The driving visionary behind Neill's growth.
Edwin Neill II dedicated his life to elevating the beauty industry. His leadership transformed the family business from a mom-and-pop beauty supply company to a nationally revered advisor for salons and spas. With an underlying goal of helping owners grow their businesses, he was always looking for ways to make the industry better. He helped form The Salon Association (later part of the Professional Beauty Association), pioneered the industry’s first salon software, SalonBiz, and founded Serious Business, the industry’s leading conference for personal and business development.
Edwin truly loved the salon and spa industry—the people, the meaningful work, and the positive impact it has on every person it touches. Above all else, Edwin was committed to—and perhaps obsessed with—the pursuit of actualizing one’s Full Potential. All he did, he did with the intention of influencing our thinking which, in turn, influences our behavior, and ultimately creates our reality…both personally and in business.
He was an abundant thinker.
A leader we continue to learn from.
And a reminder that if we strive to meet our full potential, we can always grow further.
Horst Rechelbacher 1941-2014
Relationship is the key to the universe.
Our relationship with Horst began in 1979 when Edwin II flew to Atlanta on a recommendation by Jamison Shaw, a hairdresser and salon owner that had done hair shows for Neill. Of course, Jamison knew Edwin, then called Smokey, was always looking for who and what was next!
The following weekend, Horst and his associate, Shivnath, came to stay with Edwin at his house in Springfield. Edwin was energized by the possibility that AVEDA could be revolutionary and game-changing not only for the beauty industry, but the world. Horst had a vision of waking up the world to the responsibility of caring for the planet as we cared for ourselves. Horst was committed to developing products for a higher purpose, and introduced salon practices that created a positive state of being for the salon guest.
Horst and Edwin saw the power of the hairdresser to spread the message of the connection between beauty, wellness and the environment; and inspiring them with purpose elevated the hairdresser to a higher level of professionalism this industry had never before realized was possible.
Edwin supported Horst’s vision and Neill became the first concept (exclusively AVEDA) distributor.
In the late 90s, Tom Petrillo met Horst as the acquisition to Estee Lauder was unfolding, and he was asked to work directly with Horst to fully understand how to execute his vision. Estee Lauder was not interested in changing AVEDA; rather its intention was to help Horst and AVEDA manifest his vision for the future.
To facilitate the process, Horst invited Tom and his family to live with him for six months. This experience became a defining point in Tom’s life, giving him a great understanding that AVEDA was a catalyst to change the world and the way we think about beauty. The salon industry could change the world—using shampoo as the catalyst.
Horst’s concepts and innovations are still influencing entrepreneurs, manufacturers, and creatives. The consciousness that he evoked has forever changed the way the beauty business–really all business–views its opportunity and obligation.
Our relationship with Horst continues to inspire and contribute to the quality of our lives and our business. He can rest…assured that his passion and commitment lives on with us.