#denversalon Tag

Professional hair styling model in India.

12 Mar #BeautyHeals : India Study Abroad Experience

At the Inspire Greatness Aveda Institutes, we host study abroad opportunities as a Point of Difference in our curriculum. Inspire Greatness Aveda Institute students and graduates are able to apply to be accepted to represent the schools during these excursions. In 2016, we visited India for the second time in our study abroad experiences, which over the years has also included Madrid, Berlin, Tokyo, and London.

The obvious question here is why would a beauty school send students to India for a study abroad experience? Let’s back up a bit…

FullSizeRender (3)Aveda: The Art and Science of Pure Plant and Flower Essences. Rooted, in Ayurveda, Aveda has been a pioneer in blending the world of beauty with the environment to create inner and outer beauty, balanced in wellness. It was Aveda’s founder, Horst Rechelbacher, that had the vision to change the world by changing the way we do business. After his passing a few years ago, he left a legacy of love behind, reminding us all that love is all there is. Love for the planet and people.

Today, Aveda is able to showcase that it’s rooted in a holistic, healing practice known as Ayurveda, because it’s becoming more understood in the West. Ayurveda has been around for 5,ooo plus years and originated in India as a medical practice focused on energy of the mind, body and being. We are all made of energy and the idea is to create balance through understanding energy. Ayurveda breaks down energy into three categories or doshas known as Vata (Air, Infinity) Pitta (Fire, Water) and Kapaha (Water, Earth). We are all born with a unique dosha blend and through nutrition, yoga, meditation and daily routing (dinacharya), we each have the power to use the medicines of the Earth (plants, herbs) to heal ourselves.

We may know Ayurveda more commonly in the West as “alternative medicine.” Horst spent many years in India studying Ayurveda and realized the great need in bridging the gap between the wellness and beauty industries. Most cosmetics, perfumes, and products were then and are still petroleum-based, synthetic, tested on animals or have toxic ingredients. His vision was clear. The products that make us beautiful should also be healthy for us. Ayurveda is the root of Aveda. In Sanskrit, Aveda translates to mean “knowledge of all things.”

In 1978, the Aveda journey began with the Aveda Mission and the idea that Ayurveda would be an influence in all our products and services. We see this today through our rituals like an energizing scalp massage or relaxing sensory experience. We see it through the plant-powered products and ingredient sourcing from the Earth. We experience it in how our guests FEEL when they leave our salons and spas. We see it in our curriculum and education.

Since 1978, we have worked with Ayurvedic consultants from India to ensure quality and performance of all our products and services. We celebrate that we can offer a Study Abroad Experience to India for our team and students as it brings them in contact with our roots.

IMG_1208One of our esthiology and massage therapy graduates, Grace Henniger, attended as a student along with classmates and members of the Aveda network. Travelers were guided by Inspire Greatness Aveda Institute Operations Director, Karling Cosca, and Aveda tribal elder Helga Hefner, and Sumit and Navneeta Badola. Below, Grace shares some of her thoughts on this life-changing experience.

Q: Why did you apply for this opportunity?

A: I saw what a huge opportunity this would be to learn about Aveda and Ayurveda from where it all began.

Q: What was your favorite part of the experience?

A: Gaining a connection with so many people who started off as strangers and left being a family. We had an amazing group of people. I became good friends with many of them and have a deep love and appreciation for all of them, especially our amazing guides, Helga Hefner, and Sumit and Navneeta Badola. Being with Helga was certainly life changing. She is one of the most beautiful souls I have had the pleasure of meeting, and her wisdom and kindness has changed my life forever. Sumit and Navneeta have become my family, and I will forever appreciate their teachings and blessings.

Q: What was something you didn’t expect to experience?

A: I learned many things about myself on this trip. Mainly I learned that I have control over everything I feel, and any situation can be made into a learning experience; so now I choose to see everything through rose-colored glasses. That’s how I saw the culture in India- everyone lives their lives through their hearts. There’s lots of gratitude and love in their everyday lives, doing daily prayers and blessings. It’s similar to America in the sense that everyone is busy with their work and families, but in India everyone is more present in what they do. That’s one thing that I have brought back with me and hope to share with many people.

