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Half of Aveda's 200 employees and students heading to Clearwater

ST. PETERSBURG — The classroom and instruction component of Aveda's operation downtown is moving into a former Bally's Total Fitness on U.S. 19 in Clearwater.

About 100 people will remain in the salon company's St. Petersburg location.

"There will still be 100 people in black downtown," said Jim Petrillo, president of Aveda Institute Florida, with a laugh. "The downtown location will remain our corporate offices and we will have an advanced academy there."

Keeping folks with good hair and black wardrobes around downtown, about 70 people who work in the company's corporate offices will remain at the St. Petersburg location.

A rolling group of 35 graduates of the new Clearwater school will work in the hair salon and spa downtown to build a clientele and get experience before going to other independent businesses, Petrillo said. Prices will go up slightly since the stylists will all be licensed. Haircuts are now given by students in various levels of training and range from $12 to $18. The price will go up to $22.

By May, all of the students in the downtown location will have graduated and all education will take place in Clearwater. That academy, at 28272 U.S. 19 N, is already enrolling students.

The move was prompted by the sale of land that the salon academy had been renting for student parking across from Aveda next to Publix. A Miami company has bought the 2.8-acre parcel with plans to build an apartment tower.

Since starting the first Florida Aveda Institute, Petrillo and his brother, Tom, have opened five schools across the state and more along the East Coast. An average of 180 students at a time take part in the nine-month training program at each location.

The downtown institute and offices opened at 235 Third St. S nine years ago.

"St. Pete has been great for us," Petrillo said.

Katherine Snow Smith can be contacted at (727) 893-8785 or

Half of Aveda's 200 employees and students heading to Clearwater 09/25/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 25, 2012 12:10pm]
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