The Colour Fan - The story Unfolds...

The Direct Colour fan was born out of desperation.

In 1983, Vicki Braithwait was beside herself. Her brother was getting married in the USA, but not having the necessary funds to get Vicki, her husband and two small children to the wedding, they were going to have to miss this important family event.

She confided in her mother, Barbara Jacques, who was involved in the colour industry, amongst other things running one of the first Colour Analysis Training Academies. Her colour fans were becoming popular, and she suggested to Vicki that she help out by making the fans at home, and in return she would give her a small amount of money for each fan compiled. Vicki was involved with her husband’s business at the time, but spent her evenings and weekends putting the fans together and posting them out to customers.  After three months, not only did she have enough money to fly her family out to her brother’s wedding, but also to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Disneyworld.

Before long, Vicki’s customer base had built up substantially. She continued to work with her mother, developing colour analysis products from home. By 1986, Barbara was busy working on other projects which eventually led to her publishing three popular books on colour, image and style, and creating a television programme on the subject. She is still regarded by many colour analysts as one of the most important pioneers of the Colour Industry.

Vicki, on the other hand, decided to carry on developing the colour swatch side of the business. She originally imported fabric for the swatches from the USA, but became very dissatisfied with the inconsistencies of colour from one batch to the next. As a result, in 1991 Direct Colour began to produce their own fabric swatches, using a precision-dyeing technique which would guarantee the exact same colours every time.

In 1997, Direct Colour moved into the offices and factory in Old Buttermere Works, Sheffield, where they continue to produce colour products of the highest standards, supplying swatches, fans, drapes and many other Colour Analysis products to some of the biggest names in colour analysis.

Vicki always swore blind that her children would not become her employees, and encouraged them to find their own way in business, but in 2008, her daughter Rebecca returned to work with her, making Direct Colour a family business once more and a successful decision all round.