BY KRISTIN SCHULTZ
LATHAM — Niskayuna resident Michelle D’Allaird Brenner opened the Aesthetic Science Institute in Plaza 7 in Latham 15 years ago. In January, the aesthetic school moved a mile and a half east into a brand-new building at 922 Troy Schenectady Road with almost three times the square footage of its previous location. The additional space allows for continued growth both in student enrollment and in ASI’s ability to offer community seminars
The 62 students and five instructors now train and learn in a building boasting three stories and 12,000 square feet. The third floor contains classrooms, break rooms and offices, while the clinic occupies the second floor.
There, students apply what they have learned and hone their skills by providing aesthetic treatments to actual clients. There is a space for waxing services, facials, manicures and makeup application.
The first floor houses the school’s advanced clinic and a medical equipment distributor.
“It was the right time, but it was scary,” said D’Allaird Brenner who purchased the property with her husband two years ago. The plot had been home to Russ & Rebel Leathers, which closed in 2015. D’Allaird Brenner demolished the leather shop and began construction. The school officially relocated this January.
“The feedback on the new space has been so positive,” said D’Allaird Brenner. “Customers who have been with us for years are commenting on the space and congratulating us.”
It’s not just customers who are taking notice. Enrollment is up over last year. There was a waiting list for classes that began in February, and the session starting in April is already full.
In addition to educating students for a career in aesthetics, ASI offers free seminars, called ASI Open, to the community, addressing common skin issues.
“People want to take care of their skin,” D’Allaird Brenner said. “Men, women, teen boys and girls — everyone has questions about their skin and are bombarded with marketing. What do you believe? That’s what prompted me to start doing these seminars.”
The seminars cover everything from understand skin basics for teenagers to how to apply prom makeup to separating skincare fact from fiction.
In 1997 during her tenure as a director at a franchised skin care center, D’Allaird Brenner noticed that the newly hired employees did not know the basics of aesthetics. She opened the school in 2002.
According to D’Allaird Brenner, the school boasts a 100 percent graduation rate, a 98 percent state board examination passing rate and a 74 percent job placement rate (this compares to a national industry average placement rate of 56 percent.). Out of the graduates, 30 percent go on to open their own business.
“I love training and watching people flourish,” she said. “I want them to be confident, knowledgeable and able to successfully practice their profession in the workplace.”
The new facility, with its space, technology and atmosphere, will provide opportunities for students and the community alike to take advantage of D’Allaird Brenner’s passion for education and empowerment.