Q: What did you learn most during this trip?

A: If you can be in the moment with every moment, then there is more room for joy and appreciation. Especially at the beginning and end of every day.  Each day I now try to sit in silence and be grateful. Overall, this was such a life changing and enlightening experience. I feel so blessed to have gone through this as a student, so that as I go into my career I can bring this insight and wisdom to my guests and help transform their lives with light and love.

In the picture shared here from Grace’s Instagram, the caption reads, “Words cannot describe how grateful I am. Watching the sunrise over the Himalayan mountains gave me the deepest feeling of purpose and serenity. I will never forget how magical this moment was. Thank you to everyone who made this happen… namaste.”

Later, an article would be shared about this Study Abroad Experience, telling the story of how the students and Aveda team members re-connected back to the same roots Horst himself started. It was Swami Rama, founder of the Himalayan non-profit hospital who introduced the Indian heritage of yoga and Ayurveda to Aveda founder, Horst. The students learned a deeper understanding of Ayurvedic treatments like Panchkarma, yoga, meditation and the basic principles of Ayurveda.

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Another Aveda network member, Naomi Dove (@avedaitgirl) shared her experience through a video she created. Click here to see the video, shared from her Facebook page.

“Six months ago Sue Trondson at Aveda came to Phoenix and told me that I was going to have my best year ever! Five months later, the opportunity came up to apply to study in India with Helga Hefner of AVEDA. I wish the emotion I feel right now could translate to words. Exactly six months later, I’m having my best year ever. Everything in this video is so authentic and relatable to this journey. From the music, the emotion, the creativity, the picture of Horst…the music you hear is a recording from our celebration dinner; the videos you watch are real people from the #ashramlife, and the photos you see are original pictures I was able to take on a real life experience at the original ashram Horst studied at with Swami Rama… I’m so humble.”

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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 

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28 Sep Aveda Institute Spotlights: Team, Students, Graduates and Guests

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 athttp://www.steppingstonesupportcenter.com/

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 www.extensionbeautybyrae.com. 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 europafc.com 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.”




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Aveda Institute Denver Industry Day poster.

04 Aug Inspire Greatness Education Jam Denver 2016

Aveda Institute Denver is hosting its annual Industry Day & Education Jam event on August 8, 2016. This time we are pleased to welcome back many of our graduates to host inspiring workshops for Education Jam: and afternoon of inspired education to and from professionals in the beauty industry. From editorial and social media marketing to skin care and massage, we have it all and it’s all happening for our Inspire Greatness community. This event is open to our students, graduates, team and the Aveda network as a part of our Industry Day. Below is a celebration of our featured guest artists and the inspired workshops they will offer. For more information, contact Marketing Team Lead, Alicia Christus 720-240-7566 achristus@avedadenver.com.

Madison Wade, AID graduate, Stylist Matthew Morris Salon, NAHA nominee

Madison Wade, AID graduate, Stylist Matthew Morris Salon, NAHA nominee

Madison Wade
NAHA 2015 nominee Student Stylist of the Year
AID Premier Talent Cosmetology Graduate

Wigs 101 Editorial Workshop – Styling Outside of the Box
3 -4 pm & 4:30 – 5:30 pm

AID is pleased to welcome back Madison Wade to host a special workshop during our summer Education Jam. Madison is a Colorado native, Aveda Institute Denver Graduate, 2015 NAHA nominee, and a stylist at Matthew Morris Salon and Skincare.
“My goal in life is to get inspired, be inspired, and inspire others, I’m so fortunate to be able to share my knowledge with students in this fun, exciting workshop about thinking outside with box when it comes to editorial styling.”
Learn more about Madison by visiting her Website.



