Something big is happening at Horny Toad on January 27. But before we get too ahead of ourselves, we’re looking back on the road we’ve taken and the people who’ve joined us along the way. It’s because of the partners we’ve had and the decisions we’ve made that we’re able to move forward. So as we look to the big things coming up in 2015, we can’t help but take a stroll down memory lane, and detour down the Road of the Toad…
1991 – Horny Toad starts in a garage in Telluride, CO where one woman is making one-of-a-kind, handmade winter toques (fleece hats for ski-bums).
1995 – The first brick and mortar Horny Toad store is established in downtown Telluride. It’s 300 square-ft. Meanwhile, headquarters is moved to Chicago and set up in Gordon’s living room. The entire company has 3 employees.
1996 – Horny Toad Activewear launches at the Summer Outdoor Retail Tradeshow with no summer line, just our signature winter toques. Orders pour in for “Mixed Dozens”: An assortment of sizes and colors pulled from bins in the office. The company grows to 4 employees.
1997 – We join with Search, Inc. to create Planet Access Company (PAC) in Chicago. PAC is a third party logistics warehouse that provides meaningful jobs for adults with developmental disabilities.
1997 – The pilot “Pillow Program” launches at PAC. PAC repurposes the fleece scraps from Horny Toad clothing and turns those scraps into pillowcases. The cases are sold across the country in outdoor retail stores with all proceeds going back to PAC; some of these proceeds are used to send PAC crew members on much deserved vacations to the great outdoors.
1998 – PAC takes over all of Horny Toad’s logistics: 100% of our clothing is picked, packed, and shipped by PAC crewmembers (and it still is to this day!)
1999 – Horny Toad launches the first spring line, saying goodbye to unisex sizes, and hello to women’s apparel.
1999 – We sponsor the MountainFilm in Telluride film festival in Colorado for the first time.
2000 – Search for Adventure, a sister-program to PAC, officially gets off the ground. Proceeds from PAC and grants from Horny Toad provide much deserved vacations to the PAC crew, giving many their first experience of outdoor adventure.
2001 – The Horny Toad Outlet Store in Freeport, Maine opens. It’s meant to be a temporary pop-up shop, but after a successful winter it becomes a permanent fixture in downtown Freeport.
2001 – Horny Toad is invited to join the Outdoor Industry Association as the voice of the next generation in the outdoor industry.
2002 – Team Toad relocates headquarters from Chicago to sunny Santa Barbara, CA. Four families, 2 dogs, and all our belongings pack into an 18-wheeler truck and hit the road across the
country – garage band style. We set up shop in a small space right off main street. Horny Toad has grown to 8 employees.
2004 – “Cashmoore” becomes synonymous with Horny Toad. This micro-polyester fabric is buttery, indescribably soft, and full of eco-friendly fibers. Our Cashmoore pants and jackets put us on the map for the ultimate in cozy, fluffy goodness.
2005 – Horny Toad becomes a member of the outdoor industry environmental collective, the Conservation Alliance.We go outdoors to be inspired, so it’s paramount to our success to keep it wild and free.
2005 – We’ve outgrown our downtown location, so we find some new digs down by the beach. The company has swelled to 23 employees and 3 dogs.
2006 – Horny Toad becomes the proud owner of a handful of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) through 3Degrees®. We tally up the amount of energy we use every year and commit to purchasing the relative amount in RECs. RECs allow us to channel funds to sustainable energy projects, offsetting the environmental impact of our energy use.
2007 – We open the Lizard Lounge, our second brick & mortar location, in Portland, Oregon. Horny Toad gets even hipper and now we have an excuse to visit Portland more often.
2008 – With their likeminded commitment to doing business for good and designing some seriously cool threads, Nau becomes an awesome addition to the Toad family for five years.
2009 – Our reputation for making functional yet feminine women’s dresses starts here: The Rosemarie Dress makes its debut in our spring line and is offered in four basic colors. Rosemarie sells out before the spring season is over and we know we’ve found our new best friend.
2010 – We participate in the first annual Backyard Collective, joining forces with Conservation Alliance members and local organizations for a day of environmental action. We trade spreadsheets for shovels, getting our hands dirty restoring trails and creeks in our own backyard.
2010 – Outside Magazine names Horny Toad one of the Best Places to Work. Beach cruisers, pig-pong, and pooches – we think it’s pretty great too.
2013 – We host the first annual Grilled Cheese Smackdown Invitational on our back patio. The results are delicious.
2013 – The Toads move up in the world as we take our headquarters to the former 1920s hilltop home of UC Santa Barbara. We set up shop in the old library, replacing book stacks with 49 employees.
2013 – Horny Toad becomes a member of 1% For the Planet. It’s a proud statement of our commitment to PAC, SFA and creating meaningful change through socially and environmentally smart business.
2014 – For the 5th time, Horny Toad is named one of Outside’s Best Places to Work. They’re making us blush, but we couldn’t agree more.