We join the "boss ladies, inspirational mothers, kick ass queens and everything in-between" on a colourful tour of Leeds

Proven to strengthen memory, promote internal peace and boost motivation, colour in instrumental to how we live our lives. For those who run their own businesses, it’s even more important – without the constant motivation of colleagues or office routine, surrounding yourself with vibrant hues can make all the difference to reaching your professional goals.

If you’re looking to find your creative tribe, In Colourful Company may just be your answer. A group of likeminded, self-motivated women celebrating their love of all things colourful and fiercely independent. Bringing together a gang of “boss ladies, inspirational mothers, kick ass runners, plant obsessed queens and everything else in-between”, it’s an inspirational bunch to be part of – imagine if Instagram went IRL and you’d be on the right lines.

“I realised I wasn’t the only person who struggled to meet new people as an adult...There are so many dating apps, but what about if you just want to meet new people platonically?”

Founded by Toni Bee, illustrator and business owner at the Hello Bee Studio, In Colourful Company began on social media as a means for young female businesswomen to share ideas, advice, and support to fellow creatives.

“I realised I wasn’t the only person who struggled to meet new people as an adult, especially as a self-employed one,” explains Toni. “There are so many dating apps and websites out there but what about if you just want to meet new people platonically? After you’ve left school and settled in a career, it seems like all are opportunities are gone. The motivation behind In Colourful Company is still the same today, as it was when we started; it’s to bring people together, give people a chance to build friendships and an opportunity to explore new places.”

With a whole abundance of creatives here in the city, In Colourful Company hosted its very first Leeds colourwalk last month, as a means to allow online friendships to blossom in person.

Awesome girlies 🌈🌈🌈🌈💛💛💖 #incolourfulcompany
A post shared by 🏰🌈 K A Y L E Y D R A W S 🌈🏰 (@kayleymills) on

Attended by nearly 40 creatives and hosted by Leeds native Sarah Epsom (founder of jewellery company  Geoheaven ), the colourwalk offers up a veritable feast of Instagrammable backdrops that we often take for granted, offering up a talking point against which new friendships formed quickly and naturally.

“Everyone was so surprised with how colourful the city of Leeds is.” smiles Sarah. “Spending the day with like-minded people is so inspiring, and is one of the reasons why I love being a part of In Colourful Company.”

Abandoning the cringe-factor that often comes from stopping for the perfect ’gram with a non-plussed friend, the like-minded attendees allowed plenty of linger-time to get the shot, whether it be for promotional purposes, testing out new photography styles or simply embracing the feel-good qualities of a cheerful mural.

“Hosting the walk was a lot of fun and the focus is always on mingling with others, so I didn't feel pressured at all throughout the day, I just lead the group to the next location when the time felt right” explains Sarah. “It was a pleasure to guide such a talented bunch of creatives around the city that I am proud to call my home.”

A complete antithesis to stuffy ‘networking events’, the loose, democratic structure of an In Colourful Company meet-up fits perfectly into the group’s ethos – to provide an inclusive community of kindness, encouragement and adventure. On any given day, the Facebook page and accompanying website forum includes post on everything from shared colourwalk photos, advice on new pin badge designs or even just words of encouragement for new businesswomen finding their way in self-employed life.

“Running the site and co-ordinating events has really hammered home the importance of community within the creative industry for me,” says Toni. “It can be lonely working freelance but having a community that surrounds you and cheers you on can make a world of difference to the way you approach every day. Seeing everyone with In Colourful Company be this for each other, has been an incredible privilege to watch, it really does just make every day a little bit easier and lighter.”

Now with nearly 700 members, stretching into workshops and expanding its colourwalks across the country and even Europe (In Colourful Company takes Disneyland Paris anyone?), there has never been a better time to get more colour in your life. An act of defiance against the ‘sensible adult’ trope, you may well find that a little colour goes a long way.

“Don’t be afraid!” enthuses Toni. “If you’re wanting to brighten up an outfit and don’t know where to start, why not go grab yourself some big statement jewellery from a small business owner, these are always good because they can turn even an all black outfit into something entirely different. If you’re wanting to brighten up your everyday life, I also recommend heading to your local DIY store and grabbing yourself some bright paint for a cheeky feature wall within your home. I love being able to sit at my desk and be surrounded by colour, it gives me an extra boost and is a constant inspiration."

“For those who want to get involved in our community, it’s super easy. Head to the website, join our Facebook, or say hello to us on Instagram.

Come to a colour walk or if you want to start small, a hangout. Everyone is welcome. I would just love to see it continue to grow and continue to be the encouraging, kind community it already is.”

The In Colourful Company Leeds Colourwalk Route by Sarah Epsom

“We started by the Leeds letters in the train station, headed down the spiral steps to the rainbow tunnel by the other entrance to the station, walked to the rainbow bridge on lower briggate and took some pictures by the side of viaduct. We then walked by queens court where they had a temporary installation of umbrellas and streamers through to call lane. Next stop was blue rinse. We then headed into the markets stopping by the rainbow wall featuring the owl in the new food court. We then went outside to the 'hello welcome to Leeds' walls by the entrance to the markets next to the bus station. We finished by walking past the 'learn from yesterday, live for today, design for tomorrow' windows on Templar street”