SWIHA Blog

Why Rosie Aslanyan Chose Aesthetics as Her Second-Chance Career

Posted by Jade Marvin on 6/23/22 4:00 PM

It’s never too late to start over. If you weren’t happy with yesterday, try something different today. Don’t stay stuck, do better.” - Alex Elle

Great Graduate, Rosie Aslanyan, of the 600-hr Natural Aesthetics Program traveled from Armenia to the United States in the late ‘90s to start a new life. Ever since she arrived in the US, there has not been a single day that passes where Rosie doesn’t learn something new, and she takes pride in doing that with great motivation! Rosie worked as a hospice administrator in Los Angeles, California for a while, until she quit that career in 2019 and moved to Phoenix, Arizona. After working in a field that no longer served her, Rosie found a passion ignited inside of her to help others. Rosie knew she wanted to start her own business one day. Rosie suffers from a skin condition called Rosacea, and she desperately wanted to find the right skin care approach for herself, along with wanting to help others with skin conditions as well.

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Topics: SWINA, Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, Aesthetician, SWIHA, Facials, entrepreneur, Spa SWINA, Southwest Institute of Natural Aesthetics, Arizona, skin care, Tempe, Esthetician School, Aesthetician School, Esthetician Student, Licensed Esthetician, Rosacea, Skin Care Routine, Student Clinic, Aesthetician Student, Licensed Aesthetician, Esthetician

The Making of a Yogi — The Incarnations of Will Zecco

Posted by KC Miller on 5/26/22 4:00 PM

As youngsters, we are often asked, “What do you want to BE when you grow up?” The question being asked is really what do you want to DO for a living?

For Will Zecco, he knew in middle school he wanted to BE a hairstylist. And yet his dad wouldn’t hear of it! He wanted Will to do “college”. So Will attended a community college and became a Fashion Designer, doing costume design for a local theatre group. He was good at what he was doing, including singing and dancing in the local productions, yet he still had a dream of being something else.

A hometown newspaper did an article featuring Will with the headline “Local Boy Becomes Designer.” A state Senator sent Will a letter congratulating him and offering that if there was ever anything he could do for him, to let him know. As Will often says, “We only get what you’re brave enough to ask for!” Will boldly asked the Senator about a grant and got a full ride to go to Cosmetology school.

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Topics: SWINA, Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, Aesthetician, SWIHA, yoga, 200 Hour Yoga Training, Yoga Teacher Training, Southwest Institute of Natural Aesthetics, YTT, spirit of yoga, Yogi, Safe Space, Holding Space, Trauma-Aware, Hairdresser, Makeup Artist, Esthetician School, SOY

“Georgia’s Journey”: Staying Grounded As An Aesthetics Practitioner

Posted by Ravynn Rohner on 9/9/16 11:12 AM


Georgia Nelson spent over thirty years in the medical industry and remembers, as a little girl, that she wanted to be a nurse when she grew up. While in this field, she noticed she always got pulled back in to dermatology. When her sister was seventeen years old, she was in a horrible head-on collision that split her face open, leaving her face severely scarred. Georgia shared how this trauma affected both of them. “When you’re a teenager, damaging your face can seem like the end of the world.” Though her sister continued to have surgeries and as a team of doctors worked to diminish the scarring, Georgia noticed a transformation in her sibling that inspired her to help others with their skin problems. She has wondered if this was one of the reasons she found herself working in the dermatology departments throughout her career. Georgia became intimate with her own physical struggles, as she was diagnosed with cervical cancer and then later, basil cell carcinoma. This struggle also made her passion for oncology and hematology grow, as she came out a cancer-survivor!

At the age of 50, the pull toward dermatology and skin took over. Georgia decided to take a leap of faith and follow her dream into aesthetics. Her journey began with searching for a beauty school in Arizona. She had four schools lined up to tour, and Southwest Institute of Natural Aesthetics (SWINA) was the first one on her list. Commuting forty-five minutes from Cave Creek, she showed up at SWINA and remembers this, “I walked into the school and immediately knew my search was over. The staff offered me a facial and that experience was the solidifying factor that showed me I was where I belonged. That was September, and by December, I was enrolled, going to classes, and graduated in June 2016 with a Natural Aesthetics Practitioner diploma!”

