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How Aveda’s Founder Inspired Babo

Posted on February 28 2015

 Horst Rechelbacher died this past week at 72. Mr.  Rechelbacher founded Aveda in 1978 based on  Indian Ayurvedic medicine which he shortened  into “Aveda.”

 His company transformed the personal care  business into a more mainstream approach to  natural, premium products.

 I remember experiencing my first Aveda product in  1994. I was actually visiting my college boyfriend  at the BioSphere in Arizona where after  graduation; he worked as an environmental  researcher. The BioSphere was the place where in  the 80’s, people lived in an enclosed bubble as a  scientific experience. It seems quite crazy now  looking back at it.  Later, the facility became a  think tank for environmental research.

 There was a gift shop on the premises full of  natural products and there on a wooden shelf  were several brown travel sizes that read “Aveda  Cherry Bark Shampoo” I opened one up and  smelled the exquisite aroma of blended plants and  herbs. “This is sensational,” I thought and my love  of natural personal care was born.

 For many years, I had been making soaps and  candles out of honey and beeswax, but never did I  think of putting herbs and flowers in my  concoctions. During my childhood, I had a soap  collection (I recently gave my 5-year-old daughter  my collection). We just went through it together  and,there was only one soap from Crabtree &  Evelyn that seemed inspired by flowers.

Now, seeing Aveda products. Smelling them, feeling them, experiencing the intoxicating aroma, I was sold. I knew that development of natural products was going to be my passion.

15 years later, I finally had the experience, support and financials to develop my own line of products, Babo Botanicals. I also had the knowledge and passion – and felt like I wanted to develop an Aveda-like line for children or any individual who wanted a line for sensitive skin based on plant science.  A hair, skin and sun line that used the power of plant and herbal science while delivering quality, high performing products.

I must say that I was saddened by the death of Mr. Rechelbacher. I would have loved to have met him as he pioneered and fought for safer products. He had the highest principles and values as a business leader and I, too, hope I can continue to carry the torch. He encouraged and supported many consumer groups like “The Campaign for Safer Cosmetics” which has been instrumental in creating change among personal care companies. I will do my best to continue to walk in his footsteps.


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