Ever thought about how many beauty products you layer on your skin everyday? Nicole Rechelbacher of Intelligent Nutrients has. She was raised thinking about those layers and about how to make each layer healthier and more effective. As the daughter Eco-preneur Horst Rechelbacher, the pioneer of the natural and organic beauty movement and founder of the iconic beauty brand Aveda, Nicole has a unique perspective on beauty. She sat down with American Made Beauty founder Patty Schmucker and spoke about her childhood filled with Yogis, spiritual pilgrimages, meditation and road trip, and how it all culminates in Intelligent Nutrients.
Nicole learned through her family about connecting with yourself and in turn others. She tells Patty that her father was not a man of rules but rather an influencer, a guru; a good teacher. When she was a child, Horst started making products at home with a man he met in India by the name of ShivNath Tanden. ShivNath returned with Horst and lived in the Rechelbacher home to help develop the products, teach yoga and be a spiritual guide to the family.
Nicole says her friends would come over to the house and ask: “who’s the guy in the pajamas?” Nicole just assumed that everyone had a live-in Yogi.
When Horst designated a room in his salon for ShivNath to teach yoga it caused a shift in the salon staff. This started the lifestyle evolution and beginning of Aveda (the letter “a” in front of Veda means “absence of wisdom or knowledge). Nicole would sometimes join her father on selling road trips, learning what would become the foundation of her career in the beauty industry. Nicole never wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps. It was too intimidating. She wanted to be a student and wanted to create her own path. She attended Horst’s school in Minneapolis, which just happened to be located in a castle that he also called home and where his studio was located. She would go on to work at the first Aveda shop on Madison Avenue while she studied accessory and clothing design at New York’s FIT, and designed an organic clothing collection.
What does it all mean for Intelligent Nutrients? Nicole says she is selling more than a lifestyle; she is selling nutrients for overall wellbeing. Intelligent Nutrients uses resources in a responsible way. And practices the philosophy that you never stop learning, while innovating and creating new lessons that help consumers make better choices and understanding to respect nature.
Nicole believes in going to the source of ingredients and understanding the science behind it, such as: Where do ingredients come from? What is the soil like? Are the ingredients altered from their natural state? This is in keeping with the idea that every beauty product you use goes back into the environment. This is also true of what your skin and organs absorb. What chemicals are in these products and where are they going? “Actives” (the nutrients in her products) have an impact on our bodies and we react to these plants. Intelligent Nutrients implements science with safety in mind. One technology used in the brand is the cold pressed processing of seeds. This elixir incorporated across the brand is high in antioxidant levels and marks the foundation of a good skincare regimen by starting with nutrition. Fighting free radicals from the inside out.
Nicole admits that the beauty industry has not changed much but that Intelligent Nutrients is managing their impact on the environment and trying to influence how beauty products are made. In their flagship salon in Minneapolis they focus on a place where people can receive wellness, peace, and an overall lifestyle approach to beauty; inspiring people to learn and be a part of something bigger. How do their services differ? When you first walk into the salon you notice the aroma first. They inspire a total sensory experience for people that refers back to their entire lifestyle approach to beauty. This is not just a salon for overall beauty but a specialized way to treat clients going through chemo and other types of medical treatments that may be especially toxic and taxing on their health. They train their staff on how to work with cancer patients and offer oncology spa solutions, helping patients shocked from the diagnosis and treatment find a place to feel better. In other words, it’s more than just a blowdry.
What does Nicole have planned, going forward? She is continuing to spread the message that Horst left behind – “If you can do better, then you must do better” – and she is carrying on the legacy that Horst built. It’s easy to believe that he would be very proud of her achievements.
For more information an the Intelligent Nutrients story, visit their website.
You can also listen to this fascinating interview on our Youtube channel.