woman with great skin washing her face

18 Dec What is an Esthetician?

There are a few different segments within the beauty industry. Esthiology (or as you may know it, Esthetics) is one of these. Esthiology is the Aveda Institute’s name to describe what others might call their Esthetics programs. Esthiology includes many of the techniques and treatments that you can get to make your skin healthier and naturally beautiful. An esthetician is the person who provides those services.

woman enjoying a facial

What Does an Esthetician Do?

The job of an esthetician is to help you make your skin glow. They are armed with the knowledge of what products and treatments work with specific types of skin. Some services that you can get from a licensed esthetician may include:

  • Facials
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Exfoliation
  • Chemical peels
  • Plant-based peels
  • Facial massage
  • Much more

Where do Estheticians Work?

You can find estheticians in a variety of places like:

  • Spas
  • Med spas
  • Salons
  • Dermatology clinics
  • Self-employed/Freelance
  • Many more

Many estheticians will probably tell you that the career flexibility and job opportunities is something they love about their profession. There are a lot of different paths you can choose from and many different places where a licensed esthetician can work.

natural skincare

How to Become an Esthetician

Becoming an esthetician can be a really exciting and fun journey. Most states require that you complete a certain amount of hours in school then pass a licensing exam. The time you spend in school is when you can learn how to perform the services mentioned above. You can also learn things like:

  • Histology of the skin (study of skin tissue and cells)
  • Safety and sanitation
  • Beauty industry business
  • Different skin types
  • Rules, laws, and regulations

The hands on, experiential approach to learning is what makes becoming an esthetician exciting and fun. As a student at an Aveda Institute you can learn by doing. Our esthiology courses are designed to give students the opportunity to perform the tasks that they will need to do once they begin their careers. Esthiology is a great option for people who learn better by getting real-world, practical experience.

Is Esthiology a Good Career Choice?

Most of our esthiology students asked themselves this question before jumping in. The good news is that this industry is growing faster than average! As the Baby Boomers mature in years, they are looking for ways to maintain their beauty and youth. Going to an esthetician is their first stop. This is great news for anyone who is thinking about building a career as an esthetician.

Where do I Begin?

Contact us. We can help you get on the path to becoming an esthetician. It’s our goal to help you build a great career in the beauty industry. Our admissions representatives can answer any questions you may have about what it takes to become an esthetician. They can also give you all the information about our esthiology program and how to enroll.

We can’t wait to hear from you and help you get started on building a new career that you can love!

Read More
Aisling Campbell accepting NAHA student hairstylist of the year 2017.

02 Oct 2017 NAHA Student Hairstylist of the Year

Aisling Campbell is an Inspire Greatness graduate from our Tucson, Arizona campus. She is an example of what it means to be not only an amazing beauty school student, but a leader in the industry.

What makes Aisling stand out as a beacon of beauty industry leadership? She recently competed in the North American Hairstyling Awards (NAHA). This competition brings in world renowned hairstylists and well-known fashionistas from around the world. Competing in NAHA is a big deal. Winning NAHA is a huge deal and that’s exactly what Aisling did!

Here are some of the details about what NAHA is, how the competition is run, and what Aisling did to receive this great honor for her family, friends, peers, school, and self.

Student of the Year

NAHA has sixteen different categories that hairstylists can compete in. Competitors use hair design, hair color, and makeup artistry to create a look that fits into one or more of these categories. Once the competitor makes their vision a reality on their chosen models, they collaborate with a professional photographer and do a photoshoot. The pictures from this photoshoot become their entries for the NAHA competition.

Licensed cosmetologists can compete in as many categories as they want. They can use multiple submissions for different categories, or they can use the same submission for multiple categories. The one category that is the exception is the Student of the Year. This category consists of beauty school students who don’t have their cosmetology license yet. Students who don’t have a license yet can only compete in this category. This means they have one shot, and one shot only to win.

How to Win

A judging panel that consists of reputable hair stylists, photographers, and fashion industry editors look at the photos that are submitted. They scrutinize each entry looking for something creative, imaginative, and artistic. The judges are very particular and have trained eyes in this particular area. To win, competitors have to create a look that stands out, tells a story, and represents the future of hair design.

