Beth Usadel is the designer and maker behind The Color Forest. She started her jewelry line because she felt like the accessory options out there just weren’t colorful enough. Getting dressed should be fun! ✨
Beth is a former elementary school art teacher with a Masters in Art Education. So, you know that each collection is thoughtfully curated to tap into trends and color theory. The Color Forest loves to play with bold shapes and fun colors, making it scientifically impossible to be grumpy when you wear them.
“Color can bring energy and confidence. Because jewelry gets to travel with you throughout your day and your life, my hope is that when you wear it you hear the voices of women all around you holding you up and cheering you on.”
We believe that getting dressed should be a fun thing to do in the morning. And, you know, your jewelry and your style should be as bright and fun as you are. Hello and welcome to today’s Abound Brand Spotlight.
I’m sitting down with Elizabeth Usadel. She’s the founder of the Color Forest. And the Color Forest sells colorful, handmade earrings. And Elizabeth is talking to us from her home in Grand Rapids, Michigan. So thank you so much for being with us.
Yes, thanks for having me. Yeah, I’m super excited to talk about these earrings. You can see I have some I had an unboxing video for you and I really love all of their features. I love it. They’re so colorful and lightweight and fun.
But first off, before I just talk about them, I want to hear about how you describe your line to retailers and yeah, what does the Color Forest do? The Color Forest is all about color. I’ve loved color since I was a little kid.
And, you know, we believe that getting dressed should be a fun thing to do in the morning. And, you know, your jewelry and your style should be as bright and fun as you are. So we want to help people feel excited and energetic and confident about the way that they look and, like, ready to take on their day.
Yeah, that’s awesome. I love that it has that mission. And definitely, I mean, these are so big and fun and colorful that they really are kind of immediately tied to like happy emotions and like having a good time.
I feel like. Yeah. I want to hear about your different color schemes because I know you’ve got some brighter colors, some more neutrals, can you walk through, like your color schemes and like the different types of boutiques that are right for like the different selections.
So we are aware that, you know, some people are really into color and some people are a little bit I think color phobic is the word that they might use a little bit afraid to do brighter stuff. So like the earrings that I have on today are great.
You compare them with different patterns, like my dress has a pattern. There’s like a little pop of color with this kind of like little deep avocado and this kind of peach. So it’s a little bit unique and different and a cool way to do color, but not quite so bold.
And then we also have some that are more of like a statement piece, some people especially like with like if you wear all black or like a white t shirt and a pair of jeans, something like this really adds a lot of interest.
We also have some that are a little bit more kind of toned down, a little more peaceful, calm colors and we’re working on some different kind of like patterns to add some interest to us. So we find that really most people can find from what we offer, they can find the right look and feel for their customers.
Yeah, I can definitely imagine that because yes, scrolling through your Abound shop and you guys should definitely check out all they have to offer because the color schemes are really fun to see come together. But I feel like, yeah, like even though I’m like, oh, they’re so fun and bubbly.
If you had a really serious minimalist shop, you still have some really great pieces. Like I’m looking at your black and white speckled earrings and like that would go great in like any museum, gift shop or something that was more serious and you know, not like all about bright colors and yeah, like the neutrals.
Like I feel like this organic shape is like really matches something that is more minimalist and toned down just by like replacing the colors to be kind of more neutral as you kind of have that elegant sophistication. So yeah, I can imagine a lot of styles kind of being able to wear these earrings.
Yeah! Cool. Okay. Well, I feel like I understand a little bit about your line now, so I just want to kind of get to know you. So tell me, you know, the inspiration behind starting the Color Forest and what the journey has been like so far?
Sure. It’s funny. I think about when I talk about the start of my business, it’s sort of like it found me versus I found it. So actually I’ve taught elementary art for 14 years and a few years ago in the back of my classroom in one of the far cabinets I had never opened, there were some old blocks of polymer clay from like the nineties and every Art teacher is like okay, do I just toss this do I keep this, can my students use this? And I thought, okay, I’ll bring it home and play with it. And I had I had never used it before.
I brought it home and it was like tricky to work with, partly because it was super old. I was gonna say I’m surprised, beacause it’s just like a solid block at that point. Yep! It was pretty crumbly. And I was like, Oh man. And so I’m like on Pinterest and Instagram and researching all these people working with it.
And I just fell in love. And it’s really neat to learn all these different techniques. And one of the things I’ve always love about art is like, you can buy these cool tools and like there’s like this I know this coolness about like, oh, here’s the stuff that I do.
And like, here’s, I don’t know, probably not explaining it well, but oh yeah. It’s like, it’s like you’re like a little sculptor, like I totally get it. Yeah. And it’s, you know, learning something new is, you know, you can be fascinated with it.
And so like that year for Christmas, like all my friends and family got like earrings that, like, I just couldn’t stop cause I’d wear them to work and they’re like, oh, she made those. And like. Teachers at school were saying, Oh, you should bring some in.
You know, we’ll buy them. And I just kept going and I just needed at that time in my life, I just really needed like a project for me. And it just was like the perfect fit. And then even through the pandemic.
So. Let’s see. Last March, when schools closed for the in-person instruction, I had a lot more time at home to be making things. And actually, I opened up a small studio and storefront downtown here. Oh, cool. And I can teach workshops here as well.
I’ve only just had a few being real careful with COVID and stuff, but it’s been neat. So like everyone says, Oh wow, you’re ready to start a business in the pandemic. But it’s like it just had to happen.
I couldn’t not do it. Yeah. Yeah. It’s been. It’s been really fun. That’s awesome. Yeah, I love that. And I totally get it. It’s like, once you get obsessed with something new, it’s just like, yeah, like, I really need to kind of, like, keep on going like this, and it’s like, it’s so much personal fulfillment.
And then obviously we get to have these really cool earrings out of it. So we’re happy that your personal fulfillment created these awesome your earrings. Well, definitely check out the Color Forest on Abound today.
And thank you so much, Elizabeth, for meeting with us. Yes, thank you. All right. Bye bye. Bye.