About Us

Innovate Salon Academy was founded in 2009 by a small group of successful stylists and salon owners who wanted introduce a fresh way of educating students.

Innovate Salon Academy is an award-winning beauty academy dedicated to the principle of creating a spirited learning environment to give graduates a leading edge in the beauty industry.

Strong relationships are important to us, which is why we offer an excellent education to include integrity, leadership, values, professionalism and ethics. We create opportunities to change our student’s lives while enhancing their personal and professional career.

We specialize in advanced training and have built a reputation for innovation. Having won Modern Salon’s national Excellence in Education and Global entrepreneur of the year awards.

Our commitment to excellence allows us to offer a supportive and professional learning opportunity of ‘real-life’ hands-on salon experiences, individual classroom instruction, current technical and practical training, and industry centered communication and business classes. Our dedicated curriculum and talented and specialized teachers provide a progressive education that gives you the opportunity to develop technical skill excellence to change your personal and professional life and jumpstart your beauty career.

It is our mission to offer a quality education and positive learning environment providing all students the knowledge, skills and inspiration for a successful beauty career. Thousands of students have graduated from our industry-focused programs and become successful stylists and estheticians. Innovate Salon Academy offers a strong reputation and excellent graduate outcomes allowing you a rewarding career in the beauty industry.

It is our vision to be the educators behind your personal achievement and the inspiration to help you achieve your goals of a successful career. Call us today, and check out a short video on how Beauty Changes Lives.

meet the team


John W Sickles


John has worked for over 36 years in the Beauty Industry, both as a stylist and salon owner. John was nominated for the prestigious 2008 Global Entrepreneur and Salon of the Year award, which recognizes and honors leading salon owners who consistently demonstrate extraordinary business and entrepreneurial success in the areas of salon leadership, general management, financial prosperity, marketing & promotion, and who contribute to the salon industry and their community. The Jon Lori Salon has been in business for 32 years and has 35 employees.

Donna Hernandez


Donna Hernandez is a Co-Owner at Innovate Salon Academy. Donna is a Certified Redken Colorist and a Certified Redken Design Artist, with more than two decades of experience. At the Academy, Donna has had the opportunity to fine-tune her own creative prowess while sharing her expertise with eager students. Donna is very proud to say that Innovate Salon Academy is the only cosmetology school endorsed by Redken 5th Avenue.

Donna boasts, “The educators at Innovate will get the job done. They will give our students the education they need and deserve to create top 20’s in our industry!”
In addition to heading up the education team at Innovate, Donna also owns Color Bar 51, where she still works as a stylist.
With 15 years experience in salon ownership and operations, Donna has a deep understanding of exception guest and student service. Not only will you receive a top of the line education, but also a truly unique student centered experience.

Sean J Sickles


Sean Sickles is co-owner of Innovate Salon Academy and has been licensed as a cosmetologist, working in the industry for over 15 years. Born into the beauty industry, Sean’s passion is to grow industry leaders by empowering women and men to create confidence in others, to find their artistic identity, perfect their craft, and love what they do.
Sean simply states, “Not only is this career financially rewarding but waking up every morning doing something you love in a culture that changes on the daily and accepts everyone… is simply inspirational, and I’m excited to be a part of it.”

Sean has been instilling confidence while educating students and guests in new styles, techniques, and trends to provide the ultimate educational experience with exceptional quality. Sean has trained at the famous REDKEN Exchange, Pureology, Bumble & Bumble University in NYC, and Vidal Sassoon Academy in Miami, FL. In addition to being a REDKEN Certified Master Hair Colorist and Certified in Principal Based Design, he holds over 40 Certificates of Achievement, and is extremely well versed in all aspects of Hair Color, Keratin Treatments, Hair Straightening, and Precision Cutting.


Sue Guido

Director - South Plainfield

Susan Amorosi Guido brings over 25 years of combined admissions and financial aid experience to Innovate Salon Academy team. Her impressive professional background includes, holding license as a Cosmetologist and Educator. Susan is also an Examiner for the NJ State Board of Cosmetology. Helping students to get one step closer to their dreams. Susan takes pride in her profession and is constantly striving to provide the most accurate, detailed information possible to allow students to make the best decisions for their future.

Angela Curbelo

Director - Brick

Angela Curbelo joined Innovate in 2012 and in 2014 was made the head of our volunteer work and scheduling all our advanced education for our students and the industry as a whole. She has had many years in the salon industry but has found her true love is being an educator. In the 3 years that Angela has been an educator at Innovate, she has been certified in all of Innovate teaching methods. Just a few of the many certification she has received is Principle Based Design and Finish, Train the Trainer, hair extensions and makeup. Her passions lie with the education her students receive from her. She loves to share every piece of her knowledge to help here students be a top 20 student and stylist. Angela has a very bubbly personality and is always in a positive mind frame. She is an integral part of the Innovate educational team. She is always full of ideas and always willing to help anyone that needs help. Angela always pictured herself in this amazing, lively industry, which then brought her to Innovate to be an educator. Her passion and love for her students runs deep. She would do anything for them!

Yenny Johnson

Director - Ewing

Bio Coming Soon!

Karen Young

Director of Education

Karen Young was named lead educator at Innovate Salon Academy and has been here from the first day our doors were opened, on October 5, 2009. Her dedication to the exceptional education that is offered at Innovate and her love to share her knowledge with her students is second to none. Karen has had extensive training in the Innovate principles of teaching. These include being certified in Principle Based Design and Finishing. She has joined the elite ranks of becoming a Redken Certified Colorists. Karen has traveled across the continent and into New York City on numerous occasions for Redken based training. She is also welled grounded in Dermalogica and MUD Makeup Designory.

Dorean Shaw

Director Of Financial Aid

Dorean Shaw joined our Innovate Salon Academy financial aid team with over thirty years of experience as a licensed Cosmetologist. After reaching her goals in the salon, Dorean elected to go to college, graduating Summa Cum Laude with a Degree in Political Science. One of Dorean’s strong beliefs is that education is the foundation to a successful career. That belief allowed her to strive to provide the students’ accurate, detailed information regarding their specific financial needs while in school in order to allow them to make the best decisions for their future

Lead Educators

Amy Koepfler

South Plainfield

Bio Coming Soon!

Jeanne Infante

South Plainfield

Bio Coming Soon!

Kimmeth Clark


Bio Coming Soon!

Alexandria Boyce


Bio Coming Soon!

Sassoon Connect Member 2020 Logo

4985 Stelton Road ( Hadley Ctr )
South Plainfield, NJ 07080


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Innovate Salon Academy
712 Route 70
Brick, NJ 08723

(732) 451-3311

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25 Scotch Road
Ewing Township, NJ 08628

(609) 888-6550

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