On February 15th 2014 Horst Rechelbacher, founder of Aveda and Intelligent Nutrients passed away at his Wisconson home aged 72.
Born in Klagenfurt, Austria, Horst was a pioneer. At the age of just 14 he began a barbering apprenticeship and his creativity and flare set him apart from the crowd. He rapidly catapulted to the top of the international hair competition circuit, receiving numerous awards for his work and by the mid sixties he was teaching seminars across Europe and the United States.
Following a traffic accident that incapacitated him in Minneapolis for a number of months, the budding entrepreneur opened his first hair salon Horst of Austria however the chemicals in conventional hair products had a negative effect on Horst’s health and consequently set him along on the path to natural beauty.
It was the restorative results of the combination of medicinal herbs that his mother (a herbalist) used to aid his recovery that sparked an interest in the properties of plants. He began studying in the mid 1960’s and his understanding of the benefits of the plant world became a passion and the centre of his career.
Passionate about the benefits of plants and plant extracts, Horst began to develop a range of plant based haircare products using Lavender, Eucalyptus and Rosemary, formulating and perfecting the range in his kitchen. He launched the Horst line at his salon and it was a success; more salons followed.
In 1978 Horst founded the Aveda Corporation with a staff of two and built the company into an internationally recognised cult brand; producing a range of plant-based skin and haircare products.
Just 19 years later he sold the company for a reported $300 million to cosmetics giant Estee Lauder.
Horst went on to establish Intelligent Nutrients, a revolutionary company producing non-toxic beauty products using organically grown, food-grade ingredients. The IN collection is certified organic by the USDA and many of the ingredients are grown on his 600 hectare organic farm in Wisconson.
An environmentalist, artist, author, film producer, farmer and speaker; over the years Horst has been decorated with a myriad of industry awards and twice voted the one of the influential environmentalists in the US by Vanity Fair magazine.
A simple message on the Intelligent Nutrients website reads:
The planet has lost one of its most passionate friends. So have we. To know Horst was to wake up to the world around you, to your own potential, to a new way of thinking. His impact truly does live on in salons, shops, fields and minds worldwide. And his mission continues.
Main Image: Intelligent Nutrients
Reference: Intelligent Nutrients, Aveda Corps, Bettina Gordon