Getting Nominated

There are three rounds of judging that competitors have to endure. The first round eliminates any entries that have been photoshopped too heavily or don’t fit into the category and the remaining entries are given a score. In the second round, the entries are scored again to identify the top 5 entries. These last 5 are the category nominees. The third round identifies the nominee with the highest score or the winner.

Inspire Greatness Leading the Pack

Out of the 5 nominees in the Student of the Year category, 3 of them were Inspire Greatness students. We are proud of how hard they worked and the incredible creativity that they displayed.

Aisling Campbell was not only one of those finalists, but she won the NAHA Student of the Year Award. Her choice of hair design and her creativity stood out to judges and set her apart from the competition. Aisling and her team made flawless choices in wardrobe selection, background, makeup, and of course, hair styling. The judges’ jaws dropped and Aisling’s submission won their hearts.

aisling campbell naha submission with bob style

We couldn’t be more proud to have a student like Aisling who goes above and beyond to expand the boundaries of fashion and hair design. Way to go Aisling!

Do You Have What It Takes?

If you want to become a NAHA competitor and you think you have what it takes to make a name for yourself in the beauty industry, check out our cosmetology program. You can contact us to start building your career in the beauty industry. We are excited to help you get started!

Read More
One of Chelsea Newman's NAHA 2017 entries.

02 Oct Aveda Institute Featured NAHA Nominees

The North American Hairstyling Awards (NAHA) is part of the Professional Beauty Association’s Beauty Week. It is held in Las Vegas every year and gives beauty industry professionals opportunities to network, display their talent, and create new styles and fashion designs. NAHA has 15 different categories that hair stylists can compete in:

  1. Avant Garde
  2. Editorial Stylist of the Year
  3. Haircolor
  4. Haircutting
  5. Hairstylist of the Year
  6. Makeup Artist of the Year
  7. Master Stylist of the Year
  8. Men’s Hairstylist of the Year
  9. Nail Professional of the Year
  10. Newcomer Stylist of the Year
  11. Salon/School Design of the Year
  12. Team of the Year
  13. Student Hairstylist of the Year
  14. Styling and Finishing
  15. Texture

Within these categories, one winner is chosen out of several nominees.

How NAHA Works

NAHA competitors work with photographers and models to create entries for their chosen category. The competitor, or hairstylist, creates a look that they think is cutting edge and will lead the future of hair design. Once they have created the perfect look on their chosen model, they do a photoshoot. The resulting pictures get entered into the NAHA competition.

Renowned stylists, artists, photographers, and beauty industry editors are selected as judges. They judge the pictures according to specific standards and criteria. Things that the judges consider while looking at the pictures include:

  • The creative approach
  • Demonstration of skill
  • Technical ability
  • Amount of photo manipulation
  • Harmony between photographer and stylist
  • Appropriate wardrobe choice

These are only a few examples of the things that the judges look at.

Stylists have to be absolutely on-point to create a look that will stop the judges in their tracks and make them swoon. NAHA is one of the most prestigious awards a hairstylist could win, so every detail matters. Stylists and photographers have to carefully consider:

  • Model characteristics
  • Photo background
  • Makeup styles
  • Wardrobe
  • Props and accessories
  • Creating a storyline for photos
  • Much, much more

Competing in NAHA is a great opportunity for hairstylists to exercise their creativity and come up with new and exciting looks.

Inspire Greatness and NAHA

At Inspire Greatness Aveda Institute, we encourage our students to get involved in the beauty industry through events like NAHA. This year, we had three students who were nominated for Student Hairstylist of the Year. We are proud of these students for their amazing accomplishments and hard work to become beauty industry leaders.

Nominee Number One: Mallory Cross

Mallory is one of our Aveda Institute students from Denver, Colorado. The styles she created for NAHA were truly unique and eye-catching.

Mallory used colorful dreadlocks to create a look that was fresh and fascinating. It speaks to her roots in Denver and stood out to the judges to get her nominated for Student Hairstylist of the Year. Great job Mallory!

mallory cross naha entry

mallory cross naha entry with purple hair

Nominee Number Two: Chelsea Newman

Chelsea is another of our Denver students. She created some stunning hair designs that set her apart and helped her stand out.

We are proud of Chelsea for her hard work and amazing success in NAHA. We can’t wait to see what she becomes and her leadership in the beauty industry after she graduates.

