IT’S HARD to imagine that 47-year-old colour consultant Jane Brook used to be a bit of a “wallflower”.

She exudes warmth and confidence as she shows me into the conservatory, which has become her work studio at her home in Warndon Villages, Worcester.

Not only does she run a very successful business as a colour, skin care, make-up and style consultant, she regularly gives talks and presentations about her life and work, is a regional manager for House of Colour and is a member of the Professional Speakers Association.

This complete transformation, from a woman happy to blend into the background into a positive, vibrant and engaging individual, happened very quickly.

Until about five years ago she said her life was “bumbling” along. She had drifted into a career in accountancy because she was good at maths and it seemed a logical move, was married at the age of 21 and then had two children – Emma and Milly. It’s the sort of story many women will recognise.

Gradually her size crept up from a 12 to a 16, she was wearing dull clothes, her confidence crumbled and she and her husband Ian grew apart.

Eventually in 2006 they agreed to divorce and it was at this point she realized that her identity was largely as a wife and mum – she didn’t have a sense of herself at all.

Her self esteem was at rock bottom and, having returned to accountancy, was wearing a lot of black clothes to help her fade into the background and go unnoticed. She also tried to avoid direct contact with people at work.

But just as her self-worth was sinking lower and lower, a friend threw her the lifeline that would eventually see her rising like a pheonix from the ashes.

“I had a friend with a very good sense of style and she knew what looked good. I tried wearing what she was wearing but I still didn’t look good. My self esteem went lower and lower.

“My friend said she was going to have my colours analysed. I thought it was a waste of money but I went along and I was blown away. I could see I looked better and I could not hide away any more.”

Colour analysis aims to find which colours work best for an individual to be in perfect harmony with their eyes, skin and hair tones in order to enhance their appearance and self confidence.

“I came out wearing a particular colour lipstick and went and bought a few new clothes and I could see people noticing me. People would say ‘You look well’ and the more you get compliments the better you feel.”

In 2009 when the country was gripped by recession, Jane’s employer cut her hours by half to two and a half days a week. “It was really hard. I still had the girls. My daughter Milly said: ‘Why don’t you do something you enjoy?’ and that got me thinking.

“Being a colour, make-up and style consultant has never been about the clothes, it is about the change that people experience. I thought maybe I could do it.”

Jane applied for a franchise with the House of Colour and went for an interview only to find the Worcester franchise was already taken. However the interviewers could see her potential and offered her a shared franchise in Worcester.

Six months later the other consultant in Worcester moved to another part of the country leaving Jane to cover her home territory.

She had to go on a two-week training course at head office in Watford to learn about colour analysis and that was followed by another course on men’s and women’s style. There is also ongoing training for consultants.

“When I was on the training I had to give a presentation. I swore blind that I would never give a presentation but I had to. I did two and after the second one I realised I was good at it and I’ve done more and more. I am now a member of the Professional Speakers Association. It’s a complete transformation.”

Jane took to colour and style analysis like a duck to water and within a year was made House of Colour regional manager and has responsibility for co-ordinating the team of consultants for her area. She passed her Professional Excellence Certificate, won a local business award and is now one of the first House of Colour in Business Brand Specialists.

“I love my life. Doing this has been about following my heart. Everything has just slotted into place.”

Now Jane has about 500 clients – 20 per cent are men - and works with businesses as well as individuals. One company boss sent a clerical worker to have colour analysis with Jane and it gave her a huge confidence boost.

For more information about Jane’s work visit, call Jane on 07970 293341 or email her at

“The work I do helping people to find the colours and styles that suit them best is about supporting people to be their best self and making their inner self visible. It is about getting the outside of a person to reflect the inside.”

Jane, who still works as an accountant one day a week, is in no doubt about the impact her colour and style analysis has on her customers.

“I get lots of e-mails and cards from clients. People just turn up to my door with presents for me. It is fabulous and they are paying me to do this. I could never have predicted that this would happen.”

Jane is so highly respected within House of Colour that she has been asked to style two of the four company directors. She probably couldn’t get a much higher recommendation.