Persistence pays off for creator of all-weather blanket

Persistence pays off for creator of all-weather blanket

NORTH GREENBUSH - The saying is "persistence pays off" and it certainly did in the case of a North Greenbush woman. For years, she had ideas that never quite panned out until now.

Tracy Slocum has always loved the outdoors. It's not hard to imagine, because her great, great grandfather was Captain Joshua Slocum, the first man to sail around the world alone.

She says he was a true adventurer -- a risk taker. Slocum herself had taken risks before too -- but they never took flight.

"I think a lot of women struggle with that. There's a lot of reasons that we make for ourselves to not be able to do those things that we really want to take that leap of faith," she acknowledged.

However, last summer, she put it all on the line.

"I wanted something that married luxury and function," she explained.

Unable to find a blanket that she could use in any kind of weather, she decided to make her own.

"I got some faux fur and I used material that was completely waterproof and windproof and I put the two together," she described.

The feedback was great. 


"I ordered my first round of inventory, which came in November of last year. I sold out of almost my entire round of inventory. I've ordered three times since," she pointed out.

Even more, she took her Pretty Rugged Blanket to one of the biggest home and lifestyles trade shows -- the New York Now show. Walking in the door, she discovered she was a small fish.

"I have, like, a pallet table and photographs – period, end of story," she recalled.

However, her blankets would "wow" people. Even the team from "Oprah's Favorite Things" stopped by the booth.

"I said, something like 'If I want to get on the list, who would I talk to?' They were like, 'That would be us,'" she remembered.

It gets even better. The Pretty Rugged Blanket was honored at the trade show with two awards, including "Best New Product."

Slocum says it all happened because like her great, great grandfather, she took a risk.

"I think he'd be proud that I took the voyage," she surmised.