Newport Living & Lifestyles : Pretty Rugged Gear Interview

Newport Living & Lifestyles : Pretty Rugged Gear Interview

Waterproof Windproof silk and faux mink making your outdoor experiences luxurious, weatherproof and warm! The Pretty Rugged Luxe Original Blanket won best in market at NY NOW in 2018 and the Pretty Rugged Luxe Pet Blanket was awarded one of Oprah’s Favorite Things 2018 – both within the first year of being in business. Get your holiday gifts today! Hope they stocked up on the snow leopard caplet!

Use Promo code PRGNLL for 15% off your pretty rugged gear blanket :


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Read the Transcript

Welcome to Newport Living and Lifestyles

I’m Christon and

We are at the 2019 Newport International Boat Show with

Tracy Slocum and Sheila Mendlesen

of Pretty Rugged Gear

Hi ladies


How exciting! How many times have you guys been to the show?

This was actually our second show, so we’re still newbies

How many shows do you guys go to throughout the year?

We do several different kinds of shows,

We do boat shows because of our blankets really and the waterproof nature that all of the products have

but we also do New York Now shows and AtlantasMart

those types of shows, so it’s like buyers Mart’s. Things like that, yeah

Sheila, tell us a little bit about what we’re looking at here. What is your product?

We started out with our signature flagship blanket which is over here to the right and sitting behind me and they’re

all made out of the luxurious faux fur that’s super soft but what makes this

really unique is that we are the ultimate nautical blanket because we are waterproof windproof.

Waterproof and windproof and faux

and faux


Yeah it’s a nice unique combination. The blanket was really developed so that you could wrap yourself in the fur so

it’s like beauty on the inside and then you’ve got a backing that’s completely

waterproof and windproof so you can put it on like a wet boat seat or on the

ground and they come in this beautiful waterproof duffel so they’re easy to store.

I don’t want to hide this pink one back here.

That’s the baby.

That is so adorable.

They’re amazing and you know one thing to mention which I know all boaters love

is all the blankets can be embroidered with your boat names which is fun.

Very fun.

Where do you make your product?

We are in Albany New York upstate.

Yeah so not far.

And you guys ship

We ship all over the world.

Which one is your hottest market?

U.S. , we are also branching out the Netherlands, we have a distributor in the Netherlands and also in South Korea.

That’s unique.

That’s for the pet market.

What kind of pet products do you carry?

We have a pet blanket that has the same backing on it so people when they’re outside or in

their cars they use the blankets even in their house. My dog loves them, they’re amazing.

I was gonna ask you guys if you had any celebrity story’s.

Yeah, we do! On our first show that we did in New York Now,

that was February of 2018, we met Oprah’s team which is Rae Ann Herman and

Adam Glassman, who we’ve since become friends with and they just loved our

blankets, at the time that’s all we had, and we knew that we were going to be a

serious contender for Oprah’s Favorite Things, and then it was this time last

year that we found out that we were picked.

What is your hottest selling item?

The caplet right now,

everyday we’re selling so so many, but what’s interesting is, we just introduced two

new products, one of them I’m wearing, this is the pretty puffer.

Again, it’s a completely waterproof shell, actually it’s our first non fur item,

which is interesting, and then the other one is the reversible bomber so this

bomber is a faux mink, it’s our signature mink on one side and then when you

reverse it, it’s a waterproof satin material so Pretty Rugged is really known

for their innovative materials that they use, that we use, and we create as a

company and so with the bomber when you reverse it, it really is two garments in

one and the price point is amazing.

oh it is sooo soft.

The snow leopard is our number one color.

It is luxurious.

No sleeves, it’s hands-free. It’s got a front slip pockets.

Do I look thin?

Yes you do! Actually, do I?

It is very comfortable, you can dress it up, dress it down.

You can put your initial right on the pocket.

It’s kind of like a spin on the fur coat

You can carry your phone in your pocket.

It’s a waterproof pocket.

What are your color schemes?

Our blankets come in seven colors.

The bombers are in two, which is navy and white.

The caplets are in five colors.

We’ve got the leopard, there’s white, there’s navy, there’s black, there’s chocolate.

There’s different color waves for each product.

We’ll be adding new colors, we’re gonna do this caplet in red.

The bomber will come in a leopard as well as the navy.

We’re adding colors all the time.

You guys have retail centers or do you sell out of stores how can people find your products?

We have a website

and then we’re at shows, we’re in many stores. We are probably in about 200

boutiques across the country. You can find us in a lot of places.

You guys are a lot of boat shows hosting your wares. What is your favorite boat?

My favorite boat in the whole wide world?

In the whole wide world!

if I had to pick my favorite boat in the whole wide world,

it would have to be a Hinckley.

Any particular Hinckley?

I love the picnic boats, that’s the one that I would choose.

We have a Hacker Craft, which I also love, and they’re beautiful but there’s something about a Hinkley boat

and I think Pretty Rugged should be on every Hinckley boat in the world.

Well, you just might be in luck today! We happen to have a Hinckley Picnic Boat ! That would be so fun!!!

Oh my gosh, we do need to get on there and photograph the blankets, so fun.

I love the Hinckley’s. There’s something about them.

They’re beautiful, but down-to-earth and gorgeous. I just I just think they’re so amazing.


I’m not really a sailor so I would love to have a sailboat someday and learn how to sail.

I grew up on motor boats, Chris Crafts and my dad has a Hacker Craft, too.

They are just beautiful, but there is something about sailing that is so mysterious to that I kind of want to learn how to do it.

I couldn’t get to the other end of the tent, so I don’t know how I would actually read a compass!

Which is an interesting thing to say

since our heritage is really built around my great-great-grandfather who

was the first man to sail around the world alone, Joshua Slocum.

Yes I’m Tracy Slocum, yeah so that’s a really important part of the company and who we are.

In his trepidation, and his adventure and and the things that he did in his life and the chances that he took.

It’s just an amazing story if you’ve never read his book, you should.

It’s called, Sailing Alone Around the World, and

It was a best-seller.

It’s still in print and anyone who sails knows who he is.

Do you guys have a specific slogan that you refer to?

The slogan for the company is “Transforming Your Outdoor Experience”

and really that’s what the products are all about.

It’s about making the times that you spend outside even better.

Whether it’s the caplet or the puffer, that just improves those times because

you’re warm and you’re dry and it’s luxurious and you look great!

How long have you guys been in business together?

Just under two years

You guys have been very successful with this!

We have

How did you come up with this material?

I started sourcing way before this became a company.

I was making the blankets for myself

It wasn’t even about being in business.

My husband’s a third-generation clothing manufacturer,

so he was very helpful with helping me source products and and fabrics

Thanks ladies for joining us.

Thank you so much.

It was a lot of fun.

This is great.

I hope that we get to do it again sometime soon!

Thanks for coming to visit us.

We look forward to seeing you on

Newport Living and Lifestyles