Updated: 02/16/2014 4:26 PM
Created: 02/16/2014 8:15 AM KSTP.com
By: Megan Stewart
People around the world are mourning the loss of a Minnesota visionary.
On Saturday afternoon, Horst Rechelbacher, the founder of Aveda, died in his home in western Wisconsin. He had pancreatic cancer.
As the founder of both Aveda Corporation and Intelligent Nutrients, he was amongst the first to seek fair-trade sourcing, non-toxic ingredients, organic certification, plant-based aromatherapy, and food-grade formulations in health and beauty products.
In recent years, he became an organic farmer at his estate in Osceola, Wis. Believing “plants are the greatest chemists.” The farm let him study, test and develop new methods for plant-based products.
Rechelbacher was born in Klagenfurt, Austria, and began a salon apprenticeship at age 14. His talent catapulted him to the top of the swinging sixties international hair competition circuit.
His research and plant study began in the mid-60s. He often credited his mother, an herbalist, for this lifelong interest. Rechelbacher's study of plant-based medicine and health took him from India ashrams to primitive tribes to partnerships with the Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, the Children’s Hospital of MN and the Mayo Clinic.
He collaborated with noted physicians, chemists and pharmacologists, as well rock stars, traditional healers and shaman worldwide.
The current president of Aveda released a statement on the companies website:
At Aveda, we are, and will forever be grateful to Horst for the Aveda passion we are honored to live everyday. Thank you Horst, we love you.