Horst M. Rechelbacher

A pioneer in plant-based personal care and aromatherapy, Horst M. Rechelbacher was an active environmentalist who changed the world of beauty. He’s excelled in several lifetimes of pursuits and passions: innovative businessman, artist, provocateur, organic farmer, artist, author and speaker.

At the age of 14, Horst began a three-year apprenticeship in the beauty and salon industry. His intuitive talent, creativity and dangerous charisma catapulted him to the top of the swinging sixties hair competition circuit. A rock star life followed, leading him to the U.S. where fate landed him in the Midwest. By 1965, he started his own salons and a product line called Horst.

In 1978, Horst founded Aveda Corporation, a global plant-based cosmetic company, and ushered a new consciousness into the world of beauty. Nearly two decades later, he sold Aveda to Estee Lauder. He shifted focus to Intelligent Nutrients, a health and beauty company that lives to the highest standards of 100% food-based, safe, non-toxic and organic ingredients.

Nature is our greatest teacher

A man of his time and ahead of it, he began his search into the world of greater wisdom and plant study in the mid-60s, adding aromatherapist, perfumer and Ayurvedic practitioner as the recipient of a honoris causa doctorate in Ayurveda from Gurukul Mahavidyalaya Twalapur, Haridwar University, India. While he was studying plant-based medicine, he collaborates with noted physicians, chemists and pharmacologists, as well as with experts and traditional healers throughout the world. During his life, Horst was on the Board of Directors at the Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, and supported the Mayo Clinic’s Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program in Rochester, Minnesota.

Horst has authored four books, Minding Your BusinessRejuvenationAveda Rituals and Alivelihood. He was an executive producer on Hidden Medicine, an independent film that premiered at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival. A sought-after speaker and collaborator, he counted TEDIndia among his innumerable speaking engagements. Horst created an organic farm in Wisconsin which is solar, wind and geothermal powered.  Intelligent Nutrients grows their plant ingredients on this farm. One of his interests was in plant and human stem cell for anti-aging technology.

Recognition & Contributions

  • October 2009, awarded, from the President of Austria, the “Decoration of Honour in Gold for Service to the Republic of Austria” for his exemplary representation of an Austrian business leader
  • 2009—speaker at TEDIndia
  • 2008— Inducted into Minnesota Business Hall of Fame by Twin Cities Business Magazine as one of Minnesota’s most accomplished business leaders of all time
  • 2007—Presented with Crystal Award from the International Congress of Esthetics and Spa
  • 2007— Received the Rachel Carson Award for a Lifetime Commitment to Environmental Ethics & Integrity
  • 2007—Honored as an Industry Innovator & Legend for lifetime contribution to the cosmetology industry by the Spa & Salon Professional Association Incorporated
  • 2005 and 1995 —Voted one of the most influential environmentalists in the U.S. by Vanity Fair magazine
  • 2004—Founding member of the Organic Center for Education, Research and Promotion
  • 2004—Received Lifetime Achievement Award from beauty industry
  • Named one of the notable Austrians living in America by the Austrian press, along with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Wolfgang Puck
  • One of three original founders of Business for Social Responsibility, which promotes the idea that businesses have the greatest responsibility and opportunity to provide sustainability to all living species