By Nichole Harwood 

The Aveda Institute of New Mexico‘s Alumni are sweeping the beauty market off its feet as the institute continues to turn out well-rounded graduates who work hard to build relationships within their community that last a personal and professional lifetime.

Many of these alumni have gone on to form businesses of their own. In contrast, others have found themselves recruited into the ranks of the acclaimed Mark Pardo SalonSpa’s continuing to show their skill mastery while still following the mission to provide top-quality service they learned as students. 

One Aveda alumni, Franquee Flores, currently works at the Mark Pardo Salon Coors and credits his time at the Aveda Institute of New Mexico as one of his best. 

“I started there in August of 2016,” Flores said. “When I graduated, I honestly didn’t want to leave. I didn’t miss a single day of school while I was there outside of a short leave of absence I had to take due to financial aid. My time there was the most fun I have ever had.” 

Flores’s passion for hair had been with him since he was nine years old, but his time at Aveda helped hone his skills, allowing him to transcend beyond what he thought he was capable of. This, combined with the patient instructors who mentored him, helped Flores shape his abilities and cut a significant amount of stress out from the learning process. 

“I was doing all the stuff expected behind the chair, but it was less stressful because if you messed up as a student, it was expected. If you are a professional, it’s on you,” Flores said. “The institute really does give you insight into what it’s like to be behind the chair, just with a little bit more leniency and forgiveness.” 

From student to hairstylist, Flores now uses the time he has worked with the Aveda Institute of New Mexico and Mark Pardo SalonSpa to shine a positive light on other potential hairstylists looking at entering the field. 

“When it comes to this field, my advice would be that you truly do have to have a passion for it. Unfortunately, if you do not have the passion, it does show. And when you are there, you will be able to experience that and feel that and know if it is for you,” Flores said kindly. “I definitely do recommend it; it is an amazing career, and how many people can truly and genuinely say they love their job.” 

While some alumni, such as Flores, continue to work within the Aveda brand by finding a career at sister branches, others have taken what they have learned to launch their business’s expanding on passions they developed at the Aveda Institute of New Mexico. 

Owner of Barberologist Rachel Romero said that her experience at the institute was the best experience she had in her life. It helped to foster her passion for the hair industry. 

“I’ve been doing it for six years now,” she said excitedly. “It’s just really made my life 100 times better.” 

Along with owning her own business, Romero has become a dual-licensed barber and cosmetologist, along with a national educator for a clipper company.

Whether it be at their own business or as stylists and cosmetologists within the beauty industry, the Alumni of Aveda has kept the lessons they learned from their instructors along with the memories of their time at the institute close to heart. 

Romero said she wants to encourage future students to take the reins of their education and give it their all when taking the first step to life within the beauty industry. 

“Don’t be afraid of failing because it is a hard industry at first,” cautioned Romero. “Once you actually get into it and find the thing you’re good at and passionate about, it’s an amazing career field to come in. You can work in places where you have collaboration with other artists, or you can also go on the route of becoming your own boss, and either of those options are just great options to have.” 

Are you interested in learning more about becoming a student at the Aveda Institute of New Mexico? Check out more information on their website or follow them and their student’s on Facebook or Instagram at @avedanm