Nominee Number Three: Aisling Campbell

Aisling is one of our Tucscon students. She was inspired by the strength of women and her Irish heritage, as seen in the red haircolors. Aisling was not only a nominee, but also the winner. See our blog on Aisling.

You can see Aisling Campbell’s NAHA entry photos here.

Becoming Part of the Aveda Family

Do you dream of working in the fashion industry and becoming a hair design artist like Chelsea and Mallory? Competing in events like NAHA are a great way to get there. At Inspire Greatness we want to see our students succeed in this aspect and do everything we can to help them achieve great things.

NAHA is not the only thing that our students can participate in. Another opportunity we provide for select students is to work backstage at New York Fashion Week with the Aveda team. We also have a study abroad program so students can travel and see beauty from an international perspective. These are the kinds of experiences that help set Inspire Greatness students apart and help them achieve greatness in the beauty industry.

Do you have what it takes to be the next NAHA nominee, New York Fashion Week artist, or travel abroad student? Contact us to get enrolled and start your journey to becoming the next big thing in beauty and fashion. We can’t wait to help you live your dream!

Read More
New York Fashion Week models.

05 Sep New York Fashion Week: What Is It and How to Get Involved

New York Fashion Week is one of the most exciting times for fashion and beauty junkies. It’s one of the biggest beauty industry events held in the United States. For many aspiring beauty industry professionals, being involved in these types of productions is the goal. It’s the dream. If you fit into this group of people, here’s a little bit of background information and some of the best ways to get involved in New York Fashion Week!

What is New York Fashion Week?

NYFW is a week long fashion event held in New York City where many of the latest and greatest designers come together and showcase their new styles and creations. All of the beauty industry’s big names will be in attendance. There are runway shows back-to-back and sometimes they happen simultaneously, so there’s never a dull moment.

Attending NYFW is not easy. You can’t simply buy a couple tickets and show up (well, you can but it’s going to cost you a fortune). Most attendants are invited to this prestigious event or gain access because they are members of a relevant news or industry publication, like Vogue or Vanity Fair. For this reason, you may need to have some sweet connections if you plan on going to NYFW.

new york city skyline

When is New York Fashion Week?

NYFW is held twice a year. Once in February and again in September. Each time the event lasts for 7 to 9 days and each day is packed full of runway shows and fashion displays for the entire day. It’s basically a week of heaven for those who love fashion and beauty!

History of New York Fashion Week

There is a rich history behind NYFW that dates all the way back to 1943. During this time, fashion industry leaders started an event called Press Week. This event was created during World War II when fashion industry gurus were unable to travel to Paris and bring new trends and styles back with them. Press Week featured designers from the U.S. and gave the American fashion industry a place to strut its stuff.

After many years, Press Week evolved into an integral part of the fashion world and became what is now known as New York Fashion Week. NYFW is regarded as one of the top fashion events and is grouped in the same category as Paris, Milan, and London fashion weeks.

Behind the Scenes

There are a lot of moving parts that makes NYFW work. There are the designers who create what is being showcased, the makeup artists who do the makeup for the models, and the hairstylists who do the hair. There are also the cosmetic brands, like Aveda, who provide the necessary products for those makeup artists and hair stylists. All of these people come together to create a week of magic at NYFW.

The Aveda Team

As mentioned earlier, Aveda plays a major role in NYFW. One big way they do this is by putting together a team of talented beauty professionals to work backstage. These pros work feverishly on the makeup and hair of the models. It’s an entire week of non-stop action. This team comes from different places within the Aveda network through a competitive application process. Becoming a member of the Aveda Team for NYFW is an experience that is certain to set you apart from many of the other beauty industry professionals.

One group of candidates for the NYFW Aveda Team are those who attend an Aveda Institute beauty school. At Inspire Greatness Aveda Institute, we encourage our students to apply to be part of the Aveda Team. Working in the fast pace of NYFW is one of the best learning experiences a beauty school student could hope for and our courses are designed to give our students the tools they need to thrive in such a setting.

If you dream of a career in the beauty industry and imagine yourself working backstage, this is one of the best ways to make it a reality.

Joining the Team

Contact us at Inspire Greatness to find out more about what it takes to become a beauty professional and to work backstage at events like NYFW. We pride ourselves in offering amazing opportunities like these for our students to take advantage of. In addition to NYFW, Inspire Greatness students can take part in the editorial remix, London Fashion Week, Beacon, The North American Hairstyling Awards, or a study abroad program. These opportunities are provided to give our students experience and exposure to some of the most competitive beauty industry jobs out there.

