September Spotlights

chelsea-newmanStudent Spotlight: Chelsea Newman, cosmetology

Chelsea, also known as Chelly chose to attend Aveda Institute Denver because it’s “the best of the best” and because of how Aveda gives back. Her goal upon graduation is to work for a top Aveda salon and also compete in NAHA as a nail tech.

She’s most inspired by everyday life and human interaction. Her heroes are Celina Ryden and Guy Tang. Chelly is obsessed with having healthy hair which is why the damage remedy line is her favorite. Hint, hint – we just launched our new Damage Remedy split end repair!

Outside of attending the cosmetology program at AID, Chelly enjoys spending time with her husband, studying and working on gel nail designs. She loves nails too!



kristy-tbtTeam Spotlight: Kristy Fiore, Admissions Team Lead

#tbt to when our beloved Admissions Team Lead, Kristy (aka K-money) was a student at Aveda Institute Tucson in 2011! Here’s her story…


Let’s throw it back! When I first started the program, my passion was makeup. I wanted as much training as possible so when I heard about the opportunity to take Editorial Remix with Rudy Miles and Heggy Gonzalez (and also for the amazing makeup kit that was included) I signed up! After a week of training we had our photo shoot to show off our skills… This was taken after we wrapped up for the day! Obviously, Rudy and I love each other {smiles for days}


Kristy is also our team spotlight of the month! She’s super inspired right now to prepare our next cosmetology students to begin their program next month! Kristy is not only a team leader, she’s one of our super-star Inspire Greatness Aveda Institute grads. She attended the esthiology program at our Tucson location. After becoming licensed she become a makeup artist and Spa Team Lead at Indira Salon & Spa in River North Chicago.

Her industry hero is Aveda’s own guru, Helga Hefner. Being that Kristy is an esthetician, her fave Aveda product is the Botanical Kinetics Liquid Exfoliant and she uses about 15 products daily 🙂 If you have a moment, check out her Pinterest page for inspiration on decoration. She also loves to cook and because she’s a tad OCD, she finds balance in cleaning, cleaning and cleaning.

“I enjoy meeting potential students every day. Inspire Greatness Institutes changed my world. While in school at the Tucson Institute my world was turned upside down when I experience some personal challenges. The Ayurvedic practices kept me feeling grounded and grateful for the life I have. Knowing someone else is receiving the same opportunity to learn and grow as a professional and person is amazing.”

Where do you see yourself in 5 years and then 10 years?

In 5-10 years I see myself still working at Aveda. I am so grateful for the opportunities that I’ve received through Inspire Greatness Institutes. I’m not sure what the future holds but excited to see the possibilities.

Personally, in 10 years I’ll be 37 (crazy) hopefully have a boyfriend or fiancée or husband by then and a puppy! I hope to knock some things off my bucket list (travel to Italy and Ireland). But mostly I hope to be happy : )

How do you Inspire Greatness?

I hope that I Inspire Greatness every hour of every day! As an Admissions Team Lead it is my job to inspire students to choose Aveda Institute Denver. I love attending all our give-back opportunities on and off campus!

stepping-stones-guestGuest Spotlight: Lauren Havens, Professional Water Polo Coach and Licensed Esthetician

Lauren has been our guest for about a year and would one day like to become an educator here. She enjoys coming to Aveda Institute Denver for a shampoo/style with a conditioning treatment. It leaves her feeling balanced and confident. Lauren’s favorite product is the Stress-Fix Creme Cleanser, perfect for relaxation and balancing dry skin in the Colorado climate. During down time Lauren enjoys focusing on health and wellness as well as running, water skiing and snow skiing.

Lauren recently introduced us to a great organization called, Stepping Stones who we invited in this week to enjoy some beauty and wellness with our students. Lauren’s daughter, Madison (pictured here) is a member of this group as well as one of our guests.

Stepping Stones offers the opportunity to help adults with developmental disabilities to live more fulfilling lives with greater independence. Partnering with Aveda Institute Denver gives these adults their much deserved moment of beauty and wellness. They leave feeling good, connected to community, and feeling more independent.

