Stylist Berni Marcotte will be the first to tell you that you’re never too old to pursue your passions.
The 85-year-old stylist and educator at The Brown Aveda Institute in Mentor, Ohio, began beauty school once her four children were grown—at the age of 47. Shortly thereafter, Berni brought her sewing-inspired vision of hair cutting to life when she created a device designed to let stylists cut rounded, inverted or pointed shapes into the hair.
She received a U.S. Patent for this creation—the tool she named "Hair Patterns by Berni"—the perfect moniker for a device that is as unique as “Berni Marcotte is an inspiration to all of us,” says Holly Brown, co-owner of The Brown Aveda Institute & Casal Aveda Institute, citing Berni’s seemingly endless energy, commitment to life-long learning and positive attitude as her most dynamic and heartening traits.
And Berni’s enthusiasm is contagious.
She not only inspired her entire family to get in on the hair cutting business (late husband Dwight helped her create "Hair Patterns,” daughter in law Barb Marcotte is the Director of Operations for The Brown Aveda Institute and youngest son, John, a former “Hair Patterns” model, just opened an Aveda Concept Salon called "Create Hair Salon" in St. Petersburg, Florida), Berni is also loved and respected by her students.
“They love her energy and enthusiasm,” says Brown. “She literally runs around the clinic floor! There’s always a lot of laughing around Berni.”
For Marcotte, the laughter is simply an added perk to the rewards of working with upcoming stylists. “As an Educator, when I see the students become successful, and I know I contributed to that success — that makes me happy,” she says.
The large clientele she’s developed over the years (Nancy Brown, owner of The Brown Aveda Institute, Casal Aveda Institute and Ladies and Gentleman Salon hired her in 1975 and was her teacher) is another testament to her strong haircutting skills and great customer service.
Berni’s dedication to life-long learning, love of teaching and passion for the industry makes her a timeless example of Living Aveda. Does Bernie inspire you? Tell us in the comments below.