The beauty industry is mourning the loss of Horst Rechelbacher, environmentalist, author, hairstylist, and founder of Aveda and Intelligent Nutrients. He died on February 15, 2014 in Minneapolis at the age of 72, after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2011. His creation of Aveda in 1978, which was inspired by Indian ayurvedic therapies, ushered in a new natural product consciousness in the world of beauty.
Reckelbacher was born in Klagenburt, Austria to an herbalist and shoemaker/designer. His childhood apartment was located across the street from a hair salon and by the age of 14, he became a hairstylist apprentice.
At age 17, he moved to Rome to work in a high-profile salon and received numerous awards. In 1965, he opened a salon in Minneapolis, a city he called home for the duration of his life in the United States, and the headquarters of Aveda and Intelligent Nutrients.
Aveda began as a plant-based hair care line and soon expanded into skin, body, and aromatherapy. In 1997, he sold Aveda to the Estee Lauder Companies, and switched focus to Intelligent Nutrients, a certified organic, non-toxic, plant-based health and beauty company.
Rechelbacher’s life mission was to create beauty products that were of high quality and also safe to people and the environment.
He is survived by his life partner Kiran Stordalen, his daughter, Nicole Thomas, Nicole’s husband Peter Thomas, his son Peter and wife Mindy Rechelbacher, and his grandchildren Emma, Richard, Evan, Ruby, and Jada.