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Topics: SWINA, Great Graduate, SWIHA, Aesthetics, Skincare

Ann Sherman- Caretaker, Nurturer, and Natural Beauty Advocate

Posted by Stephanie Applegate on 4/27/16 7:55 AM

Since graduating from Southwest Institute of Natural Aesthetics’ Advanced Skincare and Cosmetic Laser Program in 2014, Ann has begun a new adventure in her life with her own home day spa, Mindful Skin Spa, which is located in Chandler, Arizona. Ann practices what her friends call “holistic aesthetics”, meaning she uses all-natural, organic, and fragrance-free products, and educates her clients about the health aspects behind their skin.

“My mission is about educating my clients about skin health, revolving around the saying, ‘You are what you eat’. Whatever you put into your body gets dumped onto your skin. I use natural products because they all eventually make their way back to your liver, and using natural products reduces the chances of doing any damage.”

Much of this holistic approach comes from Ann’s medical background. Ann brings about fifteen years of medical experience to the table after graduating from nursing school in Williamsport, Pennsylvania in the eighties. Also certified in Oncology Aesthetics, Ann is able to provide affordable, relaxing, and rejuvenating services to Oncology clients suffering from changes to the skin due to cancer including dryness,

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Topics: SWINA, Conscious Touch, Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, Aesthetician, Cosmetic Laser Program, Blog, SWIHA, Aesthetics, Laser technician

Ayesha Dalton: Passionate about Beauty and Service

Posted by Stevieanne Petitt on 11/30/15 6:41 AM

Ayesha Dalton’s recently-opened spa, just over 9 months old, has a warm and loving atmosphere that exudes professionalism and pristine care. Ayesha’s passion for beauty and well-being developed long before her studies at the Southwest Institute of Natural Aesthetics. She is passionate about what she does, sharing, “I value the importance of taking care of how I look. I’m here to help anyone who needs encouragement and advice to look and feel their best. Therefore my passion became obvious to me, as did the awareness that I should share this with all who want to experience it.”

Ayesha looked to SWINA when deciding on a professional career as an aesthetician. After being a stay-at-home mother of 2 for nearly 20 years she desired projects that would continue to make her feel purposeful to others and allow her to continue to care for others resulted in her path to natural aesthetics.

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Topics: SWINA, Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, Great Graduates, Blog, SWIHA

Tiesha Lamb: Working Her Skin Magic!

Posted by Stevieanne Petitt on 10/14/15 3:13 AM

Tiesha Lamb is a licensed aesthetician and the owner of Skin Voodoo in Gilbert, AZ. She combined her education in nutrition and aesthetics with her love for helping others feel their best.

“It is a passion of mine to educate others on how to best care for themselves. I obtained my degree in nutrition from ASU years ago. Because of this, I knew that there is more to skin health than putting a good product on your face. I enrolled at SWINA knowing they had an extensive program that taught more than product knowledge and skin anatomy like other schools in Arizona. No other school sends you out the door as well-rounded as SWINA.”

SWINA taught her:

  • The technical skills I needed to obtain employment
  • The art of relaxation, massage and healing therapies
  • Product knowledge
  • The ability to problem-solve and explore alternative solutions for skin concerns

In fact, one of the most valuable takeaways that Tiesha learned was ”that there is not one solution to every problem. Sometimes you have to search, dig, and research all night to help your client, yet it can be done! These situations arise to make you a more educated and adept aesthetician and a more caring individual.” It is obvious in Tiesha’s online reviews that her clients have experienced this within her services and sessions.

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Topics: SWINA, Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, Great Graduates, Blog, Massage, Massage Therapy, Treatments

Layne Nyberg ~ One sweet sugar mama!

Posted by Stevieanne Petitt on 9/25/15 4:43 AM

Layne Nyberg is one sweet sugar mama! As a professional aesthetician and business owner who runs two waxing salons in Scottsdale, Arizona she has always had a deep desire to help people and found her passion and purpose was in the skin industry. Earlier on, while preparing for nursing school, she found herself being drawn to serve in the aesthetic industry. As she entertained the idea of becoming a licensed aesthetician, she began to recognize the many ways the industry significantly contributes to changing people’s overall well-being. She states, “When a woman feels better about herself, she's a better mother, wife, sister, and friend – the same goes for men in their respective roles and confidence. When we feel better and look better, it truly changes our attitude, attracting similar positivity in other areas of life.”

