Meet Your Merchant: Owner has assembled a ‘dream team’ at Blush Salon at Grass Valley
April Cose was just a teen when she first started doing her classmates’ hair at Hamilton High School near Chico.
“My friends actually trusted me,” she said with a laugh. “They actually let me do their color.”
Cose went on to study business and accounting at California State University, Chico, but she eventually decided to pursue her real passion — hair. Because she had completed her general education requirements at Chico State, she was able to graduate with an associate of science degree in cosmetology from Chico Beauty College.
She landed her first real job at a salon inside a JCPenney in Chico, where she met stylist Heather Sanderson, who would become a close friend.
At 25, Cose married her high school sweetheart, Eric, whom she had met in a pig barn during a Future Farmers of America event. They were both showing pigs. In 2008, the couple moved to Grass Valley to take care of her husband’s grandmother, and Cose landed a job at VJ’s Salon on Highway 174. She loved it, but after three years, she was eager to break out on her own.
In 2011, Cose teamed up with a former business partner to open DanaeMarie’s Salon on W. Main St. in downtown Grass Valley. In 2015, Cose bought out her partner and became the sole owner, changing the name to Blush Salon. Today she says she’s assembled her “dream team,” which includes stylists Lisa Harter, Kristen Adams, Rachel Baldwin, Lindsey Johnston and longtime friend Sanderson.
Services include air brush make up, gel nails, hair extensions and eyelash extensions. Finally, adding a unique component to the team is Kim Sayre, who has been a professional photographer since 2001, specializing in portraits. With her studio located inside Blush Salon, she is able to have professional hair and make up services available to her clients, all under the same roof. The team works together on more than 40 weddings a season, said Cose.
“I have been collaborating with the fantastic stylists at Blush Salon for six years for both client work and promotional images for the salon, so when the chance to have a small studio space within the salon came up late last year, I was so excited to move to downtown Grass Valley,” said Sayre. “We now have a full service portrait studio with hair and make up options in the salon for any clients that need a business headshot, musician or dance promotional image, contemporary glamour portrait or people who just want to celebrate their life.”
Adams relocated to the area almost six years ago from Marin County and until recently continued to service clients in Mill Valley while building her clientele in Grass Valley. Like the entire team, staying current on styles and techniques is a priority, she said.
“I take continuing education courses to evolve with the different trends and products in the industry,” said Adams. “I love what I do. I’ve been a stylist for 18 years specializing in haircuts and colors, especially blondes.”
Popular products at Blush Salon include Redken, Paul Mitchell, Goldwell, Formula 18, Loma, Kenra and Olaplex. Clients, many of whom have stayed loyal to their Blush stylists for many years, range in age from young children to the very popular 101-year-old Lily Current, who lives at the nearby Bret Harte Retirement Inn.
“Lily is very stylish — she’s known for changing her outfit for every meal — her belts and purses always match,” said Sanderson. “We love our clients and we’ve grown very attached to them. All of us who work here really get along, too. We’re like a working family, there’s no competition. We cut each other’s hair.”
Cose said she couldn’t agree more.
“The most rewarding part of my job is having a real connection with people every day,” she said. “Being a stylist is fun, social and creative. I know all about my clients’ families and many of them now feel like family. I love seeing people walk out the door happy and feeling good about themselves.”
To contact Staff Writer Cory Fisher, email her at Cory@theunion.com.
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