These beautiful individuals are the heart and soul of Blush! Take a minute to get to know them a little better!
Amber Hews, Store Manager
A little bit about your background/career before Blush: I grew up right here in Aroostook County, went to UMPI where I met my husband, and graduated with a BLS degree and a minor in Special Education. Through college and after I graduated I worked for a couple schools as a one-on-one Ed Tech and nannied. I always knew, or so I thought, that I wanted to work with children. 5 years ago that all changed when Courtney called and asked if I would like to work for her full-time. Courtney saw my potential, and has led and taught me so much, and since then it has turned into a leadership position. At that time in my life it was a scary decision changing my career path, but I have never regretted my decision one time. I get to work every day with amazing clients creating life moments, sharing my passion and leading an amazing team, whom I care for like they are my own family.
Which 1-3 Blush core values are you most passionate about & why? Family is first and foremost the most important value to me. I am blessed to have a close family and they all mean everything to me! That is why I'm so thankful that family is a core value for Blush, because family to me comes first. I also feel blessed to have such an amazing work family. I truly care for my girls like they are my own. Seeing them succeed is what drives my passion.
Passion- it's what gets you through your daily life and helps you succeed. It is your driving force not only through things that you love, but also through difficult and hard times.
Fave guilty pleasure meal: I guess I didn't realize how much I like junk food until I had to think about my answer. I'm not a girl who cares for sweets, but give me french fries, a cheeseburger, pizza, mac & cheese and I'm happy!
Little known fact about you: I may appear like I'm a "girly girl," but I grew up dirt biking with my brother and cousins and I played sports in high school and college. I love some good competition!
Favorite thing to listen to on long car rides: If I'm by myself, which doesn't happen very often I'm usually back and forth between stations on Pandora. Some of my favorites are Jason Derulo, Boyce Avenue, and Today's Country...a little bit of everything.
Kaitlin Sand, Store Manager
A little bit about your background/career before Blush: I grew up in California. My husband and I owned two businesses for about 10 years, one being a business to business financial acceptance firm and the other an event coordinating company. One opened a door for another when I started coordinating corporate events for the industry that I was in, which led to eventually coordinating weddings as well. After several years, my husband and I got to a point where we wanted to expand our family and offer a different life to our children, so we moved to Maine! We wanted to offer our children a more traditional lifestyle, with space to run and play, and a pace that was more family focused. After about a year of working from home, I decided I wanted to take on a new personal challenge and that was when I walked into Blush. Upon meeting Courtney, I knew that Blush was exactly where I could see myself investing my time and continuing to grow as a leader. She and I connected immediately. I knew that I could connect with her vision and that Blush would allow me to follow my passion for empowering women.
Which 1-3 Blush core values are you most passionate about & why? Passion is an important value that rings true for me. I believe that if you have passion for what you’re doing, then it’s easy to connect with your “why” you do what you do. Passion is the fuel that feeds your energy for taking on new ideas and projects, but it also plays into emotions and how you treat people. If your team sees the passion behind your cause, then it becomes a cause worth fighting for. If your customers see the passion you have for helping them through extremely important life moments, then they understand the genuineness and compassion that will follow.
Communication follows closely behind passion, since you cannot succeed with your passion if you fail to communicate your cause. I believe that all good relationships begin with trust and communication and that leading a team requires sincere transparency. Here at Blush, we are a part of people’s life moments- moments that they will remember forever, so for us, communication is key. We want our customers to feel safe and heard. If we fail at communication, we fail to understand people.
Last, but not least, I believe in Excellence. I personally don’t believe in doing anything “half-way”. I either like to give it my all, or I don’t like taking it on. Excellence for me starts with an attitude. Whether it’s a small job, that you don’t think anyone will notice, or a huge undertaking that requires lots of time and attention, I believe in doing both with excellence, because excellence isn’t an act- it’s a habit. The more you strive for it, the more it shows in everything you do.
Fave guilty pleasure meal: It’s not quite a meal, but my favorite guilty pleasure would have to be crème brulee. It’s my husband’s favorite dessert for our anniversary dinner and I love getting creative with a new flavor every time.
Little known fact about you: I LOVE FOOD! I love to cook, love to eat, love to watch other people cook or eat! Anything food, I’m immediately intrigued. I love to cook because I can connect with my creative side and make it up as I go, or get inspired by smells and flavors around me. I rarely follow a recipe and love changing my taste with the seasons. My husband will tell you that’s one of the things he loves, is that I’m always “cooking with season.” I also love to garden so being able to grow my own ingredients is that much better! Knowing that your hands sewed the soil of the produce that you reap is such a rewarding experience that I am excited to pass down to my kids!
