Photos by Stephanie Colgan
With Horst Rechelbacher, the ideas are big and the drama is high. So it was no surprise that a conversation about opening a store at Mall of America for Intelligent Nutrients, his follow-up to Aveda, bounced from global warming to preservation to the very essence of consciousness.
“I’m in my 70s,” Rechelbacher said over herbal tea at IN headquarters in Northeast Minneapolis. “I’m preparing to leave my body. And I don’t want to leave with guilt.”
Rechelbacher has spent the years since selling Aveda to Estée Lauder on a mission to prove to the beauty industry that it’s possible to make food-grade organic beauty products that smell great and work well. He built Intelligent Nutrients slowly, starting with a chemical-free shampoo and expanding into anti-aging products made with a biotech process that cultivates antioxidant-rich plant cells without using soil. In all, the line has grown to more than 100 products. Enough to fill a store.
MOA was the company’s first choice, and plans got pushed up to the holidays when a prime spot suddenly became available on the first floor, south side, where the most upscale brands tend to be located. As of press time, the store was scheduled to open on Black Friday.
“Mall of America is as critical as having a store on Fifth Avenue in New York City,” says Tyler Heiden Jones, president of Intelligent Nutrients. The brand has a passionate global fan base but remains under the radar, especially beyond Minnesota. In New York, where a second store is already in the works, Intelligent Nutrients is currently available through just one retailer—ABC Carpet & Home.
The Intelligent Nutrients store, like the company, isn’t only about products. There’s an oxygen bar, as well as iPads with which to research product ingredients. A treatment room will be used for select salon and spa services including cranial massage, aromatherapy, skin analysis, and even hairstyling. The space itself, decorated in rich woods and metals, was acoustically designed to block noise pollution from the mall.
“The days of just opening a store are gone. There’s got to be a reason to send someone there vs. buying online,” Jones says. “It’s experiential. It’s about gaining information and making intelligent decisions.”
Don’t be surprised if you see the founder himself working the counter.
“I’m a professional retailer,” says Rechelbacher, who grows product ingredients on his organic farm in Osceola, Wisconsin. “The best way to make an introduction is in a store.” Mall of America, intelligentnutrients.com