What’s your Tono? was born out of curiosity. Why are we so attracted to certain colors and not to others? And why do we sometimes withhold ourselves from enjoying the colors we love? Everyone has a color they absolutely adore and feel they cannot pull-off. “People have these reasons why certain colors are not allowed on their body or in their home. A lot of people are afraid of color, it’s a confidence thing. Color literally requires confidence.” This is the spirit of What’s Your Tono? To inspire curiosity and instill a confidence to try something new.
To kick off our series, we talked to Janelle Nicole Wylie, the founder and Creative Director of Tono. “I’ve always interacted with color in an interesting way. It’s always been directional, something that either offended me, or I was really attracted to.” Janelle is very connected to color emotionally, calling her reactions to it an “emotional instinct.” It’s why red can feel overwhelming for her, and is admittedly her least favorite color. But it’s also why our Oro color makes her happy. “Yellow came into my life mostly working with flowers. They’re just so happy and every time I saw the yellow center on a flower it was like a happy treasure. The more I surround myself with yellow, the more happy I felt.”
While she does admit to wearing more warm tones (and yellows), Janelle’s closet is a slice right out of the rainbow. She attributes her colorful closet to always choosing the “crazy” color a clothing maker will put out with a particular line. Over the years this has opened her up to wearing colors other than black and gray, an easy rut to get stuck in. “If you’re gonna go through your day and have it be mundane, and there’s moments where you can choose to insert colorful things that make you smile, why would you not?”
In addition to founding Tono + co, Janelle is a professional florist, taking her passion for color with her to the wedding industry. Yellow and coral are staples in many of her floral pieces. “Those are the colors I’m attracted to at the market. They’re sunset driven and I’m really attracted to the sunset. When I used to work by myself, I was always very overwhelmed. I was always making it to the beach, literally just to pull up and watch the sunset. It’s probably why I find coral and yellow so comforting.” What about times where the client is dictating the color palette? Janelle attributes her use of color in her personal work to attracting more adventurous clients, allowing her to explore even more diverse palettes.
As for the creation of the Tono + co colors, Janelle credits her background in fine art and her time in nature as their inspiration. “When I got into painting I was more attracted to dustier tones, I just noticed it more in the landscape. I was mostly attracted to colors that were de-saturated. That’s just what I see when I’m in Joshua Tree and Big Sur. It’s crazy now, I see Tono everywhere. I feel like mother nature provides my color combos now, which is really fun. Now when I see a color in nature that we don’t have, I think ‘Oh, that next!’”
Stay tuned for more fascinating color chats with some of our favorite people!