County Faces: Amy Joy Berube of Washburn
Amy Joy Berube, of Washburn, has held many roles throughout her life, including business owner, event planner and mother of three. While growing up in Van Buren, Berube always wanted a career of her own and today she has accomplished a lot of professional goals that have led to her ultimate happiness with both work and family.
Berube had an interest in fashion, design and decorating from an early age. After graduating from the University of Maine at Presque Isle in 1992 with a communication degree and a minor in business, she was an assistant manager at the retail clothing store Fashion Bug, where she strengthened her customer service skills.
Within a few years, Berube and her husband, Michael Barker, opened All Dec’d Out, a party supply and decorating business, in Presque Isle. For 14 years, the couple decorated events and parties such as proms, weddings and reunions and provided upscale balloon decorating as certified balloon artists. Berube credits Barker, who also managed a grocery store during those years, for helping them realize their goal of starting a business, which she said was one of the most rewarding experiences of her career.
“I loved putting on parties for people,” Berube said. “It was wonderful to see their dreams come to life and to see their faces when they walked into a room we had decorated.”
Though Berube and Barker enjoyed their time as business owners, there were several reasons why they decided to close All Dec’d Out in 2007. More people had begun ordering party supplies and decorations online instead of shopping in retail stores. The couple also were starting a family and needed work that would give them more time with their children. Today, they are the parents of Macey, 17, Lexie, 14, and Joseph, 7, and have been married for 24 years.
“My family is my greatest accomplishment,” Berube said. “They inspire me every day and I’m looking forward to seeing my children grow and accomplish their goals.”
While raising her children, Berube has been able to see many of her own career goals come to light. Every experience, she said, has taught her something unique and allowed her to be a “people person.” For a while during and after her time at All Dec’d Out, she sold jewelry for a direct sales company and often visited customers’ homes to promote products.
As her children got older, Berube wanted to do more decorating work again and found a job that suited her well. She was a private party and event planner for Wintergreen Arts Center in Presque Isle. She started the Pizza and Art events for teens, which helped the center expand their art-related activities to a larger audience. Berube now works as a design assistant for S.W. Collins Co. in Caribou.
“I’ve always been interested in design and decorating. I’m working for some wonderful people who want me to learn more and it’s great to be able to learn something different every time I’m there,” Berube said.
Berube credits her parents for giving her much of the work ethic she has today. Her father often worked two jobs, one of them his own accounting business, but always made time for his family and the community. He passed away when Berube was 17, but she has carried his memory with her whether she was co-owner of a business or raising her own family.
“My sister and I always knew that it wasn’t about money. It was about family and looking out for one another,” Berube said, about her childhood. “My mom and sister live in Caribou now, so it’s still important for us to stay connected and I like living where I’m not far away from them.”
Today, Berube feels thankful for both her family and the various experiences that she has had in her career. Through all the changes that have happened she has realized that she never wants to stop trying and learning new skills. Her greatest joys come from embracing life and seeing where the journey will take her.
“Honestly, my goal is just to be happy and enjoy my life and see what the future brings,” Berube said.