Stephan Lauren, AID graduate, Artist for Beauty Underground Artistic Team

Stephan Lauren, AID graduate, Artist for Beauty Underground Artistic Team

Stephan Lauren
Newcomer Artist of the Year 2015, Southwest Hairstyling Awards
Artist for the Beauty Underground Artist Team

Editorial Up-do Styling
2-3 pm & 3:30 – 4:30 pm

Stephan Lauren has always had a passion for the hair and fashion industry. While attending Aveda Institute Denver, Stephan began assisting at Salon Myo in Aspen, and ZenSalon in Cherry Creek, and also joined Charlie Price and the Beauty Underground Artistic Team on multiple photo shoots and shows. He’s now recognized at an Artist of the Beauty Underground Artist Team and was just working behind the scenes at NAHA 2016.
Stephan specializes in cutting and styling all hair types and textures. While he enjoys being behind the chair in the salon and educating fellow stylists, Stephan’s passion is styling hair for runway shows and editorial photo shoots and productions.
Stephan’s talents have not gone without recognition. He was awarded Newcomer of the Year in 2015 by the Southwest Hairstyling Awards and has been nominated as a finalist in 2016 for the Southwest Hairstyling Award. He has begun a great start to a prosperous career doing what he loves!



Jaime De La Rosa, AID graduate, Ted Gibson Artistic Team

Jaime De La Rosa, AID graduate, Ted Gibson Artistic Team

Jaime De La Rosa
Owner of Javier James Collection
Artist for the Ted Gibson Artistic Team

Brand Aid: Crafting your Image (branding & social media)
2-3 pm & 3:30 – 4:30 pm

Jaime De La Rosa, owner Javier Jaimes and The Javier Jaimes Collection, was born an artist. Throughout his life he has dabbled in painting, drawing, and fashion design. With natural talent and an eye for style, he has built a reputation not only for artistic vision but also for quality. Studying under AVEDA, Jaime’s makeup skills and hair styling specialties have led him to work with other well-known stylists, designers and photographers in the Mile High City and beyond! He is also a regular backstage at fashion shows and photo shoots spending his time working between Denver and New York City. Natural skill combined with attention to detail and an underlying commitment to listening to client’s desires and fuels Jaime’s mastery of his profession.



Graham Nation, AID Graduate, Ted Gibson Artistic Team

Graham Nation, AID Graduate, Ted Gibson Artistic TeamDry Cutting & Texture Hair Styling

Graham Nation
Stylist, Alen M Femme Coiffure Salon in Los Angeles
Artist for Ted Gibson Artistic Team

Dry Cutting & Textured Hair Styling
2-3:30 pm& 4-5:30 pm

Graham is an AID graduate and Aveda helped him get his start and through his first years working in the salon industry, Graham started to pave his own way. His story, short and sweet, is all about determination and, in his own words, “being hungry for success.” From being fresh out of beauty school to working through the failures and mistakes that led to opportunity, Graham paved his way to make his mark in the industry. We, at Inspire Greatness Institutes, know this is just the beginning of Graham “making waves” and they’re about to get even bigger. Check out our full blog spotlight




Poppy Rowe of Studio Poppy Makeup & More

Poppy Rowe of Studio Poppy Makeup & More

Poppy Rowe
Studio Poppy Makeup & More

Getting Creative with Skin Care
2 – 5 pm (only) open to cos and spa

The skincare industry is huge and ever-changing. It is estimated that the skincare market will reach nearly $11 billion by 2018. Scientists are always working on the latest and greatest technologies to transform your skin. As estheticians, it can be hard to stay on top of this industry! With thousands of publications on skincare, we are dealing with a consumer that is super savvy. Don’t be a deer caught in headlights: Join this class to discuss skincare terms, treatments & techniques so you can better assist your already knowledgeable clients. During this workshop we will briefly discuss the top grossing treatments, the top cosmetic ingredients, and some of Poppy’s favorite facial massage techniques. The class will be both lecture and practical. So put your thinking caps on and get ready to have some hands-on fun in “Beyond the Basics” with Poppy Rowe! Learn more about Poppy by visiting her Website.


Kandice Martinez, Aveda SDP and Alicia Christus, Marketing TL for AID

Kandice Martinez, Aveda SDP and Alicia Christus, Marketing TL for AID


Alicia Christus & Kandice Martinez

Certified educators

Ayurveda & Tulasara
3:30-5:30 pm (only) open to cos and spa
Explore a deeper foundation to Ayurveda: the science of life. This ancient healing system is primarily practiced in India but has influenced many alternative modalities practiced today. Alicia is a certified yoga instructor and has trained in Ayurveda with Deepak Chopra. She often themes her classes around Ayurveda and the chakras. Alicia will bridge the gap between Ayurveda and Aveda. Participants will explore foundations, doshas and modalities to balance. Kandice is a salon development partner with Aveda and will help connect the practice of Ayurveda to the new Tulasara skin care system. Students are encouraged to review dosha quizzes online and learn more about their primary constitutional type by visiting Ayurveda.com or find the Dosha Quiz on the Chopra.com Website.