To learn more, visit Stepping Stone Support Center online at

fb-shareSalon Spotlight: Urban Girls, Grand Junction, Colo

Voted “Best Salon in Grand Junction” by local residents, Urban Girls has been in business for five years and an Aveda Concept Salon for four years.

Tell us about you:

We have two owners: Amy Sheppard and MaryAnne Brown. MaryAnne attended the Aveda Institute in Minneapolis. She was a student of Horst’s. She has been working with Aveda for 30 years. Amy has worked with Aveda her entire 17-year career.

What do you love most about Aveda?

The Aveda product quality is one of the best in the industry! There is something for everyone with the great variety of product lines, styling products and aromas. The Aveda mission and support in education and business is top notch.

Biggest celebration of 2016:

The continuous growth of our business and our hitting almost all benchmarks. It has been amazing not only to see our salon grow as a whole, but also being a part of our staff growing their business.

Tell us about your salon:

Our salon is a very positive environment with a welcoming staff. We have clients comment consistently on how wonderful the vibe is when they come in the door. We have a staff of five senior stylists, including ourselves. We have 3 mid-level stylists and one entry level stylist. We have a full time esthetician and a full time nail technician as well. Our staff also includes 2 assistants that are working their way to becoming stylists. In our assistant program, they get the opportunity to work under us and our other senior stylists giving them the chance to transition smoothly from a school environment to a salon environment. Assisting is a hands on way to become familiar with the Aveda color line, products and standards.

What are you looking for when you hire new team members?

Motivation and enthusiasm in their creativity. Their ability to be a positive, contributing team member that believes in our culture is of utmost importance.

Do you offer continuing education?

Yes!!! Not only do we offer continuing education, it is something that we consider a priority. We do in salon education as well as sending staff to Denver for formal education through Aveda. We require that each member of our staff take class through the Aveda Education department 2 times per year. We also pay for the classes and cover travel and accommodations since many classes are outside the Grand Junction area.


August Spotlights

grace-hennigerStudent/Graduate Spotlight: Grace Henniger

Meet Grace Henniger, team member, student and graduate of Aveda Institute Denver! Yes, she’s all that and a bag of chips! Grace just joined our massage therapy program and just recently graduated from our esthiology program. While she’s been a student, she’s also be a Student Advisor in our Experience Center.

Grace is a licensed hairstylist and a level 2 reiki practitioner. Her vision is to own a healing center that incorporates massage, esthetics and reiki. She’s excited to begin her career and continue to grow through experience and education.

When she’s not at AID, which is rare, she enjoys cooking, baking, cat time and relaxing with her best friend, Sabrina. She’s mostly inspired by her guests when she’s helping them walk through different parts of their journey.

Grace chose Aveda become of the great reputation and because, “everyone I have met from Aveda is incredibly talented.” Her mentor is our spa educator, Bethany, her first educators and the person she had a deep connection with. They share similar intention and energy behind their passion.

Tulasara, the new skin care launch from Aveda is Grace’s favorite Aveda product line because of the Ayurvedic connection. Get to know Grace more by visiting our Experience Center or in about six weeks when she’ll begin taking massage appointments in our student spa clinic.

bradvdTeam Member Spotlight: Brad Van Dyke, Education Director, Inspire Greatness Aveda Institutes

Who doesn’t know Brad Van Dyke? B-dazzle, B-rad. If you have not had the pleasure of meeting him yet, be sure to introduce yourself the next time he in on campus! Brad is our Inspired Education Director for all Inspire Greatness Institutes.

Get to know Brad a little better today. A man who is inspired by life and helping other live their best life. His advice for our students: “Learn the foundations so deeply that you can intelligently break the creative “rules,” and STAY inspired!”

