Dallas Dotson

Most people wouldn’t see getting a case of acne as a blessing in disguise. But for Dallas Dotson, it certainly was.

That case of acne is what set her on a path to discovering a career in skin care that has become a passion and a vocation. And it’s that passion that eventually led her to create an all-natural perfume that is inspired by the Iowa Great Lakes. She calls it “Lakeable.”

Her journey to creating Lakeable has been a circuitous one. Dallas grew up in Okoboji and graduated from Okoboji High School in 1999. She went on to earn a degree in fine arts with a minor in business from the University of Sioux Falls.

She took a job at a bank for two years, but she soon learned it wasn’t a good match for her.

“I really am an artist at heart. I love photography, design, oil painting and web design. I always enjoyed art and science,” Dallas said. “When I developed some acne I started trying out all these different products and procedures to find something that would work. That’s when I became passionate about skin care.”

She made that passion into a career by starting Okoboji Skin Care in 2007. The business allowed her to combine her love of art with her love of science.

“I became fascinated by skin, bone structures and faces. Everybody’s face is different,” Dallas said. “Skin is alive and everyone’s skin is different.”

She went back to school at the Stewart School in Sioux Falls to become an aesthetician. She started her business small in a one room space in a salon in Milford and she grew it into its own retail space in Okoboji staffed with four employees.

But it was only two years ago when Dallas met with a client who sparked an idea.

“A client came in with this rash and I asked her what happened. She said that she just loved this certain perfume but whenever she used it she got this rash. I got this lightbulb that just clicked in my brain,” Dallas said. “I have all this wonderful, natural skin care products to offer but almost all perfume companies use all kinds of chemicals. What if I took this to the next level?”

That’s when she decided to create a true eau de parfum naturel that was made with pure essential oils.

The idea snowballed from there. Before she even created the perfume, Dallas made a very important decision.

“I wanted to use only local women to promote Lakeable. These are real women doing really amazing things,” Dallas said. “I wanted to showcase how fabulous this area really is and make a scent that spoke to real women.”

Creating the scent, bottle and packaging allowed Dallas to utilize both her love of art and of science.

“I wanted to work with a company based in the U.S. and after analyzing some of the sales of essential oils and listening to the women here I decided I wanted something non-floral, super natural,” Dallas said. “The company sent me 75 vials of combinations of essential oils and I grabbed a bag of coffee and after an hour of smelling I decided to just go with my gut.”

There were two different fragrances in particular Dallas just couldn’t decide between so she called up the company and asked if there was any way to combine the two. The company told her that it doesn’t usually work to combine combinations of essential oils, but in this case, it worked.

“That was Lakeable,” Dallas said. “It feels like the lake in the summer.”

Lakeable has notes of mint, bamboo, jasmine and some grasses.

“I wanted something that had a universal freshness about it and most importantly, I had to like it,” Dallas said. “Unlike other perfumes that change scent depending on who’s wearing it, Lakeable doesn’t do that. Because it’s made with essential oils the scent is the same for everyone and stays the same the entire time you wear it.”

Dallas chose a bottle that was easy to pick up and handle that had a little bit of a feminine edge to it. The packaging features a depiction of the lakes that inspired its name.

The fragrance launched in May 2015 and Dallas said that the two-year journey has been a fun and educational one.

“It’s been the neatest process for me and I continue to learn so much,” Dallas said.

Currently, Lakeable is sold at Okoboji Skin Care, Three Sons and The Look Fashions as well as online at www.lakeable.com.

It currently comes in a 3.3-ounce bottle, but Dallas would like to look at other options for that as well including a travel roll-on. She’s also thinking of expanding and creating new scents as well, including a possible version of Lakeable for men.

And just think. It all started with a case of acne.

“That case of acne truly ended up being a blessing in disguise.” 