The Chicago Tribune newspaper wrote, “2 servicemen returning from war and not finding work turn to making wallpaper in their basement.” Denst and Soderlund Wallpapers had opened for business in a south side Chicago home in 1946 and their unique product was recognized immediately.
Jack Denst and Don Soderlund introduced many bold designs that set a whole new way of decorating a home as stylish as one would style their attire. The first big break of the Denst and Soderlund company came early with a contract to produce wallpaper for the Waldorf Astoria in New York. This gave them a track record and provided funding. Assembling an infrastructure of family members, the design team was prolific and the early success of the new company snowballed.
Ted Ramsey, designer for Denst & Soderlund, Inc. leaves for a business tour of the Far East. He stopped in London for a conference with Rowland Emett. Mr. Ramsey held rights to reproduce Mr. Emett’s designs on wallpapers and fabrics in the United States. The company produces “Transitions One” wallpaper book of Ramsey’s work. Donald K. Soderlund also leaves on a world-wide trip to study wallpaper production methods in all parts of the world.
Denst & Soderlund, Inc. were known internationally and sold exclusively in prestigious showrooms of key markets throughout the United States. Chicago’s Merchandise Mart leased to them the first private showroom space in its history. The Mart showroom became the company flagship.
The company again shakes up the screen print industry with the introduction of transparent inks allowing for more colors than single screens. Hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles are written about the company, Denst and Soderlund have become celebrities. Consequently, Sonderlund’s interests change and he leaves the company.
Volume 12 introduced the company name change to Jack Denst Designs, Inc. Lead artist for the firm; nothing gets designed without Jack’s touch. Internationally applauded for being trendsetting and forward thinking, Jack was also an observer and influenced by the world around him. Impressed with European tapestries, Jack created the most stunning of all his art, murals. The versatility of the murals allows for a gallery size framed serigraph or to be printed as large as multiple 4 x 8 foot panels covering an entire wall.
Just for fun, Denst creates a Happy Birthday Book for the U.S. bicentennial.
The company continued to focus on murals, producing a collection numbering over 200.
Karen S. Brienzo, spent a summer researching and negotiating the purchase of the company. She is an entrepreneur and long time avid admirer of Denst's art. With cash in hand she flew to Arizona and ‘sight unseen’ bought Jack Denst Designs, Inc. The contract was finalized August, 17, 2009, coincidentally on Jack Denst's birthday. The new parent company is Millepora Corp. an Illinois Corporation dba Jack Denst.
In collaboration with MagMile Brand, a line of fabrics and leather goods is introduced.