Beloved Local Business Blush Beauty Bar Set to Close, Receives Unexpected Offer from Two Loyal Customers

It was all very clear in the email Deborah Haynes, Owner/Founder of Blush Beauty Bar sent her email list of very loyal customers....come say hi soon, because before the end of the year, Blush would close its doors on a very successful 15 year run on NW 23rd. “For years, running this business was living the dream for me,” said Haynes. Haynes continued, “Opening a store where my colleagues and I could pursue our passion for make-up artistry, the best skin care AND help people from Portland and all over the world find their own true definition of Beauty. For me, for work, that IS the dream.”

When looking at a lease renewal, though, Haynes stopped to think about everything as any retail business owner would. The last few years had been challenging and exhilarating. Challenging from the standpoint of keeping the business afloat after it was impacted (quite literally) from the gas pipeline explosion across the personally exhilarating, as three years ago Haynes got engaged to, as she describes him “the love of my life and my best surprise”, her fiancé Rick. Now, the dream looked & felt different. Now, the dream was to slow down, get married, chase the sun and go on an adventure. She made the decision to close the store and write new chapters focused more around her life than her work.

The response to that initial email was incredibly warm and overwhelming, said Haynes, “We have the best customers in Portland, so I was expecting thanks and kindness...what I wasn’t expecting was to hear from so many customers how much we had impacted their lives and their sense of self...and how sad they were that we were closing. Many said that while they were so happy for me to have this adventure, it just didn’t feel right that Blush was closing its doors forever.”

Enter longtime customers (and budding entrepreneurs) KoriAnn & Jennifer. KoriAnn had known Haynes from working in the same industry since the time before she opened Blush, and since that time had become a frequent customer and supporter, and then became a vendor that Haynes carried. Sharing an affinity for make-up artistry, all things pink and Hello Kitty (the stores signature Hello Kitty electric guitar was always proudly on display) and was equally passionate about helping people find their unique and individual definition of beauty. KoriAnn and Jennifer also felt like they weren’t ready to see the business close, and approached Haynes with an idea. 

“After working with Blush for the last five years and a lot of soul searching in the last few weeks, it became clear to me what I wanted to do. We approached Deb about the idea of buying the store from her and continuing this important tradition and opportunity for people in Portland and beyond to find their sparkle, as we always say....and she said yes! Blush Beauty Bar will continue, the store will re-open”.

A small circle of customers were told the good news & received an outpouring of cheer. “Well, when I said we have the best customers in Portland, I meant it,” said Haynes. She continued, “Without exception, every single person who knows about this unexpected new chapter has shown overwhelming support...asking when they can stop by and support KoriAnn & Jennifers’ carrying on the torch...or in this case the sparkly-pink Hello Kitty Guitar.”

After a break over the Holidays, they hope to announce the re-opening date, get the website and inventory back up and running plus a new team. They’ll keep customers up to date on progress through posts on the stores’ social media and via emails sent to the long list of beloved, long time customers.

“I can’t imagine anything better than expecting to close the book on something I love and realizing it was just ending a chapter...a chapter that would change hands and continue to be written by someone I would have hand-picked if I had the opportunity. I am thrilled about what is ahead for me...and incredibly surprised, thankful and excited about what is ahead for KoriAnn and Jennifer, and our customers. It reminded me that you never know what happy surprise lies around the corner.”

Two Portland woman entrepreneurs take the leep. And Portland gets to say hello to a new iteration of a beloved business. That’s a holiday-movie ending Haynes didn’t see coming, but one she’s incredibly thankful for.