The new color selecting process starts about six to eight months before introduction is scheduled with our Sales and Marketing VP, Rich Brinkman. Brinkman is in charge of choosing the newest Fiesta color and begins with following color trends in different retail markets, such as fashion, jewelry, housing, and auto. From there he follows the high-end color trends down into fashion mainstream market. After months of researching, Brinkman narrows several color families down to a single one that best fits the Fiesta lifestyle.
Once the shade is chosen, it’s time for our ceramic engineers, Jim Shaner and Tim Quinlan to step in. A color swatch is handed over, and the lab begins studying the shade to decide which stains need to be used to match the color, with help from a spectrophotometer. The lab will run trials to see how close they can get to the swatch by mixing color stains, and testing glaze combinations. Once at a point when the result is a good match, production friendly, able to be refired and decorated, they give the color back to Brinkman and Liz McIlvain, our president, to review. However, since firing ceramics is a chemical process, the fired outcome usually does not come out right the first time. Typically, the process requires four to eight reviews to get the appropriate hue.
When the color is finally approved, it is then christened with its signature Fiesta name. For that, the colored sample is handed over to Betsy Wells, wife of the late Joe Wells, III, our former CEO. Sometimes the name comes to her immediately, while other times she spends weeks looking at the color, comparing it with paint chips, and getting input on color names from other family members before she picks the perfect Fiesta name. After the new color name has been decided upon, it is ready to be announced!
As you can tell, we take our color concocting very seriously and listen to what our customers want, too. We are constantly working on creating different colors that are in high demand with our followers (ahem, hot pink) that are just not possible to produce yet. We’ll keep trying though!
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