March has always been a favorite month. I admit I am a little biased because the big “zero three” houses my birthday, Pi Day, the end of winter, and of course: Women’s History Month & International Women’s Day. Again, I am biased on this subject. I am a woman. I have been working in a mostly female-based industry since 2012. Women have inspired me to be strong, voice my opinion, speak my truth, trust my instincts, and do it with compassion in my soul.
Aveda is a brand with tons of stellar people behind the beauty giant. I am fortunate enough to be educated in the ways of sustainable beauty, hair, & lifestyle products for my guests. They have the best of the best, working hard and staying fresh and progressive, teaching and helping others grow around them is a round-the-clock mission for Aveda. To further celebrate Women's History Month, I would like to tell you about some talented women in the industry, Aveda, and Gordon Salon that I admire.
Tippi Shorter is the Global Artistic Director specializing in textured hair for Aveda. She is inspiring and passionate about what she does. She lights a fire in my heart that makes me want to style for the goddesses of the world like she does every day. Shorter has graced the stage at New York Fashion Week, Congress (An Aveda international conference held once a year), and the Mid-America Show showing off her skills and teaching us some tips and tricks to improve our craft as hairdressers.
“Tippi is instrumental in the development of curriculum and training for textured and curly hair. Her work has graced beauty icons and the covers and editorial pages of notable fashion magazines.” (Aveda Detail Page, Tippi Short.)
Janell Geason wins my heart by being the Global Artistic Director for makeup as that was my first love in the beauty world. Geason has worked her magic most notably at New York Fashion Week, the spring/summer collection: Rare Bloom from Aveda, as well as the autumn/winter collection: Sublime Spirit; also from Aveda.
“Janell is closely involved in product development of seasonal makeup collections for Aveda and teaches advanced and trend makeup techniques globally. She was named Makeup Artist of the Year in 2008 and 2009 at the North American Hairstyling Awards.” (Artist Detail Page, Janell Geason.)
Antoinette Beenders is the Aveda Senior Vice President–Professional Global Artistry for Aveda. Here is what her artist page says about her. Beenders has worked on New York Fashion Week and the autumn/winter collection: Sublime Spirit from Aveda.
“Antoinette Beenders began working with Aveda in 1997 as a Global Guest Artist and Creative Director for The Urban Retreat-Harvey Nichols' Aveda Concept Salon in London. In 1999, Antoinette’s role evolved to Aveda International Creative Director, where she represented the company in Australia, Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Taiwan, the UK, and the U.S. Antoinette works closely with the world's top photographers, models, and creative talent to develop dynamic beauty concepts and striking images that combine high-fashion sensibility with environmental consciousness. Whether on a Vogue Italia editorial shoot, backstage at New York Fashion Week, partnering with Stella McCartney, developing new styling products, or creating a continuing education curriculum to inspire stylists and students throughout Aveda’s global network, Antoinette holds true to her vision, perfectionism, and talent of telling a story with every image.” (Artist Detail Page, Antoinette Beenders.)
The Artistic Global Team is not the only way Aveda makes waves. There is one little movement around what Aveda does for the people - mainly women - it helps with the brand’s successful road to being completely and sustainably vegan. Aveda has always been conscious of the planet and for the people producing and growing wonderful ingredients for their products. The Umbari villages in India where they grow one of the main ingredients for the Invati Advanced Solutions for Thinning Hairline experience problems with their drinking water. The women of the village were traveling up to six hours a day to find suitable drinking water. Even then after arriving at their destination, the water would be undrinkable and unfit for consumption.
“Aveda joined forces with our global Earth Month partner Global Greengrants Fund and AWARD (Action for Women and Rural Development) to improve the community’s local water system. Now the 800 Umbari villagers have easy access to clean water year-round — and the women of the villages have more time to spend with their families, earn income and receive and provide education.” (Aveda International Women’s Day, 2018)
Today, thanks to this project, more than 200 female farmers and four schools have built “kitchen gardens” which utilize the clean waste water from their kitchens to nourish the community and of course, eat! Says Melissa Chelminiak, Director of Mission, Partner, and Stakeholder Engagement at Aveda, “The kitchen garden project in Umbari is an excellent example of how empowering women and their families to be able to better provide for themselves can have a substantial positive impact in their communities and beyond.” (Aveda International Women’s Day, 2018)
That’s just one of the things to love about Aveda. Progressive. Sustainable. Always growing. Helping the communities it sources materials from to flourish to the maximum potential.