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Topics: SWINA, Great Graduates, Blog

Tarah Hunter & Lacey Storm: Two GreatGraduates, Sweeter than Sugar!

Posted by Stevieanne Petitt on 8/27/15 4:54 AM

The moment you step foot inside Sugar Sugar salon in Scottsdale, AZ, you are in for a sweet treat. One can expect to be greeted by a jovial and genuine staff member – oftentimes the owner herself, Aimee, or one of two graduates from the Southwest Institute of Natural Aesthetics (SWINA), Tarah Hunter or Lacey Storm. Lacey and Tarah find themselves happily employed as licensed aestheticians for a growing franchise due to their enrollment at SWINA.

Lacey recalls her initial decision to attend the award-winning college, stating “I’ve always had a deep desire to help other people – even stemming as far back as when my sister struggled with skin concerns and the bullying that came with it. Nurturing her and others has always made me feel purposeful. I placed quite a bit of pressure on myself to find my ideal path and when a close friend highly recommended becoming an aesthetician at SWINA, it instantly seemed like a fit. The moment I walked into SWINA’s doors, I knew my purpose was there and to this present day I am so proud of myself because I found my true purpose and life path.”

Lacey also expressed her long-standing desire to work in a capacity that integrated mind-body-spirit wellness. Always cognizant of her approach to skincare and how it relates to overall health, she believes, “the body is a canvas, essentially painting on the outside what is happening within. Being a licensed aesthetician is about educating others in caring for themselves. That is what makes me feel so purposeful each session – I am helping contribute to their overall wellness.”

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Topics: SWINA, Great Graduates, Blog

Helping Others Achieve their Best Self, One Facial at a Time

Posted by Brian McKinney on 4/3/15 6:07 AM

Linda Binette’s education at Southwest Institute of Natural Aesthetics (SWINA) brought more gifts to her life than she could have ever imagined. From the moment Linda toured the SWINA campus, she was confident it was the school for her. As a branch of Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, she knew that SWINA would provide her with the holistic education she was looking for.

“I was interested in healing arts – treating the whole person: mind, body and spirit,” says Linda. “When I took my tour of the school, I was so impressed by the great energy I felt, the friendliness and professionalism of the staff, and the beautiful facility! I knew in my heart that I didn’t need to look anywhere else!”

So Linda began her Natural Aesthetics program at SWINA. In addition to hands-on aesthetics training, such as skin care, makeup and waxing, spa technologies and even holistic theory and business courses, Linda learned how to be centered and present in all that she does. One of the most important skills she gained was how to really listen to what her clients are saying, or NOT saying. “It is so fulfilling to know that I am in tune with my client’s goals, and that the client trusts me to lead them in the process,” Linda explains.

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Topics: SWINA, Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, Great Graduates, Blog, Massage, Massage Therapy, SWIHA

Seeking Serenity in the Southwest

Posted by Brian McKinney on 3/13/15 4:25 AM

Kiera Stroup always wanted to move to Arizona. A native New Yorker, Kiera earned her Bachelor’s degree from Manhattan College and then began a corporate I.T. career that lasted 27 years and took her to Connecticut, California, and finally Memphis, Tennessee. It was at the University of Memphis where she earned her MBA. However, Kiera still longed to live in the Grand Canyon State. In 2013, Kiera’s corporate I.T. career came to an unexpected end when the company she worked for eliminated her position. Instead of feeling sorry for herself, Kiera took it as a sign and headed for the Valley of the Sun to fearlessly pursue her dream.

Since Kiera had a longtime interest in skincare, she felt that a career change to the field of natural beauty would be a good fit for her. She found Southwest Institute of Healing Arts (SWIHA) and called to inquire about aesthetics programs. Based on Kiera’s other interest in massage, her Admission Coach suggested SWIHA’s 1000-hour Massage program, which would allow her to become dually licensed in massage and aesthetics. This specific program is unique, in that, students have the opportunity to complete part of their program at Southwest Institute of Natural Aesthetics (SWINA), SWIHA’s branch campus where the natural aesthetics programs and courses are held, located two miles south of the main campus in Tempe, Arizona.

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Topics: SWINA, Great Graduates, Blog, Massage, Massage Therapy

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