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Meet The Man Behind Aveda, Intelligent Nutrients

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(credit: CBS) Natalie Nyhus
Natalie Nyhus joined the WCCO-TV team in January of 2011. She repor...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Most people are familiar with Aveda. The man behind Aveda has new line of skin and hair care products called Intelligent Nutrients.

The new flagship store opened in the Mall of America two weeks ago. Now, we’re going to tell you more about the man behind Aveda and Intelligent Nutrients as he opens the doors to his home and gates to his 600-acre organic farm.

Horst Rechelbacher is a sensualist.

“You have to love it because in our studies, love makes endorphins.  Love is a remedy by itself because it activates the body chemistry,” he said.

Horst has relied on chemistry to make products for the businesses he’s created: Aveda and Intelligent Nutrients. His hair and skin care products appeal to touch, taste and smell.

His 600-acre organic farm in Osceola, Wis., is where his aromas oils, teas and lotions are born. He distills and extracts in his labs using herbs like peppermint, basil, and sage.

“We don’t throw anything away.  The water, which is a byproduct of the distillation, still has a little sage in there,” Rechelbacher said.

Horst grew up in Austria, where he got his love of nature from his mother, an herbalist.

“I had to follow my mother wherever she went, and on the weekend, my mother went to the mountains,” he said.

He grows fruits, vegetables and herbs in the green house.

“It just makes you feel good just being in here.  Yes, makes you feel good. Energetically,” he said.

Horst recently started saving animals. He has alpaca, ponies, ducks, hens and 12 dogs. The living quarters show more like an art gallery.

He collects angels and even paints some of his own pieces. Downstairs is another lab, with aroma oils stacked to the ceiling. He has a kilo or rose oil worth $20,000 and other oils worth even more. It’s an arab scent called “oot” made from an endangered species of wood.

For Horst, it is all about the plants.

“You really get to know and respect plants because they exhale what we inhale,” he said.

After selling Aveda for more than $300 million in the 1990s, Horst is back in the game because he sees a need for healthy, eco-friendly products.

“I’m now in my 70s and now I’m an eco-preneur. I’m a start-up, and it’s complicated. I forgot how complicated it is.”

He believes everything we put on and in our bodies should be nutritious and safe, and it starts in the soil.

“My intent is,  I can’t change the world, but I can inspire,” he said. “We are a seed.  We are the seeds who can provoke changes.”

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