Monday, August 31, 2015

Business spotlight - Styles By Brenda - By Michelle Libby

There is a lot to be said for a confident look. At Styles by Brenda, Brenda Bartlett and her nail tech Mary O’Donal, want to make their clients feel comfortable and beautiful. 
“We do business in a simple way,” said O’Donal. The small, homey shop is welcoming and comfortable. No one has to worry about high pressure or feeling out of place at a larger salon. Brenda will do anything for her clients. “It’s more personal and they get individual attention,” she said. 

Brenda has been cutting hair for years. She started at a small shop, then moved to a larger shop in Portland until deciding to go out on her own. She opened Styles by Brenda next to the Odd Fellows Hall on Roosevelt Trial in 2002. She is the only stylist at this time, but has a second chair if the right person came along. Three weeks ago, she brought in O’Donal to be the nail tech. 

“We’re a growing business,” Brenda said. Appointments are encouraged, but starting September 1, walk-in appointments will be available for hair and nails. 

From color and foils to brow waxing, facials, cuts and perms, Styles by Brenda is ready to meet the needs of her past customers and future customers. 

When Brenda lost her mom, she took a breather from the business, but now she is back and ready to make her mark. 

“I love to do color, highlights. I like it all,” Brenda said. Before working with a client she does a consultation, which she enjoys. She studies the shape of the person’s face and type of hair before helping to decide what the client would like. She is happy when people bring in pictures or have an idea of what they would like for a style. 

“I work more on the natural side. It’s nice to bring out their natural beauty,” she said. She does up-dos and blow outs for special occasions like weddings and proms. She also does men’s cuts and strongly encourages men’s colorings. 

With school starting, Brenda is interested in helping people get ready for the big day or for moms, who have been home with the kids all summer, to give them a chance to pamper themselves with a new look. 

“We’re a full salon with more services at one stop,” said O’Donal. 

If nails are what one is looking for, O’Donal is up on the latest techniques from natural nails, gel sets, acrylics and French tips. Her favorites are marbling and ombre colorings. “I love to learn new techniques,” she said. She looks for ideas online and tries them out on her friends before bring them to her clients. She works on men, women and children and also is available for parties. She does manicures and pedicures. “I want people to feel really good, relaxed and enjoy. That’s my goal,” O’Donal said. She will travel to homes for a nominal fee. 
“We want them to go away happy,” said O’Donal. 

Brenda and O’Donal are accepting new clients and encourage people to try them out. They accept cash and checks. Appointments for hair services can be made by calling 892-9747. For nails, call 749-9320.

Business spotlight - Souliere Safety Consulting - By Michelle Libby

Businesses think they are safe, compliant and ready if something should happen, but are they really? Andre Souliere can make sure that businesses know the laws, employees are safe and everyone has a work environment that puts safety at the top of their priorities. 
Souliere owns Souliere Safety Consulting based in Steep Falls. He travels from Bangor and south to work with companies to make sure they are OSHA and State of Maine compliant with safety regulations. 

“I develop a safety program, do an assessment on their program, put policies in place, suggest training programs and provide the training,” Souliere said. From manufacturing to construction to offices, Souliere will put all safety proceedures in writing for the owner of the company and for the employees. 

“I’m trying to get people to be more pro-active to think safety before someone gets hurt,” Souliere said. “I’m coming in to be a safety manager for them.” Souliere will put together a full safety program for any company that wants to do that. He will customize programs to fit a company’s needs.
“A lot of companies just don’t know what they’re supposed to do,” Souliere said. 

Souliere Safety Consulting does training programs on blood borne pathogens, ergonomics, fall protection, “lock out, tag out”, trip hazards and that’s not all. He will come to a business and do fit testing for respirators, will look at ergonomics at a saw mill. He’ll teach stretching exercises. Everything he does gets printed out to act as a reminder for the employees and bosses. Souliere brings a PowerPoint presentation to the work place and then has everyone sign a paper of understanding. 

“My job is to protect the employees 100 percent and on the other hand I protect the company 100 percent,” Souliere said. 

Companies that he has worked with have had decreased workman’s compensation, has protected the company and helped employees stay safe. 

“Employees know when they come to work they are in a safe environment,” Souliere said. 

Souliere was in the Air Force, and while there he was in human resources and safety. He keeps up with his training by taking OSHA classes and though his experiences working with the state. He was an environmental health and safety manager for a large company before going out on his own. The state called and asked him to come to work for them, but Souliere had a different plan in mind.
“I have confidence in myself. I’m good at what I do,” he said. “They have to put their trust in me.” Souliere comes to the companies at the time that’s most convenient for the employees, regardless of the shift. 

Recently, Souliere opened an online store for safety supplies. His customers were purchasing everything from safety signs to safety glasses online, but Souliere knew he could provide them less expensive than the big companies were selling them for and as an added bonus, Souliere will stock and restock items that run low. “You don’t have to do anything,” he said. His next step is to have a warehouse to have stock readily available. 

Souliere is still looking for clients on the consulting side of the business, those business owners who want to make sure their company is safe. 

“I enjoy meeting people,” he said. “I’m not OSHA. I’m there to help your company avoid OSHA violations or citations.”

