Welcome! All pieces are designed and handcrafted sustainably in Grand Rapids, MI.

About

The Color Forest makes vibrant clothing in universally flattering styles and inclusive sizing so that more women can love getting dressed. Get ready: our bright colors and playful patterns make it scientifically impossible to be grumpy, and our unique prints and hand-sewn garments allow you to wear a true work of art. Putting on clothing from the Color Forest is a celebration of your glorious body, and we hope it can inspire you to walk a little taller, smile at a stranger, treat yourself to a latte, speak up in a meeting, take a risk, daydream, or just be yourself and have a little fun. 


You don’t need our clothes to be beautiful — you were born that way, but wearing something you love can help you glow even brighter. Whether you’re rocking your dress from The Color Forest as you’re changing diapers, running errands, studying, climbing the corporate ladder, or enjoying a date night, we think you’re amazing and you deserve to do your thing in something comfortable and stylish. And YES, our dresses have pockets! (We also have a line of handmade jewelry that goes perfectly with our clothing.) 


The Color Forest celebrates women! We pour so much time and energy into those we love, it can be easy to neglect taking care of ourselves. The Color Forest aims to encourage women, to make them feel accepted and valued just as they are, and to remind them to make time for self-care, too. Because you are worth it! We hope you’ll imagine us cheering you on as you tackle your to-do list and show up as your best self every day. It’s an honor to be part of the wardrobe (and life) of a confident, creative, joyful woman like you.


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I believe getting dressed should be fun and make you feel good about yourself! Fashion ought to flatter many body shapes and be comfortable for everything you need to do in a day. 


The Color Forest creates beautiful pieces that you can wear every day that make you feel more like yourself …and love you who are.  I believe in accepting your imperfect self and not having to pretend that you have it all together. I’m encouraged and challenged by the work of researcher Dr. Brene Brown, who explores how finding the courage to show up as your authentic self is the path to true belonging.

 

Other key inspirations:

  • l am drawn to bold color, especially jewel tones that look great on all skin tones. 

  • Playful patterns and organic, rounded shapes put a smile on my face instantly. 

  • Children’s art makes me giddy and I admire the confident and fluid quality of their artwork; it isn’t forced or tentative. 

  • Ingrid Fetell Lee’s The Aesthetics of Joy inspires me to work with patterns that bring us joy—including rounded shapes, pops of bright color, a sense of abundance, symmetry, and a feeling of lightness.  

  • I drool over work by Jane Newham (Doops Designs) and Katie Kortman because of their bold use of color and gestural lines that radiate joy.

  • The dreamy stop-motion animation show Tumble Leaf on Amazon Prime depicts a world I would like to escape to and have an adventure.

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Elizabeth Usadel has been making things and up to shenanigans for as long as she can remember. She teaches elementary students to love art - often using a hot pink microphone in the process. She's raising two little artists of her own and they make her laugh every day. Both her bachelor's and master's degrees in education are from Calvin College, although she sometimes wishes she could have majored in cuddling baby animals. She loves making and eating ice cream, organizing things, and anything with bright colors and patterns.