Pretty Rugged on 'Shark Tank': What's the cost, who's the founder and how to buy one of Oprah's favorite products

Pretty Rugged on 'Shark Tank': What's the cost, who's the founder and how to buy one of Oprah's favorite products
Tracy Slocum, owner of the Latham business Pretty Rugged in 'Shark Tank' Season 14 Episode 5 (ABC)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Tracy Slocum's desire to be warm, dry, and attractive outdoors resulted in the establishment of Pretty Rugged in Latham. She is now taking her product to the set of 'Shark Tank', hoping to find a fit in the form of a Shark and their investment.

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A waterproof blanket is a must-have item, whether you're putting together an emergency pack or searching for something to keep you warm at the beach. Waterproof blankets come in a wide range of materials, from fleece and synthetic alternatives to warm and cuddly down-installed variants. Due to their longevity, simplicity of use, and mobility, they are infinitely adaptable. Tracy Slocum, the founder of Pretty Rugged, a luxury and waterproof blanket company, will now make her business pitch on an episode of 'Shark Tank' airing on October 21 at 8 pm ET on ABC.

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What is Pretty Rugged?

The Pretty Rugged Blanket capitalizes on the popularity of faux fur blankets by taking them to the next level. It combines the wide appeal of faux fur with a strong, breathable, waterproof liner to tackle a frequent outdoor problem, resulting in a fantastic usage extension. It's basic, yet really smart and practical, and it should be a smashing success.

The original full-size blanket is 50" X 70" and drapes over your lap and the lap of your companion to keep you both warm and comfortable. The Baby Blanket is 28" X 32" and can be used as both a mat and a blanket. The Pet Blanket is 33" X 40" and can be used as both a mat and a blanket for your pet or a kid. Note: All blankets include a watertight zipper pocket.

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The Collins Capelet was the first piece of outerwear to include SatinTex, a soft and buttery waterproof satin created exclusively for Pretty Rugged. The capelet, reminiscent of the fur stole of yesteryear, can be worn up or down. It looks just as well at an evening event as it does in the grocery store with your jeans.

The first non-fur garment was the Pretty Puffer Vest. Excellent for tailgating (available in team colors) or breakfast on a spring day. Pretty Rugged's windproof fabric is used in a trendy design with a "portrait collar." SatinTex on one side and faux fur on the other of the Blakely Faux Fur Reversible Bomber. The 3-in-1 Shawl can be worn as a fur shawl, a SatinTex shawl, or to add a cowl neck to another garment to create a statement—whether dressed up or down. The first wearable blanket, the TS Luxe Cardigan, features an enormous hood, ribbing around the wrists, and two grommet hooks that may be worn closed or open for a comfortable fit.

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All blankets are packaged in a convenient, waterproof duffle bag and adorned with the company's signature vintage ribbon. The Pretty Rugged Americana Ribbon Embellishment pays respect to anybody who is living their version of the American Dream in blue, white, and red. In elegantly crafted needlework, items can be personalized with initials, names, dates, or significant occasions. Only when the item is really dirty should it be washed. A moist cloth can be used to clean the SatinTex and RuggedTex backings. When a thorough cleaning is required, wash the garment on delicate and tumble dry on low or no heat.

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Who is the founder of Pretty Rugged?

Tracy Slocum is the Founder and CEO of Pretty Rugged, a woman-owned and operated business that adds elegance and utility to any outdoor adventure. Tracy has substantial retail design, manufacturing, worldwide sourcing, and production expertise.

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Tracy was born in Albany, New York, and raised there. She attended Shaker High School before attending Lemoyne College, where she earned a degree in psychology with a minor in biology. She moved into pharmaceutical sales after graduation and worked for one of the top pharmaceutical corporations for nine years. Tracy married Daren, who grew up in the Albany region as well, but they didn't really connect until after college. They married in 2001 and have two sons, Michael, and Charlie.

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Tracy Slocum was motivated to establish her company by her family's history and the sense of adventure it evokes. Captain Joshua Slocum, her great-great-grandfather, was the first person to sail around the world alone from 1895 to 1898. To remain warm in adverse weather on the sea, he would cover himself in fur. Tracy was urged to do the same while studying this. Tracy used her family's love of lakes and water and created a blanket with sumptuous four-season faux fur on one side and a windproof, waterproof, washable backing on the other. The name, Pretty Rugged, was inspired by a night out with her pals during the summer of 2017. Tracy set out to fix the problem of being chilly and wet on unwelcome occasions such as her son's baseball game or a boat cruise on Lake George. Today, she manages a team of women and is creating a name for herself on 'Shark Tank', stunning others as well as well-known entrepreneurs.

