Tracy Slocum and her family love boating on Lake George in upstate New York. They hate to see summer end and try to prolong boating season as far into the fall as they could. But even in early fall, temperatures can drop to 55 degrees and rainy days occur much too often. Tracy searched the Internet for a blanket that would keep them warm and dry, but found nothing that was both beautiful and functional (i.e., pretty and rugged). It was her “aha” moment, and one that was in tune with her heritage.
Tracy’s great-great-grandfather was Captain Joshua Slocum, the first man to sail alone around the world. His memoir of the voyage was a best seller in his day and is still in print. Tracy had been reading it all her life for inspiration. Captain Joshua had wrapped himself in fur as protection from the bitter temperatures and driving rains that he encountered in his journey. No wonder Tracy’s first thought for her blanket was fur—faux fur these days.
She worked with fashion consultants and created the first ever blanket with sumptuous faux fur on one side and weather-proof, wind-proof, spill-proof RuggedTex fabric on the other. RuggedTex is the special nylon backing made from Pretty Rugged’s proprietary technology that creates a completely waterproof barrier. The blanket is a perfect marriage of modern materials designed to provide years of luxury, performance, and style.
No point in using such a posh but practical blanket only on a boat—Tracy used it to warm up those cold metal bleachers where she watched her son’s football games. She took it to concerts and used it when sitting on the dock or by the fire pit. Everywhere she went, both friends and strangers admired the blanket. She had long wanted to be an entrepreneur, and it looked like she had found her product.
After graduating from Le Moyne College in Syracuse, NY, Tracy went into pharmaceutical sales. After nine years, she left to raise her children and, after nine years, opened an award-winning specialty food store in Albany, which she sold when Pretty Rugged was gaining momentum. She gathered together a team of talented women: Pretty Rugged is a Certified Women-Owned Business Enterprise.
When it was time to introduce the blanket to the world outside of New York, Tracy traveled around to fashion shows, trade expos, and networking events, and the Pretty Rugged blanket was received with great enthusiasm. Its uses were almost endless! It was perfect for picnics, glamping, tailgatimg, apres-ski, curling up on the couch and gazing at the stars.
Pretty Rugged Lifestyle Brand
- The original full-size blanket measures 50” x 70” so that it drapes over your lap and your companion’s lap to keep you both warm and snuggly.
- The Baby Blanket is 28” x 32” and can be used as mat as well as a blanket.
- The Pet Blanket is 33” x 40” and can also be used as a mat as well as a blanket for your pet or a toddler.
- Note: All blankets come with a waterproof zipper pocket.
- The Collins Capelet was the first outerwear introduced with SatinTex, soft and buttery waterproof satin developed for Pretty Rugged. Reminiscent of the fur stole of yesteryear, the capelet can be dressed up or down. It goes to the evening gala just as well as it goes to the grocery store with your jeans.
- The Pretty Puffer Vest was the first non-fur garment. Great for tailgating (comes in team colors) or brunch on spring day. Made from Pretty Rugged’s windproof fabric in a fashionable design with “portrait” collar.
- The Blakely Faux Fur Reversible Bomber, SatinTex on one side, faux fur on the other.
- The 3-in-1 Shawl can be worn as a fur shawl or a SatinTex shawl or to add a cowl neck to another garment to make an eye-catching statement—whether dressed to the nines or in casual attire.
- The TS Luxe Cardigan, the first wearable blanket, has an oversized hood, ribbing around the wrists and two grommet hooks to wear closed or open for a relaxed fit.
Pretty Rugged Special Features
- All blankets come packed in an easy-to-carry, waterproof duffle bag and are embellished with our signature vintage ribbon.
- The Pretty Rugged Americana Ribbon Embellishment is a red, white and blue tribute to anyone who is living their version of the American Dream.
- Items can be personalized with initials, names, dates or special events in beautifully designed embroidery.
- Washing is recommended only when the item is really dirty. The RuggedTex and SatinTex backings can be wiped clean with a damp cloth. When a deep cleaning is needed, wash item by itself on delicate and tumble dry on low or no heat.
Pretty Rugged Honors
- The Pretty Rugged Blanket won “Best in Market” and “Best New Product” at NY NOW in 2018. It was the only time a new business won both awards in its first appearance at the trade show.
- The Pet Blanket was selected for “Oprah’s Favorite Things List” for 2018 holiday season.
- The Blakely Reversible Faux Fur Bomber won “Best New Product” at NY NOW in 2019. It was the first time a new company won two years in a row.
- Featured on Good Morning America in March 2019.
- Tracy was honored as a women entrepreneur during Women’s History Month, and continues to honor her legacy by donating to the Sailing Heritage Foundation and the Save Our Seas Foundation.
Pretty Rugged in the Shark Tank
On Shark Tank, Tracy Slocum, founder of Pretty Rugged, showcased her brand’s unique waterproof and windproof blankets with faux fur. She sought a $200,000 investment in exchange for 10% equity, valuing her company at $2 million. Her pitch highlighted the product’s quality and impressive sales figures, including lifetime sales nearing $3 million. The Sharks, particularly Lori Greiner and Robert Herjavec, showed interest due to the high profit margins and product appeal. Ultimately, Slocum agreed to a counteroffer from Greiner and Herjavec: $200,000 for 25% equity, bringing the company’s valuation down to $800,000.
|$200,000 for 10% equity
|Lori Greiner and Robert Herjavec
|$200,000 for 25% equity
|Waterproof, windproof blankets with faux fur
Pretty Rugged After Shark Tank
Pretty Rugged, a lifestyle brand founded by Tracy Slocum, experienced significant growth after its appearance on Shark Tank. As of 2023, Pretty Rugged’s net worth is estimated at $2 million, with an annual revenue of around $680,000. The brand has expanded its product range beyond the original blankets to include various other items like capes, cardigans, bags, shawls, and more, maintaining its positioning as a luxury brand. Despite the high price points, customer satisfaction remains high, as reflected in the five-star reviews on their website.
The company, which is still in business as of 2023, continues to market its products through its website and Amazon. It’s noted that the business has lifetime sales of approximately $3 million as of October 2022. However, despite these impressive sales figures, profitability has been a challenge, mainly due to substantial spending on advertising.