Living Life Through Colour @ H&L Rapid True Value
On Saturday, October 14, the final event in the Design Week Ja 2023 series took place at H&L Rapid True Value, 105 Main Street, Ocho Rios. Colour was the chosen perspective to round out the conversation on design in Jamaica, and what better place to conduct this dialogue than at the number one paint supplier on the island.
Talia Soares was an excellent host, which is to be expected from a media personality with her experience. Soares kept patrons engaged throughout the event with quizzes and giveaways.
Deputy managing director of the Jamaica Observer Natalie Chin gave the opening remarks, thanking all of this year’s collaborators for making Design Week Ja 2023 another success.
“I think it was an amazing week. The conversations in design have been incredible. Each partner who hosted one of the events this season ensured that they expanded the narrative in some way, and that’s what Design Week is about for us. It is also good to see new faces from the industry attending and networking at the events.
“So next year will be even better. I think the conversation will continue to expand and include more stakeholders, not just industry players but consumers as well, and that is precisely our aim,” Chin shared.
The Power of Colour
With ‘Life in Living Colour’ being the theme for the day, the main event came in the form of a quick but profoundly insightful presentation from Peggy Van Allen, designer and colour anthropologist at Colorfuel and president of Color Marketing Group.
H&L Rapid True Value’s international partner, True Value International, went to the very top of the field, tapping Van Allen to speak on colour trends, the science of colour trend forecasting, and the power of colour in society and individual lives.
There were clearly many revelations for those in attendance. For instance, many were surprised to learn that research by a Harvard Business School professor showed that 95 per cent of the decisions related to colour are made by intuition and emotional factors. Van Allen’s presentation was primarily geared towards empowering the audience in the decision-making process when it comes to choosing colours.
“Choosing colours, I’ll admit, is not an easy task. Even for someone who works in colour all day, every day; it’s not an easy task for me. But the importance of colour lies in the multifaceted impact that it has on our lives. It’s both practical and emotional. Colour is far-reaching. It impacts everything from our daily decisions and emotions to the way that we navigate the world, if you think about signage. It’s how we interact with colours and brands,” Van Allen highlighted in her presentation.
Van Allen also spoke to how the pandemic has impacted colour trends. Her organisation, Color Marketing Group, is an international institution, so the metrics it employs in measuring trends and the factors considered are appropriately complex. For instance, according to Van Allen’s presentation, the need for a deeper connection with nature that the lockdown might have inspired in many would interplay with the increased exposure to an ever-expanding digital landscape, and so on. It can be tricky to pinpoint a single, sweeping rationale behind observed trends; often, there isn’t any. However, understanding, for instance, that the forecast for 2024 shows oranges shifting to yellows, more reds, truer blues, and more greens can inform individual choices and put a lot of what is observed in the commercial world into perspective.
“When I talk to people about colour, I want to open their eyes to the possibilities of how colour can impact their lives. How they’re going to change the whole environment of a room by their choice of colour and how that colour feels to them, as well as how colour can enhance their well-being. What I try to share with people is how powerful colour can be, and empower them to choose the right colour for their project,” Van Allen shared with the Jamaica Observer.
Along with all the eye-opening research and trends that Van Allen highlighted in her presentation, patrons were also surprised to learn that H&L Rapid True Value offers some 11,000 colour options. General Manager Kerry Edwards pointed out that this is more than any other supplier in Jamaica, and it is likely more colours than most people even know exist. As Edwards explained, the company’s unique position comes from the fact that all major paint brands available in Jamaica are carried in its stores, as well as True Value International’s own proprietary formulas, EasyCare and Painters Select, which are not available at any other supplier in Jamaica.
“Bring your inspiration, and, chances are, we will be able to match it, or at least we have the best chance of getting the closest match to your desired colour,” Edwards stated.
From Foundation to Finish
After Van Allen’s presentation, there was a painting contest using a trending palette from True Value’s Easy Care line, which featured calming greys and off-whites. The audience was ultimately impressed by the reflections on the limitless possibilities of colour and upliftment that the contestants produced.
There were also giveaways throughout the event as representatives from paint brands EdgeChem, Berger, Sherwin Williams, and Lanco made a quick appeal to consumers in the audience. H&L Rapid True Value’s Regency Blinds and Brown Box also gave compelling pitches.
The venue at the Ocho Rios Town Centre was recently renovated, and patrons could see the sheer expanse of the store from the balcony and the plethora of offerings. The space is unique in that it is the first to have several of the company’s banner brands under one roof.
“H&L Rapid True Value offers everything from foundation to finish, and now, at this location, customers can have a genuine one-stop-shop experience. Regency Blinds extends our decor offerings; H&L Agro offers lawn, gardening and agricultural supplies; if there is anything you can’t find here and want to ship from anywhere in the world, Brown Box is there to provide a first-class courier service,” Edwards added.
That’s a Wrap!
Throughout each Design Week, there has been a resounding wave of appreciation from stakeholders, highlighting the impact and potential of the Design Week Ja series. The final event in this year’s line-up was no different.
“We are excited to be part of Design Week again. We have been part of Design Week since its inception. Novia and the leaders at the Jamaica Observer have made it a privilege for us to collaborate on this event each year. It’s one of the highlights of our year,” Edwards praised Design Week conceptualiser and Senior Associate Editor Lifestyle & Social Content at the Jamaica Observer, Novia McDonald-Whyte, commending the event for the platform it provides for brands to engage with customers and network across industries.
Design Week has been an invaluable networking platform for industry players like Chanté Blackwood, managing director of Chantier Construction Ltd, which serves both residential and commercial clients. Blackwood attended every Design Week event on the roster this year, including driving to Ocho Rios for the finale at H&L Rapid True Value.
“Design Week Ja 2023 was pretty amazing. Being in the construction industry, it’s always good to network. It’s always great when everyone can come together like this,” Blackwood stated, adding that she definitely took notes at the H&L Rapid True Value event as bathroom and kitchen renovations are at the core of her business, and colour is always an important factor.
And that’s it for Design Week Ja 2023. The series has fostered another successful year of meaningful dialogue on design in Jamaica. As was echoed by various stakeholders throughout Design Week Ja 2023, the conversation needed to be had. However, Design Week isn’t the start or end of the dialogue; it is only an amplifier.