Tro Trujillo, Aveda Barbering Coach & Purefessional

Tro Trujillo, Aveda Barbering Coach & Purefessional

Barber Crossover Program
Tro Trujillo, Barbering Coach & Purefessional

Barber Look & Learn
2 -3 pm and 4 – 5 pm

Learn more about Aveda Institute Denver’s newest program for licensed cosmetologists: Barber Crossover. This program starts this summer and will focus primarily on preparing stylists to enhance their men’s grooming services. You’ll also enjoy a sneak preview of the new Aveda Men’s Core 1 Curriculum and a razor demo.





Sam Hayes, Master Esthetician and Massage Therapist

Sam Hayes, Master Esthetician and Massage Therapist

Rossiter System with Sam Hayes
Senior Esthetician & Massage Therapist, Centre Salon Spa
Rossiter Massage Coach

Rossiter Massage System
2 – 5 pm (only) open to cos and spa

The Rossiter System® is an AMAZING form of bodywork consisting of 2-per-son pin-and-stretch techniques that release the root cause of pain and im-mobility. The use of the practitioner’s strategically placed foot, combined with focused motions of the recipient, result in rapid and extensive pain relief and mobility restoration. Learn the true cause of stress, immobility, and pain. Feel in your own body how quick it can be to feel better. Watch others respond to work that is seemingly miraculous. Hear how an Aveda colleague has benefitted from Rossiter including increased guest retention, more income, guest satisfaction and referral increase, and it’s kinder to your body too!



Common Conditions Rossiter Relieves:

• Back Pain/Sciatica
• Neck Pain
• Migraines/Headaches

Rossiter massage technique demonstration

Rossiter massage technique demonstration

• Shoulder Pain/Immobility
• Arm, Elbow, and hand issues
• Knee Pain
• Foot or Ankle Pain
• Plantar Fasciitis
• Shin Splints
• Hip Pain/Immobility
• Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
• Sprains, Overuse Injuries & much more

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18 Jul Inspire Greatness Presents: Master Series with Jim Pacifio


Inspire Greatness Aveda Institutes Denver, Tucson, Phoenix, Provo are proud to offer Master Series presentations on campus as a point of difference in our education. This July, we are pleased to welcome, Jim Pacifico.

Jim has been in the industry since 1970 and is currently the owner of Centre Salons and World Class Financial Services. In 2014, Jim was the recipient of Aveda Corporation’s “Lifetime Achievement Award”. Jim was honored by Aveda with this prestigious award last month for his many years of hard work, dedication and philanthropy work over the many years in the beauty industry…

Jim began his career in 1970 with Clairol, in 1980 he worked with Zotos and in 1986 he joined Aveda Corporation as the Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Education. In 1989, Jim moved to Southern California and became the Senior Vice President and General Manager at Caesar’s Beauty Products, exclusive Aveda Distributor. In 1991, he moved to Colorado and became the President and CEO of Pacifico’s Beauty Products, exclusive Aveda distributor for Colorado and Wyoming. His success led Pacifico’s to acquire a six-state region. In 2007 Jim merged his distribution back to Aveda to become the Consulting Vice President for Aveda Services, Inc. for the West Coast Region. This allowed Jim the opportunity to own his own Aveda Concept Salons; five Centre Salons & Spas in Colorado, one in Utah and one in California. He is also the owner and founder of World Class Financial Services which provides accounting services to over 100 Salons and Spas throughout the Aveda Network.

Dale with Jim and Van Council Jim has never lost sight of the community during this time. His philanthropy work over the years has been very generous. He has led his employees to raise money and awareness for many different charitable causes. Some examples: collecting food, toys and money for underprivileged children & their families, the homeless, Katrina victims, as well as raising money for clean water in our region. Jim latest quest in philanthropy work is leading his salons to fund-raise over $67,000 for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation; visit www.realbeautydenver.com for more info.

