It’s been 22 years since Denali Dreams first stirred the pot and we’ve taken the time to bring you a timeline of the progress over the years.
October 1995– Janie travels to New Zealand and learns to make soap from a friend.
December 1995– Janie makes soap as Christmas presents for friends and family.
1996– Both Barb and Janie are stay-at-home moms and want to make a little money on the side while still raising their kiddos. Janie teaches Barb how to make soap.
December 1996– Barb and Janie sign up for their first Christmas bazaar with six soaps (our original six, Forget-Me-Not, Denali Dreams, Polar Blast, Arctic Breeze, Kodiak Brown and Tundra Rose.)
January 1997-The two ladies decide to go into business and originally pick the name “Birds of a Feather”.
March 1997– They find out that name is already taken and change the business name to Denali Dreams, focusing on creating products are inspired by Alaska. The picture above is Barb (left) and Janie (right) in Barb’s kitchen making soap and perfecting the same recipes we use today.
This was also the year they picked up our first wholesale customer Cabin Fever in Anchorage and our sales representative who still represents us today, Mindy.
1998– Denali Dreams out grows Barb’s kitchen and they move into Barb’s duplex.
1998- Our first employee Carol (bottom right). She stayed with the company until 2016 when she retired.
2001– We join the technology bandwagon and designed a website. Our first sale was November 5, 2001, for $9.
September 2003- Storefront! Denali Dreams grows out of Barb’s duplex and moves into what is still our location in Spenard.
September 2004- As we start to grow our wrist can’t keep up with handwrapping all the soaps. A manual machine is designed in England and shipped over.
November 2005- Caitlin is hired to help label lip balms and make gift baskets for the upcoming bazaars. (I’m just a baby here! Little did I know those chemistry classes would come in handy.)
August 2007- Denali Dreams Borealis Buzz Off Bug Spray is featured in Sunset Magazine.
2011- As a team building exercise Denali Dreams makes our own wine we named it The Black Dog of Wines because at the time we all had black dogs.
2012- Denali Dreams wins Alaska Manufacturer of the Year.
January 2015- Barb and Janie are ready for the next adventure and Caitlin has been with the company for almost 10 years. She buys the business and keeps the Dream alive.
March 2016- Another wrapping machine is needed, this time we find someone local to make it for us.
October 2016- With technology moving ever so quickly, we decide it’s time to update our website.
May 2017- Spenard Road gets a much overdue makeover, with new beautiful flower beds and wide walking paths.
August 2017- The Dream Team field trip to Matanuska Glacier where we collect the glacial silt that goes into the Glacier Glow Soap. We also brought out the bubble wands.
November 2017- Beards were in, so we added the ManlyMan Beard Oil infused with spruce tips to our Manly line.
December 2018- We made the leap into Bath Bombs. You should try one, they are the bomb!
2019- In 22 years we have grown from 6 soaps to over 50 soaps and body products. We now employ eight amazing people that make the Dream possible and so I can sleep at night. Denali Dreams is growing out of our location in Spenard and we hope to move into our own building soon. There are so many other things we have in the works and can’t wait to reveal them to you all. Thank you for supporting us through the years, you have helped us to continue to live the dream.