Sue Trondson, the VP of Salon Development & Engagement at Aveda, said one of my favorite quotes, “The superpower of women is the ability to be fierce and also be gentle.” (Sue Trondson, Internation Women’s Day Video 2020.) The best example I have of that in my life today is my mother, Karen. It wouldn’t be a Women’s History Month without me at least thanking my hardworking, driven, intelligent, goofy, and talented mom who has supported me through all the mountains and hills life throws at you. She hyped me up when I had sparkly blue lipstick on during a “fashion show” in the fourth grade, she cheered me on at every soccer game, sat through every theater/musical performance I ever had, and she hangs out on the phone with me now when life gets too hard and you just have to call your mom sometimes. Again, this piece is biased, but I love my mom and I think she rocks. Love you, Mom!
Speaking of love, my whole life has been surrounded by women who pick me up when I’m feeling down, laugh with me when I show them a silly video, let me voice my concerns and thoughts, and most importantly, make me feel immense joy when I am at work. Working at Gordon Salon, I have had the pleasure of going about my workday alongside some insanely talented individuals. From behind the scenes with Jessica, Heidi, Amanda, Alexis, Bailey, Kristy, & Pam to the many assistants and front desk staff I mingle with on the daily, the teams Gordon Salon are divided into, these women have always been driving, passionate forces in my life.
Amid the trains, planes, automobiles, lights, and sounds of Chicago, there is a neighborhood in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the usual hullabaloo. The women of the Lakeshore East team are made up of Alli Nicole, Caroline, Lindsay, Leslie, Sara Ashley, Stacy, Kasey, Anna, Dawn, & Emm. I don’t get to see my fabulous co-workers nestled in the heart of Downtown Chicago much but when I do, I always know I will be greeted warmly by my fellow talented, wonderful stylists who will take care of all your beauty-related needs with a smile (or rather, eye smile) on their faces.
At the other end of our Gordon Salon family, all the way up the North Shore is The Highland Park team. Oh, yes, Highland Park and I have had a few early mornings as well as late-night shifts together. The women of the Highland Park team are comprised of Karra, Jenny, Brittany, Kelsey, Sara, Eren, Amanda, Sydney, Bailey, Michelle, Kloey, Rebecca, & Kristy. Whether you need color care, a chic cut, a fresh style, the team in Highland Park is sure to high-lighten your day.
Coming down the North Shore, we stop at the corner location of our Gordon Glenview Salon. The spacious salon is located in the Glen shopping area which once used to be a naval air station from 1923 to 1995. The team of women who march to some great music are made up of Ashley, Allison, Holly, Renee, Josie, Antonia, Robin, Bree, Rachel, & myself. The Glenview Team is always down for a dance party and ready to throw down some stellar hair and they will happily take care of everything from scalp to ends.
Currently, our Evanston location is still being remodeled, so that brings us to Wilmette - the final stop in our tour of the women who run on coffee and Aveda Air Control hairspray in our Gordon family. The Wilmette team of women are stars and the constellation of the team is comprised of Emmie, Mel, Kierra, Nicole, Shay, Molly, Domonique, Alexis, Pam, MarShay, Gisell, Olivia, Janice, Mary, Haley, Carrie, Kailah, Britt, Marie, Sinead, Kristen, & Margaret. These bright ladies are ready to make your hair everything you want it to be with the talent and education that Gordon has instilled in them.
In conclusion, the team around me is awesome, the women in my life have shaped me to be the person I want to be with love and hard work. I can’t get enough of the Aveda Global Artistic Team and how inspiring they are as well as Aveda helps women they source ingredients from to succeed - not only for themselves but for future generations to come. Choose to be strong, brave, intelligent, fierce, bold, gentle, vibrant, silly, passionate, creative, relaxed, and most importantly: YOU. Here's to Women’s History Month!