About Us

how we began and what we have become

Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy

In 1989, Sylla Sheppard-Hanger began the Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy in Tampa, Florida to further the quality of aromatherapy education and training. Since then, she’s become recognized as one of the pillars of our field, cultivating a rich intellectual legacy. In 2012, her daughter, Nyssa Hanger, joined her.

A few years later with Sylla wanting to focus on retirement, and Nyssa wanting to explore her other passions, one of their Practitioner Course graduates came on board to help continue the Atlantic Institute’s mission.

In May of 2024, Jennifer Wilson became Owner and Director of the Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy, based out of South Carolina.

Mission and Vision

Our mission is to further education standards for all aspects of Aromatherapy by providing a comprehensive resource for the professional or layperson interested in this fast-growing, holistic field.

We envision a world where active aromatherapy practitioners feel supported in expanding their knowledge on the safe and effective use of essential oils.

Our Achievements  
  • The Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy name has been recognized as a trusted source for aromatherapy education since 1989.
  • Our founder has over 35 years of client-based experience, and our students benefit from over 40 years of aromatherapy education and research.
  • We have global recognition and have students internationally.
  • Sylla, the founder and former director of the Atlantic Institute was a founding member of the American Aromatherapy Association and the “Purdue Initiative,” which ultimately led to the formation of the ARC (Aromatherapy Registration Council) exam—leading to the title Registered Aromatherapist, (RA). She also currently serves on the board. Read more on their website: Aromatherapy Registration Council
  • Our owner and director is a member of multiple international aromatherapy organizations and serves on the ARC board.
  • The institute serves the aromatherapy and local communities with volunteer and paid work.
  • We have worked directly with experts in the allied fields of herbology, psychology, essential oil chemistry, and structural bodywork.
Our Team

Owner & Director

Jennifer Wilson

Owner & Director of the Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy

Registered Aromatherapist, Instructor

St. Matthews, SC

Read more about Jennifer


Instructional Videos

LMT, Founder & Former Director, Practicing Clinical Aromatherapist
Tampa, FL

Read more about Sylla


Instructional Videos

MA, LMT, RYT, Former Director,  Practicing Aromatherapist
Tampa, FL

Read more about Nyssa

Atlantic Institute Community

Our Students are the Best!

Ann Fuller

Sylla’s message of service to humanity was a huge draw for me and I appreciate that students learn to give back!

Ken Miller

The personal attention and support from the instructors is the real gem. You’re not just a student, you’re family.

Chris Mack

My time and experience with AIA has been no less than amazing and comprehensive. Great material and instruction!

Julie CM

Sylla’s extensive knowledge is shared in a supportive and encouraging environment. Once a student, always a friend: AIA support never ends.

Janet Roark

The foundation, science of AT, and compassionate heart of service is unparalleled and doesn’t end when you graduate!

Joanna Russell

The information is thorough and relevant, and the community is very supportive. Choosing AIA was the best decision!

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