Favorite thing to listen to on long car rides: My taste changes with my mood. If I’m on a work trip it’s usually a mix of some leadership podcasts along with some energizing music so that I’m able to refuel my mind but pump up my positivity. If I’m with my children it’s usually a mix of K-Love or some Country music and if it’s just me and my husband, we love the classics.
Allie Brochu, Assistant Manager
A little bit about your background/career before Blush: When I graduated from high school, I honestly had no idea what I wanted to do in life. All I knew was that I had a heart for people. I wanted to figure out how to connect with others, help them in any way that I could and make a difference in their lives... even in the smallest way. I decided to waitress at Pat’s Pizza while going to school for medical assisting. After graduating college, I went in a different direction and dove into network marketing. I started my own business at home and was successful with it for 3 years. Although I was connecting with thousands of people & leading my own team, I was stuck behind a screen 24/7 and I was lacking passion. For whatever reason, Blush had been placed on my heart one day. Blush’s core values & mission had always drawn me in. I took a leap of faith & applied. I was offered a stylist position and I had no doubt in my mind that this was something that I was supposed to do. I get these gut feelings in life and everything about Blush, felt right -- and it still does! 1 year after working as a bridal stylist here at Blush, I was promoted to the assistant manager! This position means the world to me and I absolutely love what I do. I’m so proud & honored to be a part of the Blush family! It’s been such a blessing in my life.
Which 1-3 Blush core values are you most passionate about & why? First & foremost, kindness! No matter what, I always lead with my heart. I aim to be selfless, genuine, respectful, understanding & loving towards people. At the end of the day, that’s what matters most to me.
Passion is up next! I’m a very passionate person, with everything I do. I refuse to do anything that doesn’t set my soul on fire. I strive to do things with excellence, and I believe that when you’re passionate about something, that’s when you can give your all & truly feel fulfilled in life.
Last but certainly not least, fun! Life is way too short to not have FUN. Here at Blush, we embrace the little things! We laugh. We joke. We enjoy what we do and we celebrate any moment that we can. We’re constantly having fun & that makes our jobs just that much better!
Fave guilty pleasure meal: Some say they eat to live, I’m more of the ‘lives to eat’ type of girl – ha! I have WAY too many guilty pleasure meals in mind right now, but basically anything with; carbs, cheese, some type of sauce, peanut butter or chocolate… now I’m hungry.
Little known fact about you: I grew up on a small island off the coast of Maine called Islesboro. I truly believe that growing up there, really shaped the woman that I am today. Island life is incredible in so many ways and I’m beyond thankful that I got to experience that. I still consider it my home!
Favorite thing to listen to on long car rides: Oh we’re gonna listen to ALL.the.things. I like to go back & forth between some good podcasts and then almost every genre of music; country, hip hop, rap, house, oldies, pop, you name it. I might even turn off the radio & just sing to you (sorry in advance)!
Kylene Cashin, Store Manager
A little bit about your background/career before Blush: My love for Bridal started in college where I studied apparel design and merchandising. I love that a woman’s wedding gown is usually the most exquisite and self-expressive garment she will ever own and being able to share that with her from a stylist/design perspective is what initially drew me into the bridal industry. My journey in bridal started as a stylist at BHLDN in Chicago. I worked there for about a year and a half and then took a job as a stylist in a salon very similar to Blush. We actually sold some of the same designers! From there I moved to a couture bridal salon in downtown Chicago. My favorite part about my journey through the bridal industry is meeting and working with so many amazing women. With weddings in backyards, at beaches, barns, hotels, museums and mountain tops and with dress price points anywhere from $200-$20,000, everyone has been so different and yet all still the same. Brides all still make the same face when they look up and see themselves in the mirror, realizing this is the one, and seeing how beautiful they are.
Which 1-3 Blush core values are you most passionate about & why? Kindness- I’d hope that anyone who knows me would anticipate that kindness would be first on my list of our core values here at Blush. Kindness is the quickest, easiest, and cheapest way I better my mental and physical health every day, and by being kind, share those benefits with others. I also believe kindness is contagious and in every interaction, there is the opportunity to impact someone’s day/week/life, so why wouldn’t we take it?
Communication- I am especially passionate about communication in this industry because it can completely make or break someone’s experience. It is so important that we are able to communicate and listen with both our hearts and our words to everyone who walks through the door. For most people this is uncharted territory and it is up to us to make you feel safe, heard, and celebrated every step of the way.
Fave guilty pleasure meal: I love all forms of the Bread/Cheese marriage…grilled cheese sandwiches, quesadillas, cheese and crackers, cheesy garlic bread, baked brie in puff pastry, pizza, all of it.