Brad has a degree in Exercise Science/Wellness, Psychology, with a Coaching Minor and is licensed in Massage and Esthetics which sets the tone for a well-balanced leadership style. Brad has been in the industry for over 20 years and with Inspire Greatness for 11 years. In fact, he was part of the inaugural team that opened the doors to Aveda Institute Denver back in 2005!

Being that Brad splits his time between our four Inspire Greatness locations in Denver, Tucson, Phoenix and Provo, as well as teaching Purefessional classes for Aveda and diving into editorial projects, and also being an owner of a salon, it’s rare he has much down time but then he chooses to stay immersed in this industry because to Brad, it’s not work if it’s something you enjoy doing.

“Having ADHD, I choose not to have spare time. I fill my time with throwing myself into as many editorial projects as I can, I enjoy playing outside (hiking, working out, staying active, spending time at Red Rocks). I balance my time with my partner, Justin and we do carve out time to enjoy traveling together or relaxing on our patio.”

Brad’s greatest industry accomplishments are many including achieving Aveda Purefessional, becoming a salon owner, earning a NAHA nominee for makeup artist of the year, and growing to become the Education Director at Inspire Greatness Aveda Institutes.

His industry icons are Jon Reyman and David Wagner for business and for makeup, his icons are Isamaya Ffrench, Pat McGrath, Janell Geason and of course the talented Heggy Gonzalez.

“What I love most about Aveda is EVERYTHING…aroma, efficacy, and education. My Aveda favorites fluctuate as I am lucky enough to have a full closet devoted to Aveda products so I can mix and match my favorites based on my mood, feelings and needs. I always also love what new with Aveda.”

Rae BlackGraduate Spotlight: Rae Black, AID cosmetology graduate
as featured in our Inspire Greatness Blog

We are pleased to feature our graduate and cosmetology educator, Rae Black! She graduated from Aveda Institute Denver in 2011 and just celebrated her one-year anniversary as a cosmetology educator for Aveda Institute Phoenix. She has also launched her own business dialing into the world of hair extensions.

Q: What has your education provided for you in your career?

What I remember most about my school experience is my educators. I was so blessed to have the same ones through my journey and they supported me and helped me come into my own as an extension specialist and stylist. Carrie Bellus, Brad Van Dyke and Dale Le Monds allowed me to practice my extensions on the floor as a students and in class. With all this practice I was able to really perfect my skills, so when I graduated I knew what direction I was going in and I hit the ground running. My education provided me a stable environment and taught me life skills and more communication skills. It taught me to use my creativity and put my guests’ needs first and how to listen.

Q: Share how you are building your career.

These days I am still flying for Skywest as I have 11 years seniority now. I also teach part time at the Aveda Institute Phoenix under the guidance of Ericka Robinson and Katrina Bervin. I just hit my one year anniversary and I’m really proud of that. I have launched my own hair extensions line called Pink and Black Beauty Collection my Website is My main goal is to grow my hair extension business by getting into local beauty supply stores. I want to distribute hair and be a consultant about extensions for Aveda salons. I host regularly-occurring extensions and braiding workshops at Aveda Institute Denver and at Aveda institute Phoenix. I also make wigs for those that have severe hair loss and I custom color the hair using Aveda hair color.

Q: What do you love most about Aveda?

The lifestyle. Aveda is about love and beautiful things. We make beautiful hair and make people feel good about themselves.

Q: What advice or tips would you share with our current students?

I would tell them to hang in there because school flies by fast and you have to take all the information you can from your educators. Whatever you put into your education, you’ll get in the end. When you put in 50 percent, you will be a mediocre hair stylist. When you put in 100 percent, you will hit the ground running.

Q: What does Inspire Greatness mean to you?

I would like to share how much I appreciate Dale and and Inspire Greatness. I remember during school always going in his office picking his brain about things, especially business. He is a great business man and family man and he cares about his students. I remember we use to make fun of him about his golfing out-fits and socks and he just laughed along with us –  it was great. He supported me and believed in me and his still does till this day.

You know you’re doing good by your students when they come back to work for you.