Join the Aveda family at Inspire Greatness. We can’t wait to hear from you!

Read More
A makeup artist working on a model.

30 Aug Choosing a Beauty School with Extra Opportunity

Why should you pursue a career in beauty? Because it can be exciting, rewarding, and the beauty industry has so much to offer for those who have a passion for it. Many beauty professionals will tell you that it’s an exciting and rewarding place to work.

Want to enroll in a beauty school program? How do you choose a school? There are so many amazing features for each school and finding the one that works best for you can be a process. What features should you look for?

Here are some of the features at Inspire Greatness Aveda Institutes that we think set us apart.

Extra Opportunity

Our students have access to lots of great resources to help them become beauty professionals. Examples include beautiful facilities, tools, workstations, amazing educators with industry experience, and much more. In addition to these great resources, our students can apply for extra special opportunities off campus. These opportunities are available to help some of our students get a different point of view on what being a beauty professional is like.

To take advantage of these off campus beauty education activities, students will have to apply. The application process is competitive and only a select few will be chosen but we know you have what it takes!

North American Hairstyling Awards

This is one of the most prestigious competitions that beauty school students could enter. As a participant, students will work with a mentor to imagine an amazing style or look that will stun the judges. Once a concept has been born the student and mentor will work to make it a reality. Then the model, student/creator, and mentor will collaborate with a skilled photographer to take pictures of their work. These pictures can be submitted in NAHA competition under different categories.

Inspire Greatness Aveda Institutes have had nine nominees and two winners in the past and looks forward having many, many more. Are you our next prodigy?

New York Fashion Week

NYFW is one of the biggest fashion industry events in the world and probably the biggest event in the United States. If you are invited to NYFW, you are an important person. Luckily, Aveda has a team of makeup artists and hair stylists that works backstage for the 7-9 day event. Students of Inspire Greatness Aveda Institutes can apply to be a member of that team. This fast paced, high-energy event can be a learning experience that an aspiring beauty pro dreams of!

new york fashion week catwalk

Study Abroad

Beauty looks different around the world. At Inspire Greatness Aveda Institutes, we recognize that there are techniques, practices, and looks from different parts of the globe that can be valuable for our students to learn. Because of this we have a study abroad program that allows students to see beauty from a different point of view. Some of our past students have been able to learn in locations like Spain, Great Britain, and Germany.

Don’t Miss Out

If you want to become a beauty pro and have these types of experiences, contact us! We can walk you through what needs to happen for you to be a participant in one of these amazing experiences. We can also help you get started on the enrollment process and get you on the pathway to a career in beauty. We can’t wait to see what you do!

Read More
Fit Lo girls riding stationery bikes.

16 Jul

Welcome featured partner, FitLo Denver. Aveda Institutes in Denver, Tucson, Phoenix and Provo are pleased to partner with local businesses and communities in our neighborhoods, to connect and offer our Aveda salons and spa services at a relaxed price. We recently welcomed Denver local business, FitLo so we could offer their team and network a special week of appreciation at Aveda Institute Denver.

It just so happens that Tricia Olson, creator of FitLo Denver, is one of our loyal guests and biggest fans of our spa services. “I love the facials, they are my fav here. It’s such an amazing value and service for the price. The students really do a great job and the Aveda products are exceptional. The Shampure aroma is my favorite.”

FitLo and Aveda Institute Denver have been able to partner on several fitness events to help support various causes and support the community. The teams have partnered again to host a Stress-Fix Saturday Fitness & Yoga fusion class, as a part of the Downtown Denver Partnership’s annual Meet in the Street event. Enjoy a free fitness and yoga fusion class on Saturday 7/29 and again on Saturday 8/26 at 7:30 am in front of the Paramount Cafe on the 16th Street Mall. This is a free, public event but tickets are required to reserve your space. Get your tickets on

FitLo is the lowdown on where to get fit in Denver. is a local community resource that was founded and created in Denver with the goal of helping you find your home studio and connecting with the local fitness and yoga scene. features fitness and yoga studio reviews, blogs and an event calendar to keep you updated on everything fitness and yoga in Denver. The FitLo Passport will take you on a tour of Denver’s best studios and gyms. If you haven’t found a home gym, or if you are looking for one, the FitLo Passport will help you discover new gyms and studios in a way that will allow you to connect to not only the studio’s workout, but also the community. If you have a home studio, this is an affordable way to connect with local fitness enthusiasts and discover new studios around town while still maintaining loyalty with your home studio membership.

