Our History


• 1991 • Horny Toad starts in a garage in Telluride, CO where Jessica Nordhaus is making one-of-a-kind, handmade winter toques (fleece hats for locals).

• 1995 • The first brick & mortar Horny Toad store is established in downtown Telluride. It’s 300 square-ft. Meanwhile headquarters is moved to Chicago, in our CEO's living room. The entire company has 3 employees.

• 1996 • Horny Toad Activewear launches at the Winter Outdoor Retail Tradeshow with our signature toques. Orders pour in for “Mixed Dozens”: an assortment of sizes and colors pulled from bins. The company grows to 4 employees.

• 1997 • We join with Search, Inc. to create a social mission venture, Planet Access Company (PAC), in Chicago. PAC is a third party logistics warehouse that provides meaningful jobs for adults with developmental disabilities.

• 1997 • The “Camping Pillow Program” launches at PAC. PAC repurposes our fleece scraps by turning them into camping pillowcases. The cases are sold across the country in outdoor retail stores to build awareness of the social mission venture. All proceeds go to PAC.

• 1998 • PAC takes over all of Horny Toad’s logistics: 100% of our clothing is picked, packed, and shipped by PAC crew members.

• 1999 • Horny Toad launches the first Spring line, saying goodbye to unisex sizes, and hello to women’s apparel.

• 1999 • We sponsor Telluride MountainFilm for the first time.

• 2000 • Proceeds from PAC and grants from Horny Toad provide much deserved vacations to the PAC crew, giving many their first experience of outdoor adventure. Our second social mission venture, Search for Adventure, officially gets off the ground.

• 2001 • The Horny Toad outlet store in Freeport, ME opens. It’s meant to be a temporary pop-up shop, but after a successful winter it becomes a permanent fixture in downtown Freeport.

• 2002 • Horny Toad moves headquarters from Chicago to the beach town of Santa Barbara, CA. 4 families pack into an 18 wheeler truck - garage band style - and hit the road across the country. We set up shop in a small space right off State Street. Horny Toad has grown to 6 employees.

• 2005 • Team Toad officially becomes a member of the Conservation Alliance and moves again, this time closer to the beach. The company has swelled to 22 employees and 3 dogs.

• 2007 • We open the Lizard Lounge, our second brick & mortar location, in Portland, OR. Horny Toad gets even hipper and we now have an excuse to visit Portland, OR more.

• 2008 • With their like-minded commitment to sustainable business practices and some seriously cool threads, Nau becomes a proud addition to the Toad family for five years.

• 2010 • We participate in the first annual Backyard Collective, joining forces with the Conservation Alliance and local organizations to get our hands dirty in our own backyard.

• 2010 • Outside Magazine names Horny Toad one of the best places to work. Bikes, ping-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 • Horny Toad moves up in the world as we move our headquarters to the former 1920s hilltop home of UC Santa Barbara. We set up shop in the old library, replacing book stacks with 30 Toads.

• 2013 • Horny Toad becomes a member of 1% For the Planet. It’s a proud statement of our commitment to PAC, SFA and doing business for good.

• 2014 • For the 5th time, Horny Toad is named one of Outside’s Best Places to Work, and the Grassroots Outdoor Alliance names us Vendor of the Year. They’re making us blush.

• 2015 • On January 27, 2015 we changed our name to Toad&Co, same great Toad, more great company.

• 2015 • Toad&Co marks the beginning of the Modern Travel Collection. Gone are the days of the tourist costume, here to stay is long-haul style and comfort.

• 2016 • For Spring 2016 100% of the cotton we use in our fabrics is organic. Fall 2016 marks our 20th anniversary as the Original Trail to Tavern Brand™.