Sharon Koehler

Artistic Stone Design

The three hot new colors for decorating in 2017 (according to Pantone and style mavens)

The three hot new colors for decorating in 2017 (according to Pantone and style mavens)

A while back there was an article in an industry magazine about what is new and trending in kitchens and baths. I was disappointed when I got to the end because it didn’t say anything new. It told me things that were already happening, like quartz is on the upswing, white marble for the kitchen is “IN” and outdoor kitchens were becoming all the rage. I knew all that stuff, all ready. I was looking for someone to tell me something I didn’t know. (Truthfully, I am always looking for that!)

Anyway, I went on a little quest to figure out or find out how to know what is new and trending before it becomes “NEW and TRENDING.” Seriously, quartz companies spend millions of dollars every year trying to come up with new colors so they can dictate what is new and trending. Cabinet companies do the same thing, as well as tile and paint companies. They want to capture those “looks” that people will go nuts over and “must have.” Stone distributors and fabricators try to stock trendy new looks to go with all those new cabinet, paint, floor and tile colors. It’s a daunting task. 

Then one day I watched something unfold. After 6 weeks of watching what was going on, I realized what the answer is. The answer to what is new and trending is whatever you want it or make it to be. It’s whatever you come up with. 

One day I went to my hairdresser and noticed a teenager getting pink highlights put in her hair. I asked my hairdresser about it and she said the girl was in a school play and she was beefing up her costume look with the pink highlights. I was intrigued. My hair dresser told me these highlights were available in a full range colors. On a whim I asked her to throw some bright blue highlights in my hair. She did and I loved it. So did my friends. 

About a week later I went to a customer’s house. When she came in from the back to meet me, before she even got her name out of her mouth, she commented on my hair. She loved it. She was about my age and she said it was nice to see “a free soul set loose with artistry and color, especially at our age” (I kid you not). Anyway, I told her how and where I did it. A week later I was back at her house and she came out from the back with bright pink highlights in her hair. I got a kick out of it. She thanked me for helping her “express herself in color.”

In the meantime, unbeknownst by me, my lifelong BFF had gone to her hairdresser and gotten purple highlights in her hair. She told me she loved mine so much she got “inspired” to do something different. She’s a good BFF!

Anyway, several weeks later I was back at the hairdresser getting my blue highlights touched up. As I was leaving I ran into Miss Audrey, one of my recurring customers. (As it turns out, we have the same hairdresser.) Anyway, she spotted my blue highlights and just started gushing over them. I advised her to get some. She said she wanted to but she wasn’t sure how Gary (her husband) would react. I told her that our age we should be able to do whatever we wanted to, as long as it didn’t hurt anybody and we could afford it. 

Three days later, Miss Audrey walked into our showroom with green highlights in her hair, dragging another woman behind her. The woman was her sister, who had apparently doubted Miss Audrey’s sanity when she got the green highlights. Miss Audrey pointed to my hair and asked me to explain this “trend” of middle age women putting color in their hair. 

Up until that moment I had not realized it was a trend. I thought about that for a moment and realized that in my little corner of the world, I had started something. Honestly, I was a bit impressed by that. Anyway, I talked to them for a few minutes, and the next day Miss Audrey let me know that her sister had gone with purple highlights. 

To date, 11 middle age women that I know of have been inspired directly by my blue highlights, not to mention how many of those 11 have inspired others. Alas, mine are fading now (it’s not permanent hair color), and I need to go get them redone. But every time I am out and about now and I see a middle age woman with bright color streaks in my straight, provincial, steeped-in-southern- roots, traditional town I smile and think to myself, “Wow, I did that.”

So, be the maverick. Don’t wait for someone else to tell you what is new and trending. Find something and suggest it, sell it and create it for your customer who turned out to be a visionary.  Invent a new edge, or promote an old one and make it new again. Try out that new 1cm “Thin Stone” Polycor has been promoting, or jump on the Neolith bandwagon. New and trending starts with you!

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