If you are a local business to our Aveda Institutes in Denver, Tucson, Phoenix or Provo and you want to partner, connect with us! Visit us online or reach out to our Marketing Director, Anne Skubis for more information about our partnership program by emailing


Read More
Meditating in an Indian temple.

19 Feb A Journey into Healing Presentation

Ayurveda: Roots of Aveda
A Journey into Healing Presentation
NEW ! Wednesday 2/22 hosted by Namaste Salon
Thursday 2/23 hosted by Alicia Christus

Aveda professional use products for salon and spa services are rooted in Ayurveda. The aroma blends for customizing a guest experience create balance by targeting the dosha (guest's current state of being) that is out of balance and bringing it into homeostatis through breath and touch. The aroma blends balance Vata, Pitta or Kapha.

Aveda professional use products for salon and spa services are rooted in Ayurveda. The aroma blends for customizing a guest experience create balance by targeting the dosha (guest’s current state of being) that is out of balance and bringing it into homeostatis through breath and touch. The aroma blends balance Vata, Pitta or Kapha.

8:30 – 10:30 am
Presented to Aveda Institute Denver team, students, graduates and the Aveda Network


Ayurveda means the science of life and is a medical system rooted in ancient tradition. It has influenced many modalities of medicine, health and wellness today. Aveda is also rooted in this rich tradition. The word Aveda means “all knowing.” Through this workshop, this complex system will become more understood as a foundation to personal balance through learning about the connection of mind, body and being. Ayurveda focuses on each person having a constitutional type (dosha) and a means to be balanced through proper nutrition, wellness and daily routine. Today, this journey is about simple steps to understanding who you are and how to create balance. Students will leave with a basic understanding of the doshas, the keys to balancing the doshas and how to create daily routine known as dinacharya.

Namaste Pure Design Salons and Spa and Hansa are now combining their passions for education and offering certification and licensing in Pancha Karma Therapy and Massage through Namaste’s Artisan Ayurveda, Barbering, and Massage training programs.

Namaste, The first Namaste hair salon facility was opened in 1993 in the spirit of that belief and on the principle of Lord Jagannath, a Hindu deity, sustainer of life. Our mission is to create a highly personal, welcoming environment that honors the best in each staff member, student and guest. All Namaste staff members are focused on providing outstanding salon, barbershop and spa experiences that leave men and women feeling better than when they arrived. Namaste Salons and Spa in Denver, CO are aligned with Aveda and its holistic corporate mission of global wellness and community.



Namaste Salon located on Speer Blvd.

Namaste Salon located on Speer Blvd.


Alicia has been teaching yoga since 2008 and is a registered 500 RYT and ERYT instructor. She completed her 200-hour, Level II and CoreRestore training at CorePower Yoga and Level II Yoga Immersion course at Blue World Yoga.

In 2010 she completed the Journey into Healing Ayurveda workshop with Deepak Chopra and also attended the Off the Mat Leadership Training in 2011. Alicia leads yoga workshops, Ayurvedic workshops and cleanse programs and has been living an Ayurvedic lifestyle for seven years. Follow her blogs and posts @aliciarae_yoga #aliciaraeyoga


Alicia Parks Christus

Alicia Parks Christus

Take a few different dosha quizzes online to investigate what your primary dosha (constitutional type) is and where you are balanced and imbalanced. Here are a few Ayurveda quiz examples and more can be found online >>> 

Joyful Belly Quiz

Banyan Quiz

Deepak Chopra Quiz

Preview a documentary about Ayurveda 

Read More
Ian Michael Black talking to students about color

09 Feb Ian Michael Black Visits Aveda Institute Denver

“Go as far as you can with that job and see how far you can go. If you keep changing careers, you’ll never get anywhere,” says Ian Michael Black to an audience of cosmetology students in all levels at Aveda Institute Denver. Today, we were humbled, honored and inspired to have Ian Michael Black, Aveda Global Artistic Director for Color, join our Institute to inspire greatness, share a few laughs and tell his story of how he came to be where he is today. As poised as we all were to be in his presence, many of us were crumbling a little inside at the notion of having an “Aveda celebrity” speaking casually to us like he was catching up with a friend. Meanwhile, there’s a huge parade in Denver to celebrate the Bronco’s winning the Super Bowl and we were all happy as could be staying indoors, cozy like with Ian.

