For Ali Kalenak, there were two major turning points in her life. The first happened in may 2013 when her twin sister suddenly passed away in Charleston, South Carolina. Ali was living in Jackson at the time, completing her second nursing degree at the university of Wyoming, and living with her then-boyfriend and their two dogs. With a single phone call, her life changed forever.
“My life was literally turned upside down,” she says. “More than five years later I’m still trying to recover. It’s been extremely difficult, to say the least.”
The following September, she moved to Charleston to gain custody of her sister’s three children: Grace, Hannah, and Drew. But she couldn’t get Jackson out of her mind. “I knew from the moment I saw the Tetons this was home,” says Ali, who first discovered Jackson in 2008. However, it would be three years before she would make her return to the mountain town that captured her heart. With Jackson in the midst of a housing crisis and Ali with a new family to support, she worked long hours as a travel nurse, trying to manage work and family.
After her brother and sister-in-law, who live in Cody, Wyoming, assumed care of the two younger children in August 2016, Ali and the oldest, Grace, returned to Jackson. She continued to work long hours as a nurse at St. John’s Medical Center and Teton Outpatient Services, while waiting tables at The Gun Barrel and bartending at Cutty’s Bar and Grill. It was while working at the latter that her second life-changing moment took place.
“I was always at work,” she says. “Finally I thought, this is ridiculous, what am I doing with my life?” At Cutty’s, a regular with a hangover made a casual comment that inspired her to shift her career focus. “He knew I was a nurse and he would say, ‘Ali, hook me up to an IV,’” she says. “After the third time he said it, I began researching IV hydration therapy.”
In July 2017, she launched Remède Hydration Therapy, a mobile business where nurses travel to clients and provide intravenous therapies to replenish fluids, vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, antioxidants, and amino acids. She says these treatments can boost clients’ immune systems and athletic performance, ease a hangover, and assist with symptoms related to Jackson’s high altitude. Remède also provides clients with intramuscular injections, oxygen therapy, and complementary aroma and massage therapy.
Today, her business is seeing so much success that Ali is preparing to open a brick and mortar space with an oxygen bar in Jackson as well as locations in Bend, Oregon, and Denver, Colorado. “My goal is to be full-on with Remède this winter, and eventually I’d like to apply to grad school,” says Ali, who hopes to attend a doctor of nursing practice program and specialize in pediatrics.
While Ali’s journey has had its fair share of life-changing moments, her hard work and grit have allowed her to build the life she enjoys today as a business owner, nurse, and mother figure—all in the mountain town that captured her heart over a decade ago.