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Josef Settle is President and Creative Director of Shaoé Haircare as well as co-owner of the Avant Gard the School and Avant Gard the Salon. For Josef, the art of creative hair design is a true passion. After testing out a few professions, Josef found his true calling in the professional salon industry, where he was able to thoroughly fulfill his artistic potential while taking advantage of his marketing, leadership and creative hair design skills. A master at his craft, Josef Settle partners with his wife Shaun, to transform the world of quality haircare products, creative hair designs and beautycare education.
After attending Indiana University ~ Purdue University Indianapolis to study business management, Josef Settle always knew that he wanted to own his own business. After meeting his wife Shaun in 1988, an already established hair designer; they combined her salon ownership experience with his entrepreneurial business management skills. The Avant Gard Salon opened in 1992 in Avon, Indiana. It was there that he discovered a true love for creative hair design. He enrolled in cosmetology school to become a licensed professional designer. Undoubtedly talented, Josef was recruited by Rusk Haircare only 6 months after graduating, to become an educator for this leading international professional beautycare product company. This was quite an accomplishment, since most top haircare manufacturers recruit hair designers and platform artists with more than two years of experience. Josef sharpened his hair design skills and platform artistry techniques under some of the most recognized individuals in the professional salon industry.
By gaining the prestigious titles as ‘Master Educators’ for Rusk Haircare, Josef and Shaun began to educate hair designers from across the USA. With all of the experience and advanced training that they personally received, they were able to bring these attributes back to their own salon and school teams as well as to their clients. Josef went back to school in 2002 to gain his cosmetology instructors license, so he could start fulfilling his next dream. Knowing there had to be many progressive changes in the cosmetology school system to better prepare future hair designers for successful careers in the salon industry, Indiana’s Premier Hair Academy opened in 2004. The goal of this first academy was to graduate very prepared and well qualified hair designers, while also building an incredible new Avant Gard hair design platform artistry team. He and his wife Shaun later served as Creative Directors and platform artists for Mastey de Paris successfully focused on Zero Ammonia Haircolor and Derm Organics.
With successful expansion, growth and future plans, they moved to a new 17,000 square foot location for Avant Gard the Salon, Avant Gard the School as well as for the national headquarters and training facility of Shaoé Haircare.
Creation of innovative education techniques and haircut systems, while inspiring new hair designers, is one of Josef’s personal dreams. While much of his time is spent instructing at Avant Gard the School, Josef often works one evening each week at the Avant Gard Hair Salon, while they both remain active platform artists at national and international beauty trade shows. This diverse combination of experiences helps to keep him creative while always learning new techniques that he takes back to his students and salon clients.
At Avant Gard the Salon, Josef and his team of incredibly talented hair designers promise to provide their guests creative quality hairstyles with the utmost professionalism. Avant Gard offers services ranging from designer haircuts and multi-dimensional haircolor, to hair extensions, hair straightening, facial waxing and permanent makeup. Design levels also range from Junior and Senior Hair Designers to innovative expert hairstyles with Master Hair Designers Josef and Shaun. Exclusivity is felt by all guests when they receive his own personally created and mastered ‘Secret Seven Salon System’, a one-of-a-kind haircutting and hairstyling system where the hair is sectioned hair into 7 zones for a more natural flow to the finished hairstyle design. This special technique is also taught at Avant Gard the School, which helps them remain respected as one of Indiana’s leading cosmetology schools.
Noticing that the educational system in most cosmetology schools was not producing high end salon ready students, Josef partnered with his wife Shaun to provide an institution focused on top quality total beautycare education. Avant Gard the School offers a full curriculum preparing their students to be the most successful in any salon environment. Students receive instruction from the Master Designer himself on more than the standard state required curriculum as extra classes are offered in hair extensions, client consultations, corrective haircolor, makeup artistry and total makeovers. Most importantly, students gain from the opportunity of personally learning from one of the industry’s best.
As Josef’s career developed by learning from some of the industry’s best known haircutters and haircolorists, Louise Rusk also became his personal role model. He wanted to mimic her amazing ability to cut hair so naturally and flowing. His dream is to achieve a level of hair artistry that would make her proud, which may have already been accomplished. It is proven that Josef’s pure talent is unmatched, as Avant Gard the Salon has been presented with numerous accolades from numerous national consumer publications such as Elle, Allure, W, Indianapolis Monthly, Sophisticate’s Style Guide, Hair Winners, and Hair Style Guide. Their achievements have been recognized as one of the ‘Top Salons in the Nation’, ‘Best Haircolor Salon in the Region’, ‘Best Beauty Spot’ and ‘Best Salon for a Makeover’ by many local publications. They have been regularly published in many top salon publications like Modern Salon, Salon Today, Beauty Store Business, Stylist & Salon Newspapers, Inspire and Passion Stylebooks. Their celebrity client experiences include hair designs for many of Indianapolis newscasters, Jon Mayer, Tony Stewart, The Prime Minister of Israel and his wife, many Firebird cheerleaders, NHRA Drag Race Drivers and their wives. Recognizing his ability, Josef makes it a point to remain humble, focusing on the achievements of their Shaoé Haircare products, their salon and school, and not his own.
Josef’s honesty, straightforwardness and dedication to treat people with the utmost respect, have contributed to his success. He remains optimistic when facing the demands of running three successful businesses. He finds the many challenges have created a synergy of new opportunities within the different atmospheres of their school, salon and the new Shaoé Haircare Company. Josef Settle is proud to be recognized nationally and internationally for his inspiring salon, school, and the Shaoé Haircare system. As his efforts remain on the coordinated growth of Shaoé Haircare, Avant Gard Salon, and Avant Gard the School, Josef Settle remains focused on sharing his talents and visions by setting new standards in quality haircare products, cosmetology education, and the revolution of the professional salon industry.