IMB with students

He shared his timeline of his full career in the beauty industry, which began at age 16 when he started school. The program is much longer in England so he was 18 when he completed his education and started his career. Today Ian has been with Aveda for 17 years and as a part of the Aveda Global Artistic Team, Ian spends his days working on education pieces, discovering new ways of teaching others, overseeing how education is pushed out to the network, he collaborates on Aveda collections and product development, works with marketing and also travels and presents often. Though it may seems he spends a lot of his time on stage, he shared he’s literally only on stage maybe a few hours a year. Prior to Aveda, Ian got his start at Toni & Guy.

“Aveda is a company I can work for and feel really proud of.”

Having shared that he feels he could die happy tomorrow because he’s lived the life he wanted, Ian said that he still desires to take a few months off from work and spend some time in Cambodia to help young women trapped in sex trafficking.

Ian shared some of his work with Aveda and a teaser of never-before-seen images of some recent work he’s done on his own. Editorial work is hard work and Ian called it “grueling” when giving an example of the photo shoot in Hawaii for Aveda Damage Remedy. The rain, the lava rocks and the continued challenges with weather in creating a perfect image that was about beautiful, healthy, conditioned hair, that would tell the story of quinoa protein in the products.

“It’s not always about the hair, it’s creating the mood to create the image. And it’s not about YOU. It’s about the model. Editorial style is not the same in real life.”

Understanding what you want from a picture is unique to the subject, Ian says. You have to understand what you are trying to show, tell in the picture. Going back in time a bit to November, 2014 when Aveda shared on their Living Aveda blog Ian’s work featured on the cover of American Salon magazine, Ian spoke of seeking to inspire more diversity with models and how he loves the “in-between” when it comes to images – that place between the current image and the next one about to happen. The image that cannot be recreated, that’s what he’s capturing.

Color Wheel from Ian Michael Black Living Aveda Blog

Color Wheel from Ian Michael Black Living Aveda Blog

“What makes something great is when you create your own version of it.”

Ian doesn’t really think often about what’s happening tomorrow but he will question where he will be in the next five years. Will I be doing the same thing? Will it be different?

Ian didn’t shy away from sharing that this is an industry that requires hard work to start. He urged us to continue on our own journey and make it our own. First, we must master the basics. If we don’t learn to create perfection from the basics, we’ll never learn to advance. This is where establishing trust begins. Trust in the process. Trust in the unknown. Trust in the fear.

“You’ll learn the most when you’re uncomfortable.”

What else did we learn from Ian today? With over 150 of us in the audience today, I’m sure each of us learned something different and the journey will continue to unfold. Having personally watched Ian from afar, in the fan club of many, and seen his work come to life in our Aveda collections, seen him on stage at Congress, seen his work from a screen – having Ian walk from behind-the-scenes in what seemed like a far-away world and suddenly arrive in person, made me realize how our Global company is a community. I was most inspired by him sharing that at Aveda, “the people here work with each other out of respect. You build relationships.”

That’s what it was all about for me today. The inspiration to continue to live the Aveda mission, inspire others and build relationships. And also keep posting Instagrams about my new #avedacolor

Ian Michael Black with Alicia Christus, the voice behind this blog today.

Ian Michael Black with Alicia Christus, the voice behind this blog today.

“What I love most about this career is you don’t have to fit a mold. You don’t have to be anyone else. You don’t have to be the best but you need to be consistent and be consistently good. Do your own thing, don’t be like everyone else.” – Ian Michael Black

Aveda Institute Denver is a school for cosmetology, esthiology and massage and is a part of the Inspire Greatness Aveda Institutes in Colorado, Arizona and Utah. We also offer an Editoril ReMix class, a week-long course focusing on editorial photo shoot practice for hair, makeup and the full production of a shoot. For more information about Aveda Institute Denver, visit our Web site or follow along on Facebook: Aveda Institute Denver or on our Instagram or Twitter feed @inspireaveda.