I also want to thank Brad for his love, mentorship and support. I consider him a real friend. I have talked to him about numerous things and he is always listening and has a solution and suggestions.
allison-oleanAllison Olean, Experience Center Advisor and AID Esthiology Graduate

Allison has chosen to work at the Aveda Institute Denver for many, many reasons! First being their mission statement, which is something she have stood by whole heartedly since she was a student at AID. She graduated from the esthetics program in May of 2016 and missed it so much that she wanted to come back! Allison says that Aveda is an amazing company and the institute has changed her life in more ways than one.

She moved around a few times in her life but most recently from the Colorado Springs area, where her family still lives. As a child she spent a lot of her time having her mother teach her about the spa industry. Her mom has been a neuromuscular rehabilitation massage therapist for over 30 years and is the reason she gained such a passion for this industry. Allison started attending the Aveda Institutes esthetics class because of her passion for skin care and makeup. She obtained high honors every phase of her program! After receiving her esthetics license, she jumped at the opportunity to work for AID and hope to one day become a makeup purefessional. She is so excited to be a part of the Aveda family again!



liz-student-careLiz, Student Care Support and AID Graduate

Liz joins our team in Student Care as a support to our lead, Rachael. She brings with her many years’ experience in the salon/spa industry. She is an AID graduate and was recently a Massage Therapist Manager while working in the spa. She’s excited to return to the AID family with a unique and fresh perspective on the growing salon/spa industry.

“In my down time I mostly spend time with my pup, Indie, adventuring around Colorado on foot or bike. I believe in the power of touch and creating meditation through movement, expanding my vast love of practicing yoga. I am down to earth and easy to talk to. I want to create an open door, connecting and developing relationships on campus!”




europa-salonSalon Spotlight: Europa Salon Spa & Barber Shop

Europa is located in Old Town, Fort Collins and has been open for business for 18 years! It offers 5,000 square feet of beautiful space hosting salon, spa and barbershop services. The salon has 16 chairs, 3 barbershop chairs and the spa hosts four treatment rooms. They also have a beautiful guest waiting area near the retail store and a relaxing nail spa area. Europa prides themselves in living the Aveda mission and hosts many mission-aligned events including hair shows, fundraisers and wellness events, especially in support of Earth Month.

The salon and spa offer training programs for new talent and support growth with marketing, social media, referral programs, events and a strong focus on continuing education. Europa enjoys a prime location in Old Town Fort Collins with great walk-by traffic and loyal guests alike. Connect with their manager Aimee Welch for more information about hiring opportunities or visit their Website for more information.


July Spotlights

sabrina-marbenTeam Member& Graduate Spotlight
Sabrina Marben
Experience Center Team Lead

I am a Denver native and the youngest of four girls. I grew up in the salon industry with both my mom, a barber, and sister, a cosmetologist. My mom is a salon owner and we were always doing hair and makeup growing up. My two passions are up-do’s and nail care/art. I graduated in 2006 as valedictorian in my cosmetology class at the Aveda Institute Denver. I worked behind the chair for a few years and then moved into management. It has been an honor to work with Aveda over the past 10 years to see the growth and development from future professionals to successful salon stylists.

I have chosen to work with Aveda because they care about the environment and our overall well-being. I believe in using natural ingredients in all aspects of our lives. I also think we have a wonderful opportunity to give back to our community during earth month as well as partnering with indigenous tribes around the world.

This September is my 5-year anniversary to my wonderful husband, Mitchell.  We have two amazing children and a Boxer named Sammie. Brooklyn is 4 and Lucas is 3. They love reading and using their imagination. We love to spend time outdoors, baking, and learning new things. In my free time I enjoy crafts, gardening, painting, and spending time with my family. I am thrilled to have an opportunity to work at the Aveda Institute Denver to share my knowledge and excitement about this extraordinary industry.

 chee-nicoleSay Hey to Chee, new team member of Reservations and an AID graduate!