Jim is dedicated to providing legendary support to the beauty industry, its professionals and customers. His passion in the industry is evident in his desire to improve the salon industry as well as giving back to the community.

 In 2014, Jim was the recipient of Aveda Corporation’s “Lifetime Achievement Award.” Jim was honored by Aveda with this prestigious award last month for his many years of hard work, dedication and philanthropy work over the many years in the beauty industry.

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Graham Nation in a suit.

28 May Paving the Way – Graduate Spotlight with Graham Nation

Aveda helped him get his start and through his first years working in the salon, Graham started to pave his own way. His story, short and sweet, is all about determination and, in his own words, “being hungry for success and busting a**,” Graham shared a post on his Facebook page a few weeks ago after accepting a modeling contract with First London.

So grateful for the opportunity I’ve been given the last few years. They say dreams don’t work unless you do. Believe me it’s true. I’ve laid awake at night thinking of the next move how to be better. Pushing for more out of my life knowing this life has more to offer. This goal has moved me to Los Angeles where I became apart of now my amazing salon family at @kenpavessalon where I can’t thank @kenpaves enough for allowing me to grow as a stylist and a creative human! The last year I started modeling a ton in LA as a way to meet people and still create and colab as an outlet. The past few months I signed with @firstlondon ?? and today I leave for a few week trip to work and grow even more! I can not express how grateful I am for the support of my friends and family and clients! I can’t wait to share my travels with y’all the next few weeks!!

Recently, we had a chance to catch up with Graham and find out how he’s grown to become a successful stylist at Ken Paves Salon in Los Angeles, Cali. And we’ll discuss his modeling career too…



Following graduation from Aveda Institute Denver, Graham started working at Matthew Morris Salon where he worked hard for about 15 months to build a clientele and then later joined the Juno Salon team in Denver, Colo. He shared how it was tough working behind the chair in his early years and he also bartended part-time to help steady his income. Graham describes his first few years behind the chair as a trial period where he learned from his mistakes, developed his craft and finally felt confident as a stylist.

I failed a lot those first years but for every loss there was a gain.

With his mind set on success and knowing that meant being fully booked, Graham make a big change in his life and got sober and a few months later, he says everything took off and started happening for him. He worked 7 days a week, hungry for success.

Graham desired to “make waves” in the industry so he set intention to move to New York and become more involved with fashion week and a celebrity clientele. Alas, after a short time he realized he wanted sunshine, warmer climate and a car to drive around so he headed West for Los Angeles, a better city to “make waves.” He finally made it to LA but the job he had lined up fell through. He was crushed but he didn’t give up hope. He put his networking skills to use and connected with those people who knows someone, who knows someone, who knew Ken Paves.

Let’s back up a bit because it wasn’t this easy. Graham had connections to other salons in LA and Beverly Hills but they want high-end, quality, experienced stylist – which he feels he’s still aspiring to be – and to get to that point he would have to be an assistant for six months up to 2 years. In Graham’s mind, this wouldn’t be a challenge for a 20-something stylist starting his/her career but being he just turned 30 at the time, he felt he didn’t have time to start at the beginning… again.

Kelsey Christian at LA models by Kimo Lauer hair by Graham Nation me on beat shot at #KPSstudios #marccornwall #makeupbyme #lightdusting #Kenpavessalonla — with Kimo Lauer and Graham Nation at Ken Paves Salon.

Kelsey Christian at LA models by Kimo Lauer hair by Graham Nation me on beat shot at #KPSstudios #marccornwall #makeupbyme #lightdusting #Kenpavessalonla — with Kimo Lauer and Graham Nation at Ken Paves Salon.

Fast forward, Graham walks into Ken Paves salon and immediately clicked with Ken. “He was (is) the coolest dude,” says Graham. In their meeting, Graham said he was asked two questions by Ken that he has rarely heard in the industry (which made him realize he had landed exactly where he needed to be). Ken asked, “What do you want to do? How can I help you?” Twenty days later, Graham was working with his first celebrity guest, a model. A few weeks before this interview, he had Eva Longoria as a guest for a shampoo and style.

