that it’s the collective, rather than a particular individual, that makes this group so special.
"The women in this group demonstrate the much more beautiful truth that we love to celebrate and encourage each other to shine." - Amanda
I could write endlessly on the journeys and transformations that have happened within the group, but some of the examples that spring to mind vary from women exploring colour palettes together, challenging friends within the group to mini colour challenges, supporting one another through medical treatments and bereavement, and celebrating new jobs, grandchildren and (when they’ve been allowed) weddings. And that’s without all the more lighthearted fun we’ve had – from the hugely popular 12 Days of Christmas Challenge to the simple little ‘share your favourite Kettlewell item and the stories behind it’ challenges, and the weekly Friday Facebook Live sessions that have become a chance for me to interact with Colour Club members in real time, often learning as much as I share during the sessions.
"I feel like I am getting to know so many lovely people, and I could turn up on someone's doorstep for a cup of tea and a chat in all parts of the UK, and beyond....I don't know where I'd be without this caring, fun, witty, supportive global community" - Alex
So today, we just want to take a moment to share and celebrate the amazing women who make up the Colour Club, and thank each and every one of them for being a part of something that has helped all of us, Colour Club members and the Kettlewell team alike, come through the past year with positivity and optimism, through the power of colour and community.
"It has been a really positive thing for us all. Somehow a world of colour lifts the mood…" - Linda