MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Intelligent Nutrients is the natural healthy and beauty business founded by the legendary Minneapolis man who started Aveda.

But when Horst Rechelbacher died in February his wife and daughter had to mourn, and then get the company back to work. Now Intelligent Nutrients is growing and thriving after a crisis of family and business.

Pancreatic cancer took Horst in his Osceola, Wis. home at the age of 72.

Kiran Stordalen and Nicole Rechelbacher now draw strength from being right at the center of operations, where Horst Rechelbacher created Aveda products, now the same Northeast Minneapolis warehouse that houses Intelligent Nutrients, his latest creation.

“I’m encouraged every day,” Nicole Rechelbacher said. “My father inspired me every day for 46 years. I knew from a very young age this is what I wanted to be involved in.”

The two women are dealing with the death of the man they loved — a man whose death they knew was coming for more than a year in advance — by mutually assuming the role of co-president.

“The kind of illness and disease Horst had is incredibly unfortunate and really very, very sad. But at the same time it gave us an opportunity to really wrap our arms around this business and know where we take it,” Stordalen said. “And that’s been a gift.”

Intelligent Nutrients is now moving forward with a certified organic hairspray using plant and tree resins, a project that Nicole Rechelbacher said was his father’s final design. Plant stem cells are also in their new facial cleansers and tonics.

“He was known for drinking the hairspray a lot, to prove it to people,” she said. “But we don’t recommend it. It doesn’t taste good.”

A lot of the team working at Intelligent Nutrients worked for the company during the Aveda days. Horst sold Aveda to Estee Lauder in 1997. That made coping with the death and moving forward a real communal experience.

Jason DeRusha