Graham worked seven days a week at his training that led to a series of test-outs and presentations including nine color services, 12 haircuts while working an additional 40 hours a week assisting. The expectation was to get his timing down and presentation factor set to the Ken Pave’s Salon level.

I’m on the path and it feels right. My continued vision of success is building a brand, owning a home and my own list of clients.

As he settled in his salon in LA, Graham got back into modeling and is working with First Model Management in London. He has also worked with the Ted Gibson team as part of the haircutting stage team for New York Fashion Week. Graham continues to be inspired by his mentors, Ken Paves and Geno Chapman, and he also credits his time at Aveda Institute Denver and Matthew Morris as being instrumental to being where is his now and where he’s headed.


The educators gave so much of their time for a reason. I remember Scott, my educator, always saying “stay focused” there’s so much more out there but be in the moment and learn this first. I had to learn discipline. You have to learn discipline or you won’t have a career.

Throw back to 2009 when Graham was a cosmetology student, and DJ. Here he's providing the music soundtrack for our Earth Month Hair & Makeup Show.

Throw back to 2009 when Graham was a cosmetology student, and DJ. Here he’s providing the music soundtrack for our Earth Month Hair & Makeup Show.

His advice for our students is simple and involves living the Aveda mission:


Timing. Always be 15 minutes early. You cannot be late for a client, ever so don’t be late to school.

Take advantage of the yoga. I realize now it was the best thing for mental focus.

[credit to his educator, Scott] Stay focused. When you’re tired and over it, that’s when you need it the most. Know what you want and learn what the industry can offer you. Anyone can learn hair but you have to show up, be positive and stay motivated.

From being fresh out of beauty school to working through the failures and mistakes that led to opportunity, Graham paved his way to make his mark in the industry. We, at Inspire Greatness Institutes, know this is just the beginning of Graham “making waves” and they’re about to get even bigger.

Graham travels to Denver often and works as a guest stylist at Indie Six salon. Appointments can be scheduled directly through Graham by visiting his Facebook page or follow his story on Instagram @grahamnation

Graham Nation signature

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19 Mar Aveda Experience, Relaxed Price: The Art of Service at an Aveda Beauty School

Take time to indulge in being a guest and experience the art of service at a beauty school.
Blog originally written my team member, Alicia Christus and featured on her blog vedalifestlye.wordpress.com

I want to be very transparent about this post because I do work for Aveda Institute Denver. My intention in sharing this story was to highlight some of our services and shed light on what a salon/spa experience is like, at a school, being served by a student in training.

As I moved along through my services sharing pictures and quick little posts, the story became something more.

Working in the salon and spa industry so many of us rarely experience being THE guest. For those of you who are service providers I highly encourage you to take the chance to disengage  your role and truly become the guest receiving service. Think of it as a paradigm shift, an opportunity to put yourself in the shoes of your guests and see what they’re seeing, feel what they’re feeling and notice what they’re noticing. You may just tweak your process a little bit.

Some of the things that we do repetitively each day easily become monotonous. (For example, when I worked in our Experience Center and greeted hundreds of guests by standing in our front entrance with a cup of Aveda Comforting Tea and a friendly hello, I’ll admit it lost meaning for me until the day a guest share chow that welcome is what she looks forward to the oat when coming to Aveda. If it didn’t happen for her, that would change her whole experience, and it’s something so little in the grand scheme of her entire experience). Becoming the guest is a chance to read between the lines, see what you can do different or better, bring service to the next level, because after being the guest I suddenly realized how it’s the little things that truly deliver big result. Not only do I hope to give guests an inside look at some of our services, I hope to share my lessons of what it truly means to serve, to help others look and feel good about themselves in the beauty industry.

We often hear that hairstylists or spa therapists are often considered to be very  much like psychologists, teachers, mentors or even healers. Behind the chair, you suddenly become the person that is listening (truly listening), truly caring and becoming a game changer.

As a guest, or consumer, how we look and feel becomes vitally important in times of emotion and stress. In those moments, that one haircut, that one massage, that one facial becomes our whole world because we want to feel better, to be healed, to be nourished, to be taken care of. (That’s suddenly a high expectation for one service).