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Tracy had past business expertise in establishing clothing lines, so she started to work on her new venture. In the first year, a lot of lessons were learned. Tracy sees it as a thrilling roller coaster, particularly when she and her business partner, Sheila Mendleson, went into their first trade exhibition in New York City. They sold their first blanket in November 2017, and soon after decided to have a stand at the prestigious NY NOW trade exhibition in New York City in February 2018. The brand now provides much more than blankets, which Oprah named one of her favorite items in 2018. Tracy flew around to fashion shows, trade expos, and networking events to present the blanket to the world outside of New York, and the Pretty Rugged blanket was welcomed with tremendous excitement. Its applications were nearly limitless! It was ideal for picnics, glamping tailgating, après-ski, and stargazing from the sofa.

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What is the cost and where to buy Pretty Rugged from?

Pretty Rugged blankets are all made with their patented RuggedTex ™ or SatinTex ™ technology, which makes them windproof, waterproof, and machine washable. They range in price from $60 to $290. The Windproof & Waterproof Outerwear range, which is priced between $60 and $240, also includes their unique RuggedTex™ or SatinTex™. Take Pretty Rugged with you wherever you go! The sumptuous faux fur is lined with either RuggedTex™ or SatinTex™. Items range in price from $30 to $150. All Pretty Rugged can be acquired directly from their website (https://prettyruggedshop.com/) as well as Amazon.

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In 2018, Oprah Winfrey shared her thoughts about Pretty Rugged: "Being in cars with pets can be chaotic—but unroll one of these faux-fur throws (with a monogrammable zip pocket for treats and toys) and your dog will become an easy rider."

Where is Pretty Rugged now?

The blanket, which was first launched in 2017, has expanded to take the chill out of early morning temperatures and may be useful in the fall and winter, particularly in the Northeast. Pretty Rugged has evolved into a multimillion-dollar company, broadened its product lines, and sold over 30,000 units of what it describes as the "world’s first blanket with luxe faux fur on one side and waterproof, windproof, washable RuggedTex fabric on the other" since its inception in 2017. In 2018, the items were named Best in Market and Best New Product by NY NOW, and they were included on Oprah Winfrey's Favorite Things List. In 2019, the Blakely Reversible Faux Fur Bomber was named "Best New Product" at NY NOW. It was the first time in history that a new firm won two years in a row. In March 2019, the product was again highlighted on Good Morning America. Tracy was recognized as a female entrepreneur during Women's History Month.

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The firm now provides much more than blankets. The collection has expanded to include outerwear and accessories. She's sold over 30,000 blankets throughout the years, totaling more than $8 million in sales. She wants a Shark to help Pretty Rugged become a global brand.


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Who will steal the deal?

Tracy will pitch her firm in front of the panel of celebrity investors known as "the sharks" on the iconic reality TV show "Shark Tank," where she will try to get a business deal. Tracy said she had a sense her product would appeal to at least one of the investors, since she was a lifelong fan of the highly acclaimed ABC program, which is now in its 14th season. Tracy returned after applying too late the previous year and went through what she characterized as a "rigorous" procedure to be picked from tens of thousands of applications. She taped the episode in July and was recently told that it had been chosen for airing.

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The businesswoman declined to comment on whether she received an offer from the investors, who regularly included Daymond John, Robert Herjavec, Lori Greiner, Barbara Corcoran, Mark Cuban, and Kevin O'Leary in the past. She did, however, call the event one of the most trying of her life. Tracy centered her pitch on her brand's goal and story, which she described as "living the American dream." The 48-year-old business owner also hoped that presenting her pitch on television will inspire other women to follow their entrepreneurial dreams, despite their age or lack of expertise.

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Given the product's success, the likelihood of sharks making an offer is fairly strong. Barbara Corcoran, like her investment in The Comfy, is the one Shark who could be interested in this product.
'Shark Tank' Season 14 Episode 5 airs on ABC on October 21, 2022, at 8 pm ET. Catch the latest episode featuring products like Pretty Rugged, Bridal Babes, Plufl, Big Bee Little Bee, and an update on Magic 5.

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Missed an episode? Been wanting to catch up? Episodes can also be viewed the next day on demand and on Hulu. Not just that, you can also watch old seasons and episodes on Amazon Prime Video and iTunes.

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