Little known fact about you: I’m a not-so-great swimmer, but getting better now. At summer camp back in the day my nickname was “Submarine Kylene” and I wasn’t allowed in the deep end.
Favorite thing to listen to on long car rides: It depends how “long” is “long”. This summer I drove to North Carolina and we listened to a podcast series on the Isabella Stuart Gardner heist and that got us through about 6-ish hours! But I guess normally driving other shorter “long” distances I like to listen to shorter podcasts, typically either a leadership podcast, something related to self-development or “My Favorite Murder”. But also, obviously I always have to sprinkle a little Rhianna in here and there, can’t have a drive without RiRi.
Amanda Gilpatric, Assistant Manager
A little bit about your background/career before Blush: I went to school at Johnson and Wales University in Providence, RI for Fashion Merchandising and Retail Marketing. I had big dreams of moving to NYC after college to pursue a career in Fashion PR. I came home to Maine for one last summer, and fell in love with my now husband, and his daughter. I left my high fashion dreams to cultivate our family, and began to work in the hospitality industry. My passion for fashion still burned within me, and I constantly searched for a job to fulfill that sense of purpose. Over bloody Mary’s with one of my best friends, I shared my frustrations about finding a job in the fashion industry in Maine, and she said, “Would you ever do bridal?” She encouraged me to apply to Blush, and the rest is history! I have never felt happier or more fulfilled in a career. I work with the most incredible, inspiring, and genuine women. I feel so blessed to be a part of the Blush family!
Which 1-3 Blush core values are you most passionate about & why? Kindness- There is nothing more important to me than kindness. It costs nothing to be kind, and you never how much you could be impacting another person’s day. Shopping for a wedding gown is such a fun and exciting experience, but it can also be overwhelming. All it takes to overcome that vulnerability is a little kindness. I am that person in your corner. Supporting you, loving you, and empowering you to find that dream dress, that makes you feel like the incredible woman that you are!
Creativity- it is essential in life and in business. It allows you to have fun and to express yourself; it can give you a sense of purpose. I am especially passionate about it because it’s a differentiator - it sets you apart, which is always a plus! It promotes thinking and problem solving. It takes creativity to truly foster an exceptional experience, and at Blush that is our goal!
Fave guilty pleasure meal: Pizza and Boston cream pie.
Little known fact about you: I secretly love heavy metal music.
Favorite thing to listen to on long car rides: It depends on where I’m going. Either podcasts (specifically Off the Vine, leadership podcasts, or anything true crime) or my late 90’s/early 00’s greatest hits playlist.
Courtney Wetzel, Owner
A little bit about your background/career before Blush: I’ve always known I wanted to own my own business. I worked briefly for a few years as an Office Manager and a Financial Coordinator before purchasing the Presque Isle store (formerly Pancsofar’s Bridal Shop) when I was 23. My passion for this industry and for building our team grew rapidly. Four years later, we were able to purchase a building in Bangor and open a second store from scratch and the Blush brand was born. Just 4 months later, I purchased a third store in Portland’s Old Port and shortly after, all three stores were re-branded to carry the Blush name and aesthetic. All of the stores have experienced growth and expansion as we’re continually blessed to be able to share our mission with more of the state of Maine. It’s so much more than business now; it is a tool to be able to serve, celebrate and empower so many during such important times in their lives. Blush is my baby, our team is my family, and I count it a great privilege to be able to lead us into the future.
Which 1-3 Blush core values are you most passionate about & why? Family, because my own family means everything to me. Families are always there for each other, and hold each other to high standards. I have tried to create that same culture among our team and community.
Excellence, because this was instilled in me at a young age. I believe in giving your all to anything you do, no matter how big or small the task at hand. “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might” (Ecc. 9:10). I really believe your dedication to excellence says a lot about your character.
Fun, because with as much passion and drive as I have, having fun is my outlet. Not everything can be serious all the time! My mom always struggled to get a photo of my sisters and I growing up where we weren’t making crazy faces. If you could see the effort that went into me getting a serious head shot, you would understand. :)
Fave guilty pleasure meal: Pizza, french fries, and mac & cheese. All together. All. The. Carbs. All. The. Cheese.
Little known fact about you: I took 4 years of ballet. The gracefulness didn’t stick unfortunately, and I’m not the most coordinated human as an adult.
Favorite thing to listen to on long car rides: Long car rides are a way of life for me, so I mix it up between leadership podcasts (my fave is the Craig Groeshel Leadership Podcast) & super upbeat pop/EDM. The Chainsmokers are one of my faves (even more obsessed after seeing them in Vegas!).