On the contrary, some of us might not always recognize the power of service until suddenly there’s a shift in emotion or state  being, we suddenly feel joy or sadness, we start talking about things that are stressing us out in our personal lives, we start sharing intimate details with the person providing the service (that we barely know) because if the service provider has created that safe space, we step into it and feel welcomed to tune in.

Part of this powerful expression comes from Aveda rituals incorporated into the experience. Let me begin by walking you through my day at Aveda Institute Denver. I purposely chose two services that I had never experienced and didn’t know much about: a back facial with the Ayurvedic eye treatment (enhancement). Spa services also include a complementary shampoo and style before or after the spa treatment (based on availability).

Here I am checking in at Aveda Institute Denver. I am scheduled on a Thursday morning for an Elemental Nature Back Treatment ($45) and I added the Ayurvedic Eye Treatment ($15).    

After checking in, I enjoyed the self-service Chakra experience display. Here, I can read a little bit about each Chaka, experience each of the aromas before choosing an aroma to enjoy during my service to bring me into balance before my service begins.
While waiting for my student esthetician, Aveda Advisors offer stress-relieving rituals like hand massages customized to an aroma of choice like Stress-Fix, Shampure, Rosemary Mint or Beautifying.

The sensory journey is also offered at the beginning of my service so I can choose my own aroma to enjoy. Erin, my student service provider, took me through each aroma by placing her thumb to the top of my nose and her forefinger to the crown of my head, as I breathed in the aroma she would slide her thumb up my forehead to help me breathe a little deeper. I chose Rosemary Mint to help balance my sluggish energy. After the aroma journey, we went through some questions before my service and she offered me a mini foot treatment.  After the educator confirmed our protocols, I was set up comfortably on the table while Erin left the room to prepare the products. She started with a few calming techniques, cleansed the skin on my back and applied the first treatment masque, shown here.

The table is lined with a heating blanket so I’m very warm during the service. The rooms are lined with curtains, so it’s semi-private but easy to hear conversation happening in the hallway or in the other rooms around me; however, because I know this is a school, I’m prepared to hear these other sounds so it doesn’t distract me from enjoying my experience.

During the first and then second masque treatments, I received a foot and hand massage to further indulge my relaxation and stress relief. The masques chosen for my experience were customized for my skin needs, which was focused on dry skin. One was to exfoliate while the other was to rehydrate. This is a part of my body that I have never thought about receiving much focus our attention, other than a massage. Yet the skin on my back is hard to reach and I do often feel itchy, dry skin irritation so this was a lovely way to address those concerns.   This is the tools and products for the Ayurvedic Eye treatment. After flipping on to my back and settling in, a cool cloth was placed over my eyes. Then I felt a warming roller ball massaging around my eyes. As Erin had prepared me, I felt sensations of cooling and warming at the same time.

This was my favorite enhancement I have ever experienced! I usually enjoy the Plant Peel with my facials and that has always been my favorite. After this, my eyes and skin around my eyes felt so relaxed and rejuvenated throughout the rest of the day and even into the next few days as I write this.

As my experience wrapped up, the educator came back to check in on how everything went. This is a great opportunity to truly involve yourself in the education process and give positive and constructive feedback for students to continue to be successful.

Erin then brought me back up to the experience center, where she educated me on a few key products to help continue to deliver results at home. The Intensive Hydrating Masque was recommended to help quench my skin’s thirst, which I immediately noticed in my treatment.

I was then checked-in for my complementary shampoo and style (a $12-$15 value). Luis introduced himself and guided me to his station where we began our consultation on my hair.   

Luis asked me a lot of great open questions about my hair to determine which products and solutions would be best for my dry, thin hair. He was very detailed and genuine in his consultation. His educator also helped by encouraging us to look at photos for a good result.

Before the shampoo, I received a scalp massage. Now, having worked in the experience center, I know that the scalp massage is usually one of the most anticipated and well received rituals for our salon guests. Almost every single person will mention it being their favorite part of their experience and yet it’s only a small fraction of the overall service.

