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Institute Teaches Beauty, Wellness and Community Investment

Diane Pandl, director of The Institute of Beauty and Wellness Aveda Beauty School (IBW), in Milwaukee, firmly believes that everyone can be socially responsible, care for the community, promote wellness, and look great and feel confident while doing it. She works with IBW students to do the same.

Pandl, who has a business background and worked in construction accounting for many years, began working with IBW’s owner and founder, Susan Haise, 10 years ago as the finance controller before becoming director.

The institute originally opened in 1994 as The Skin Institute and Day Spa, a school for esthetics, in the Marshall Building, just a few blocks from its current location, and later added cosmetology, manicuring and massage therapy programs. Recently, the institute’s programs in barbering and yoga teacher training were approved by the National Accrediting Commission of Career, Arts and Sciences (NACCAS), which certifies postsecondary schools of cosmetology arts and sciences.

In 2010, Haise purchased the current building in the historic Third Ward that at one time housed the Hansen Glove Corporation. “We’re here to stay,” Pandl says. “The owner has made a long-term commitment to the community and the industry by purchasing this building.”

That commitment includes expanding program offerings to promote wellness inside and out. The school’s yoga teacher training program begins September 19, with classes held one weekend a month. “Susan Haise is a visionary and has an amazing ability to see that yoga is something impactful that can benefit everyone,” Pandl remarks. “Yoga is great for the body, mind and soul. The sooner we all are mindful of how we can take care of our bodies and care for each other, the sooner we all will feel great.”

The Institute of Beauty and Wellness Aveda Beauty SchoolIBW’s ayurveda program is in the test mode and graduated its first group of students in June. Pending NACCAS accreditation, IBW will be approved to teach that program in the future and hopes to have another class start in September. “Ayurveda esthetics is about becoming in tune with yourself,” Pandl explains. “We believe ayurveda is going to influence the spa industry in many ways, including promoting eating well, meditating and taking care of ourselves and having time of solitude.”

Potential students have the option of attending a career planning session where they meet with a representative, discuss their goals and tour the building. Other programs offered at IBW include international beauty therapy, which combines manicuring, esthetics and massage therapy. The institute also teaches classes that satisfy the continuing education requirement for licensed professionals. For individuals that want to learn more about makeup but do not wish to enroll in a formal program, three- and seven-hour classes that teach daytime makeup looks, evening looks, airbrush and bridal makeup are available from $50.

Pandl points out that IBW’s focus is more than just teaching physical beauty—it also emphasizes personal wellness, student satisfaction and a healthy community. “We offer small class sizes and a small teacher-to-student ratio,” Pandl notes. “We are in alignment with Aveda’s global mission of social responsibility, taking care of ourselves and taking care of the environment. We teach that to our students.”

Examples of social responsibility include a litter cleanup effort in the Third Ward neighborhood by Pandl and students, as well as a monthly visit to Seven Oaks Nursing and Rehabilitation, in Glendale, during which students provide stress-relieving treatments and nail polish applications to help brighten the residents’ day. IBW has partnered with the Alliance for the Great Lakes and After Breast Cancer Diagnosis, both nonprofits that receive proceeds from IBW-sponsored spring and fall fashion shows. Pandl emphasizes that they want students to learn their craft, give back to the community and have fun while doing it.

Aveda Beauty School Milwaukee“I just love being able to be part of this incredible industry. It’s great to watch students as they really grow throughout their program, both vocationally and personally,” Pandl affirms enthusiastically. “My switch from construction into this industry has been amazing. Just to work for an owner who has that vision and is always planning for the future and taking great care of her team is something that really keeps me motivated.”

The Institute of Beauty and Wellness Aveda Beauty School is located at 327 E. St. Paul Ave., in Milwaukee. For more information, call 414-227-2889, email or visit

Sheila Julson is a freelance writer in Milwaukee. Connect with her at

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