Read More
Shiv Nath speaking at Aveda

17 Dec Shiv Nath Tandon, Aveda Tribal Elder, visits Inspire Greatness

Shiv Nath Tandon, Aveda Tribal Elder
Aveda Institute Denver Master Series

Jamie and Shiv

“It’s not about what you don’t have, it’s about what you can create.”

It may seem like a simple message but when it’s delivered by an Aveda legend, the words suddenly have more meaning and the impact of the message becomes a sensory experience. Aveda Institute Denver had the honor of hosting Aveda Tribal Elder, Shiv Nath Tandon as a special guest speaker this week and his message continues to be digested in the hours and days that have followed.


“If you pay attention, you’ll see the answer.”

Shiv’s wisdom was shared through story-telling of his roots with his teacher and how he came to know Horst Rechelbacher, found of Aveda. The two met in India and were both disciples of Swami Rama who comes from the Jnana yoga tradition.* Swami Rama met with Horst when the idea of creating Aveda was just a thought in his mind. He told Horst he should create a cosmetic company and that Horst should take Shiv Nath with him back to America, and so he did. It was here that their bond began and soon they would refer to each other in the highest regard as brothers.


“Logic or trust, which comes first? To believe in the logic, you must establish trust first.”

In India, Shiv studied with Swami Rama and wanted to continue his studies in the mountains but his teacher told him that was not his path. Shiv knew nothing about the industry he would soon spend over 40 years being a part of. He and Horst created the first Aveda product ever, Clove shampoo. In the telling of this story, he giggled his way through how he learned about this industry through Horst’s vision.


Shiv Nath speaking

“If you believe in it, create it.”

When Shiv started working for Horst he was making $2.35 per hour. As Shiv told this story he referred to himself as a money miser, one who is very careful with monetary transactions. He was very clear in stating that this was not a negative for him. He saw value in what he was doing with Horst and felt the love and intention that came with the work he was doing.

“Working hard is about imagination, dedication and sincerity. To live to your full potential, you must be willing to work hard.”

Shiv shared the story of how Horst started his career and at a young age began earning distinguished awards in the industry. He brought the ideas of his mind to life. He saw something and he would work at it till it came to light. This started with Horst walking to his traditional school and on the way he would pass a hair salon.


“Wisdom comes from experience, not from books. Knowledge in books is someone else’s experience. You can’t live on other’s experiences, create your own.”


This is where he felt a calling. One day he walked in to the salon and asked for a job. The owner told him he would hire him and give him a job if he could do two things; keep the water hot (back then it took a while to warm the water before shampooing hair) and keep the salon clean. He did this passionately and in between these duties, Horst would practice his skill set.


As the audience asked questions about what it was like working with Horst, Shiv shared that he was very determined and had the highest expectations when it came to the quality and source of the ingredients. Horst questioned himself and asked Shiv if he was too demanding. With a sincere smile, Shiv told Horst he must be true to who he is.


Shiv and students QA

“Humbleness requires flexibility, which is more important that originality.”


In preparation for Shiv’s presentation, he prepared his mind and body with a 90 minute yoga and meditation practice, noting that this is why he is able to be in balance. Without this practice he couldn’t do this. He only hinted lightly at his teachings and roots in yogic traditions, which are the heart and soul of Aveda today. However, he did take time to share the science behind the power of breath in life with a story of how a cloudy day can change from the light of the sun. This too is how the mind and body become clear of imbalance, through the breath.

As the session came to a close, students had a chance to meet with Shiv individually. He asked each one about their goals, their vision. Each time a student showed a moment of hesitation, he immediately drew them in by reminding them the importance of intention. He didn’t hesitate to connect with touch by a hug, holding hands or a smile.


“It’s not about what you don’t have, it’s about what you can create.”

* Jnana yoga is one of the branches of yoga (among Bhakti, Karma, Raja, Tantra and Hatha.  This traditions focuses on knowledge, education and wisdom as the source to understanding true Self.

Read More

11 Apr David Wagner visits AIT

We are so excited to welcome David Wagner, creator of the Daymaker Movement, as a Master Series on Tuesday April 15th! UPDATE TO LOCATION: We will be at the JW Marriot Starr Pass in the Tucson Ballroom. Professionals and Guests, you may purchase tickets at the door. Free for Fps and team, see you there! Screen Shot 2014-04-12 at 8.52.27 PM

Read More