This is the power of connection where the service provider is going above and beyond to create a moment of care, relaxation, stress-relief or beauty for the guest. This may also be the tipping point when guests suddenly feel safe and open to sharing intimate details of their life, expressing their concerns or challenges in life, seeking the opinion of their service provider to help them experience looking and feeling good above and beyond the actual service that is happening. Powerful.  My shampoo/style felt like a game-changer. Luis provided a great blow dry and at the end of the experience it looked as if I had had a brand-new haircut and new style. My hair was healthier and I instantly felt better about myself. I was rejuvenated and I was excited for the rest of my day.

Later that night I went on to teach my weekly yoga class and after being taken care of all day and these wonderful services, it felt good to give back and take care of my students by being their guide on the mat.

My service experience as a guest gave me perspective on identifying the little things that can make a difference when providing a service to another. I was more hands-on with my students, I had intention to leave them feeling empowered about themselves so that when they left the mat, they go out and do great things in the world.

The intention all started with inspiration from a cup of Aveda comforting tea, and a process of service began to unfold…



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Aveda water drop image.

10 Mar Water Tips in and out of the Salon and Spa

Water Conservation in and out of the Salon and Spa 
Prepared by Aveda

Take these steps in your salon, spa, institute, Experience Center, and even home to save water. By using water more wisely you can help to save this precious resource and save money, too.

fresh face

Identify and complete these simple water conservation measures which are applicable to your business:

Contact your water utility to schedule a water use survey of your facility. Surveys are usually free and provide an easy way to identify the most effective means to save water in your salon/spa.
Keep an eye on your water bill and the water meter. A higher than usual water bill could signal a leak. Learn to read your water meter and review your bill for unusual increases to catch problems early and prevent additional, costlier problems. Click here for more info

Simple Water-Saving Tips

  • Turn off water when not in use (e.g. between cleansing and conditioning hair) and when rinsing color use the following steps to save water:
  • Rinse with water.
  • Turn water off.
  • Emulsify for 1 minute.
  • Rinse again.
  • Take the Water Flow Test: Use a bucket and a timer to measure how many gallons of water you use per minute for sinks, shampoo bowls and showers. Aim for a goal of 2.5 gallons per minute or less to avoid water waste.
  • Regularly check for and repair all leaks in your facility.
  • Remind staff to turn off water when not in use (e.g. between cleansing and conditioning hair).
  • Change window-cleaning schedule from “periodic” to “as required.”
  • Use dry-floor cleaning methods, followed by damp mopping, rather than spraying or hosing
    with water.
  • Retrofit existing fixtures and appliances to realize greater water savings.
  • Replace pre-1992 toilets with low-flow 1.6 gallon-per-flush toilets.
  • Install water saving devices such as low-flow aerators in kitchen-type faucets, low flow showerheads, ultra-low-flush toilets, water efficient washing machines and self-closing faucets. Ask your water utility about available rebate programs in your area. www.h2ouse.org/action/index.cfm
  • Choose water efficient washing machines. Look for horizontal-axis washers that are ENERGY STAR qualified.
  • Look for the WaterSense® label when choosing plumbing and landscaping fixtures such as faucets, toilets, etc. You can view all current WaterSense® certified products at http://www3.epa.gov/watersense/products/

Aveda water drop image


  • Mulch all non-turf areas.
  • Sweep your sidewalks and other hard surfaces with a broom rather than spraying with a garden hose.
  • Use repeat cycles when watering lawn or shrubs in clay soils (if you are planning to water for 8 minutes, water twice for 4 minutes each).
  • Modify your existing irrigation system to include drip irrigation, where feasible.
  • Test irrigation sprinklers 4 times per year to ensure proper operation and coverage.
  • Repair all broken or defective sprinkler heads, nozzles, lines and valves.
  • Adjust sprinklers for proper coverage—optimizing spacing and avoiding run-off onto paved surfaces. Your local water utility may be able to assist you with sprinkler adjustments.
  • Choose water-efficient shrubs, native plants and ground cover in place of turf.
  • If installing new turf, limit area and use drought-tolerant species.
  • Space sprinkler heads so the water from one sprinkler head reaches the adjacent
    sprinkler head.
  • Install rain shut-off devices as part of the irrigation/landscape control measures.
  • Renovate existing landscape to include native and drought-tolerant plants. (Water efficient landscape guidelines are available from your county extension service or local water agency/utility.)

protect what you love

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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.

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