On his website he is able to educate visitors and they are able to buy the supplies they need. Call 675-4009, email or visit for more on how to make a work place safe.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Business spotlight - The Dump Guys - By Michelle Libby

The Dump Guy is a full service garbage removal company that can haul anything to the dump except asbestos. With 35 employees, they have the equipment and the man power to conquer any job. 
The company started nine years ago, focused on residential clean up in the spring and fall. Friends Jason Gilpatrick and Garrett Gordon were landscapers in Scarborough and Westbrook respectively, when they decided to work together.
They had both been asked to do trash runs for people and saw the potential for a business, said Mike Caswell, who is the marketing coordinator, does sales and also runs a truck for The Dump Guy. 

With two trucks and two trailers they started the business hauling bulky waste and trash. “We are growing insanely,” said Caswell. The company now has 11 trucks and trailers, a flatbed for sheds and mobile home removal, excavator for tear downs and a smart car for giving free estimates.  

“Nobody else does what we do,” said Caswell. The Dump Guy fosters customer relations and professionalism. “We’re not a guy in his truck looking for free metal,” he said. 

There are one truck companies out there, but the reliability of The Dump Guy as well as the experience, makes them stand out. 

They work from the edge of Maine to Bangor, Downeast and over to New Hampshire. 

With a central dispatcher scheduling trucks, the company can handle the 70 phone calls they receive each day. All follow up calls are made within 30 minutes and each customer receives a confirmation call before the truck arrives. 

“I guarantee you can think of stuff to get rid of in the basement or attic,” Caswell said. The dump guys will come in and clean out the space, tidy it up and haul away all of the debris. 

They will take anything that is not attached and have removed pianos and cast iron tubs. The items are disposed of or recycled in a responsible manner. All metal is recycled. Some items with hazardous materials have an extra charge to dispose. Customers don’t have to have a large pile outside for them to remove, but they can clear that way as well. 

They clean up after commercial construction companies. For landlords, they can clean out an apartment almost that same day and for brokers closing on a house, they can have a property cleaned before inspections. They also work with property management companies all over Maine.

We pride ourselves on a 24 to 48 hour turnaround time, said Caswell. “We can do 50 jobs as a company in one day.” 

The Dump Guy charges based on the space that is filled in the trucks and trailers. 

The most popular jobs they do can be cleaning a yard or inside a house, cleaning before someone moves in or out, clearing cut down brush or garage cleanouts.

“We help out by doing good service. We are getting rid of a lot of trash that’s out there and recycling it,” said Caswell. 

For free estimates, questions or to book a job, call Scott, the dispatcher, at 450-5858 or visit the company online at

Business spotlight - Molly Breton Photography - By Michelle Libby

To professional, award-winning photographer Molly Breton, preparation is the key to her success. Before heading to shoot a wedding, she has a second camera, a second memory card that is constantly being backed up, and she even brings a second photographer to get different angles on certain events. She also has a special kit for helping brides with ripped hems, eyelash malfunctions and an assortment of other issues including how to hold the knife to cut the cake. 
Breton sees the art in moments that make up her client’s lives. From destination and local weddings to tasteful boudoir photographs and portraits, she gets to know her clients so she can bring out the beauty and character in each person. 
“I love being involved in weddings. I love the story of how people met and then being there when they become Mr. and Mrs. I can be a guide to help them through their day.”

In 2002, Breton graduated from radiology school and started taking pictures of the inside of people. She opened her photography business in 2011 and jokes that “she takes pictures inside and outside the body.” Now she works full time on photography and only works two days a month at Bridgton Hospital.
“I love what I do,” Breton said. 

She takes appointments up and down the east coast in New York City, Virginia and even has travelled to the islands for a destination wedding. She does not have a studio preferring being on location and calls herself a “natural light photographer.” She will do 30 weddings this year, she said and is booking into 2016. Breton prepares for her shoots determining if her client is shy or outgoing and she can bring that personality out through the photographs. This is especially true of her boudoir photo sessions, when her clients have to trust her. 

The boudoir sessions happen at Breton’s home in a room she has set up especially for that purpose. It’s her only “studio space.” Hair and makeup are included in the price. The pictures are “fun, classic, classy with a little bit of sexy,” she said. The tagline for the boudoir pictures is “Because you deserve to feel beautiful.” She has posed women of all shapes and sizes and knows how to make sure she shoots the most flattering look, she said.  

“I work with people’s budgets,” Breton said. “Especially weddings. I was a bride once. My job is to give them the best wedding experience ever, no matter how long they have me.” She has hourly rates and package collections, something to fit ever budget. 

For portraits she does maternity, family, newborns, senior pictures, she’s worked with them all. At the present time she is looking for senior spokes models, one for each high school in Cumberland County.
For the cost of the pictures, clients get Breton, a trained second shooter (at weddings), all pictures professionally edited and downloaded to a computer. The client has all the rights to print them and post them. The only thing they can’t do is sell the pictures or re-edit them. 

This year Breton is adding videography for weddings. Her brother Joshua Gilliam will be working with her to develop videos that cover the whole day to send to relatives and friends who couldn’t be there.  
 “When you’re a business owner, you don’t stop,” she said. She has her phone with her all the time and responds to emails and messages within an hour or two. She stands by her promise that she will have all of the pictures delivered within a week of the session. She also sends out sneak peeks of the pictures as she edits them.  

“I do this because I want to capture these moments in time. I take your special moments and make them a lasting memory for you to cherish forever,” she said. “I also think outside the box. I will do what I need to do to get the shot. This is my calling.  This is what I do. I just want everyone to have the best experience when they call me.” 

She and her ice rink developer husband Benn have two children, Adyn and Noah, and live in Naples. For more on work, visit or  check her out on Facebook. She can also be reached by phone at 207-619-2121 or by email at