Color Factory NYC:
On Wednesday, I took my first visit to Color Factory NYC. I had been to the one in San Francisco, and been blown away by what my sister Jordan (and her amazing team) had created. So you can imagine, I had high expectations for the New York City version. But holy moly. It was like they had leveled up x 10. It’s SO GOOD.
It’s a much bigger space. It’s far more ambitious. It feels more polished; more professional. Maybe more museum-like? At a glance it’s clear that it’s beautifully done, but it’s even more beautiful when you get into the details.
And the details. I mean. The way the ceilings are painted, the writing on the walls, the voices in the exhibits, the introductory video, the pretty napkins that come with the pretty treats, the small gifts you receive as you travel through. It’s remarkable in every way.
Color Factory NYC is essentially a giant art installation that roams over 20,000 square feet in Soho. (For reference, the San Francisco version was 12,000 square feet.) In each room, there’s a different color experience you can interact with, and the color experiences were created by artists — some local to New York City, and some from around the world.
“Color experiences” might sound vague, but it’s not meant to be. An example of one right in the entry: The building is painted with colorful stripes, and inside the front door, Queens-based writer Won McIntosh, wrote a poem based on each one of the colors. The poems are lovely — several made me tear up!
I asked my friend Wendy of Blue Lily Photography to come along with me and she captured so many fun photos. Hopefully, the photo tour below will give you a better idea of what it’s all about.
A few more details:
Color Factory NYC is the brainchild of my sister Jordan. You may know her fantastic work from her popular blog and party supply shop, Oh Happy Day. In addition to Jordan, the visual direction and design are by the incredibly talented Erin Jang and Leah Rosenburg. Tickets in San Francisco sold out quickly, and I have no doubt the New York tickets will go fast too. So if you’d like to see it, it would be best to buy tix sooner than later. FYI: They are only available online — you can’t buy them at the event.
This place is really fun to photograph, but you don’t have to bring a camera. Instead, they have them built in for you! When you register, you’ll receive a Color Factory card that connects your email address with cameras in each room. You’ll use the card to let the camera know you’re ready to snap a photo, and the photo will automatically be emailed to your inbox. Boom. Easy as pie. Here’s me posing for one of the Color Factory installed cameras:
They say to plan about an hour to go through the exhibits, though if you love taking photos, I’d recommend planning a longer visit. And it’s not just the exhibits. In addition to the 17 rooms in the Color Factory, you’ll also get access to a map of the city that includes 20 more Color Factory activities sprinkled throughout the neighborhood.
This is pretty epic stuff and you could totally make a full NYC day of it. At a local tattoo parlor, you’ll see a small red vending machine where you can get a Color Factory NYC temporary tattoo. At a local nail salon, you can ask for the special Color Factory manicure that matches the colored stripes on the front of the building. Watch the Color Factory Instagram feed to get more peeks of the city tour activities.
Inside the exhibits, some of the things you’ll experience are:
A stunning hanging paper installation by Emmanuelle Moureaux.
A conveyer belt of macarons. Adorable. And yum.
A Hall of Colors (even the ceiling is in colors!), where you choose a button in whatever color you’re drawn to.
A room where you sit across from someone and take part in an affirming drawing activity. Possibly my favorite room.
An A to Z of colors where you can find the color name of the button you chose in the Hall of Colors, plus the history behind the color.
A flow chart room that will guide you to your secret color. So much good writing by Molly Beth Young involved in this room!
My secret color was a shade of red called Pope Shoes. On the back of the card there was a secret dance move too.
Speaking of dance moves, there’s a light up dance floor with music pumping where you can get your groove on.
Plus pretty cups of raspberry soda to cool off, and complimentary lip color sets from Maybelline.
An exhibit where you can listen and learn about unusual collections.
A gorgeous ball pit that makes you feel like you’re in a spa.
A color-filled gift shop curated by Randi Brookman Harris. Many of the items in the shop are special collaborations with Color Factory (I want the striped pjs! And that bike).
At the end, you get to choose a prize. Each one is designed by artists, designers, and creatives.
I chose this ruler, designed by Abby Clawson Low. On one side it has inch marks and half-inch marks. on the other side, in other colors, it has quarter-inch and eighth-inch marks.
This is a good place to mention that as you go through, it feels like you are receiving gifts — clever little cards, a happy button, a sweet scoop of the prettiest gelato, drawings, and lip color, and a map. Bring a purse or pocket to stash all your goodies.
I’m incredibly proud of my sister Jordan. I’ve said this before, but she’s a creative genius, she thinks BIG, and she’s brave. She takes huge risks, brings her visions to life, and gets sh*t done. She’s especially good at finding incredibly talented people, and giving them a spotlight where they can shine. I can’t think of anyone else I know who is as bold and forward-thinking as Jordan. (You did it Jordan! You’re amazing! Hooray!)
If you’re going to be in New York City, I promise, you don’t want to miss this. Grab a ticket before they’re gone!
Photos by Wendy of Blue Lily Photography.