“I’m excited to be back with Inspire Greatness and Aveda. I am truly inspired by the way Aveda cares for anyone and everything they come in contact with. St. Baldrick’s and Earth Month are two of my favorite opportunities to give back. Before and during school at AID I was a nanny for four years and in childcare before that. I’m a HUGE makeup lover and I tend to binge watch YouTube tutorials in my free time. I’m so excited to start this next journey with Aveda and the IG team!
Chee is also getting married on August 8, 2016. Congratulations to the happy couple!




bri-masseySay Hey to Bri Massey, AID graduate and former Guest Services team member, back to join us in our Reservations department because she missed us too much!

“I’mmmm back!!!

My name is Brianna Massey but go by Bri. I graduated from AID in September 2014, and I am a licensed cosmetologist. I worked in both the Experience Center and Reservations departments at AID for a year and a half. I left the Institute in April of this year to work in a salon and in a barber shop, and it just didn’t feel like home. AID is home. I will be starting the barber program in November and couldn’t be more excited! I can’t wait to reconnect and see all of your beautiful faces!”





casey-omranStudent Spotlight
Cosmetology Student, Casey Omran

Meet Casey, a full time mom, travel blogger, former flight attendant and now full time student as Casey is adding a cosmetolgoy licensure to her professional career following earning a degree in natural product manufactering.

”I chose to attend Aveda Institute Denver because it’s simply the best and I want to be the best. I want to be taught by and surrounded by the best. I love the energy here.”

Recently Casey was recognized for earning a 5-star Yelp review for her great guest service! Her favorite Aveda product is the Damage Remedy Daily Hair Repair because everyone can benefit from it and the results are easy to see. (Hint, hint Casey – if you love this prodcut, then you’ll love the soon-to-launch Damage Remedy Split End Hair Repair).

Casey loves the Aveda mission and the high-performing products. “I love that the products I use on my guests are healthy for me and my guests to be working with every day.”

Casey’s industry hero is a stylist named Jeannie Ray. She not world famous, however, she’s a daymaker to her guests she’s been taking care of for over 20 years. Jeannine is always fully booked and busy, and that’s where Casey wants to be in five years.

“I’m inspired by transformations in my guests. I have a heart for moms especially who often struggle to get any time to focus on themselves. I love having a mom sit in my chair and feel and see her energy shift when she sees how amazing she looks when I’m finished. I’m a mom of two daughters age four and six. Any time I’m off from school, I’m nurturing them into happy and productive little people.

Upon graduation, Casey plans to open her own salon and begin taking care of the beauty needs in her community. For now, you can call and schedule services in our student salon clinic at 303-567-7500.
thumbnail_fb-posting_hiringSalon Spa Spotlight

Tall Grass Spa + Salon

Owner, Gail Sharp

Spa Director, Melissa Rackliff
Years Open: 20
4 salon chairs

8 spa rooms

Tall Grass is a “day spa with a destination feel” nestled in the quintessential Colorado backdrop of Evergreen, Colo and has been in business for 20 years. Though mostly spa-focused, Tall Grass is also a full-service hair and nail salon. Their trademark advertising features animals often enjoying spa experiences and they cleverly promote their location at the 6th Avenue entrance off Kalamath in Denver – which brings them plenty of business city business.

Tall Grass offers Aveda products because of the high quality and variety. They appreciate the Aveda commitment to sustainability and giving back.  Aveda’s mission aligns with the TallGrass mission and value statements. Tall Grass actively seeks to hire AID graduates because “they are well trained and knowledgeable about creating a path to success.  They hold similar values and have an outstanding work ethic.”

As Tall Grass is currently hiring graduates for the salon and spa, they happily share some valuable tips for success for our students. “When entering the job force, seek out the right fit for you. Look at compensation and location, of course, but look closely at the culture – what do they consider important?  Does that align with your own life, actions and beliefs?  Take the time to find the place where you will thrive and be sustained in all aspects.  Take opportunities for growth and learning where and whenever you can!  Don’t be afraid to make mistakes…learn from them.  Leap. Stretch. Become the best version of you.”