O'Briens Aveda Institute

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About Us Overview

Aveda's Mission

Our mission at Aveda is to care for the world we live in, from the products we make to the ways in which we give back to society. At Aveda, we strive to set an example for environmental leadership and responsibility-not just in the world of beauty, but around the world.

History of O'Briens

The O'Briens have been in the cosmetology business for over 60 years. Starting in the early 1950's, they were the first to open first floor locations next to high-end retail stores, developing new concepts such as `no appointment necessary' walk-in services. At that time the cosmetology business was in a state of expansion and there was need for young skilled stylists. The O’Briens opened the Vermont College of Cosmetology in 1964.

O'Briens Training Center trained thousands of cosmetologists who have gone on to become successful stylists and business owners. The company has seen many of its graduates continue to work as stylists, instructors, platform artists, school recruiters, human resource directors, sales managers, district managers, and even in accounting positions within the company. Many graduates have become loyal employees for a number of years, enjoying the benefits of an established company. The O’Briens family feels honored and privileged that so many successful people have graduated from the training center.

In September 2009, O'Briens Training Center became what it is known today as O'Briens Aveda Institute. In that same year we expanded our scope of programs to include a barbering course and massage course. Quickly the number of male students increased as a result of this new program. Physically we also expanded by moving business offices up the road and turning our second floor into extra classrooms and Massage Therapy rooms.

In April of 2014 we launched a second campus in Williston, Vermont under the name Aveda Institute Williston. Or expansion has allowed us to serve even more students in an effort to grow and mentor the very best salon professionals in the industry. As of May 2017, the locations have merged into one campus in Williston under the name O'Briens Aveda Institute.

Aveda is about mentoring. Great people helping great people. Growing and evolving with Aveda throughout your career. So we offer a complete education system to make sure students pass the State Board Exam. We also support this by using supplemental materials like the Milady curriculum in the classes, which was used to create the exam itself.

Aveda is a brand consumer's love. And we're not just saying so. Aveda was dubbed a "love brand" in the book Trading Up: The New American Luxury. No other brand so uniquely connects fashion, beauty, wellness and art.

94% of Aveda service providers feel the Aveda brand makes an extremely favorable impression. 72% of non-Aveda service providers agree. And 70% of both Aveda and non-Aveda service providers alike find the Aveda mission extremely meaningful. We're proud of the loyalty and social consciousness we inspire. And you can be a part of it too!

Community Involvement

Community involvement is important to us. We take every opportunity to give back to our community, including some of the following: 

Aveda’s Earth Month For the past four years during the month of April, students have organized a Catwalk for Water, benefitting the Lake Champlain Committee locally & Clean Ocean Action nationally by bringing awareness to the protection of clean water in VT and the world.

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Students and faculty participate in the American Cancer Society walk every year, and are proud to have donated thousands of dollars to a great cause.

Penguin Plunge  We also raise money for our local Special Olympics by sponsoring an individual brave enough to plunge into Lake Champlain in February!

Burton Chill Event     We host a special night for the employees and friends/families of Burton, providing them with an evening of spa services to raise money for their cause.

Wigs for Kids Ask how you can receive a FREE Haircut when you donate a 12” ponytail.

Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf Collecting food donations in our clinic from students and customers.

Operation Military Kids We participate in an evening event where fabulous hair and makeup designs services are given to daughters, mothers and sisters who have family members overseas supporting our countries freedom.

BarkAID We participate in an all day event with master stylist Patrick Lomantini's 50 States tour which 100% of proceeds go to a local dog rescue!

Boys and Girls Club

Camp Ta Kum Ta

In addition, we have donated services and gift cards to various local businesses, raffles, charities, and schools!




"I have met so many great people here that have helped inspire me. I'm especially grateful for O'Brien's opening up their school so I could finish my education. I will miss everyone. Thank you for putting a smile on my face."

 - Jessica, 2015 OAI Cosmetology Grad

"My education at O'Brien's was great and so were a lot of my teachers. While I was at the school I always felt relaxed and calm, and the teachers really tried to help with that. Mostly what I learned at school is that you need to just stick with it and in the end everything will turn out for the better. Just being around different people and different ideas you learn so much about yourself and just life in general. I believe students should attend O'Brien's Aveda Institute because you get a great education not only in cosmetology but in life."

- Brooke, 2014 OAI Cosmetology Grad

"I can't say enough good things about my experience at this school. I've learned so much while I was here. Not only did I get to develop the skills I need to excel in my career, but I also learned so much about myself. To my wonderful educators, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for always putting up with me, for pushing me to do my best and for always believing in me even when I didn't believe in myself. I feel so honored to have had the opportunity to learn from such a talented group of people."

- Brianna, 2015 AIW Cosmetology Grad

"Aveda Institute Williston has a wonderful cosmetology program. The instructors here are very knowledgeable and supportive. They are willing to go out of their way to ensure you have everything you need to be successful in the working world."

- Samantha, 2015 AIW Cosmetology Grad

"I am so grateful for my time at Aveda Institute Williston! The educators really care about your success and it shows. I would recommend this school to anyone who wants to take charge of their life and career!"

- Dana, 2014 AIW Cosmetology Grad

"I want to thank the Aveda Institute Williston for their helping hand in making my graduation possible! The educators at the school are amazing women and Cosmetologists. Being able to graduate with my girls has been a blessing and I am walking away with life long friends who have taught me so much! Love you all!"

 -Tyla 2014 AIW Cosmetology Grad

Contact Admissions Today:
Call 802.876.7044 x3 or email