Pretty Rugged, a brand known for its luxurious and innovative outdoor blankets and apparel, stepped into the Shark Tank spotlight, capturing the attention of both sharks and audiences alike. Tracy Slocum, founder of Pretty Rugged, introduced her brand’s flagship products—windproof, waterproof, and spillproof faux fur blankets—alongside a compelling story of heritage and dedication. Her presentation highlighted the brand’s commitment to combining comfort with durability, setting a new standard for outdoor gear.
The company’s appearance on Shark Tank was a pivotal moment, providing a substantial boost in exposure that catalyzed growth and development for the Pretty Rugged brand. Since then, Pretty Rugged has expanded its product line, maintaining rigorous standards for both design and functionality. With an eye towards the luxurious, the brand has continued to innovate, merging practicality with the plush comfort that originally caught the Shark Tank panel’s interest.
- Pretty Rugged’s founder showcased durable and luxurious outdoor products on Shark Tank.
- The Shark Tank feature significantly expanded the brand’s exposure and customer base.
- Post-appearance, Pretty Rugged broadened its product portfolio while ensuring quality.
Origin Story: Tracy Slocum and Pretty Rugged
In Upstate New York, driven by her family’s nautical legacy, Tracy Slocum, founder of Pretty Rugged, charted a course to innovate the outdoor blanket market. Holding an anchor to her family history, she is the proud descendant of Captain Joshua Slocum, distinguished as the first person to solo sail around the world. Tracy’s entrepreneurial spirit and connection to her great-great-grandfather‘s adventurous life steered her towards creating a product resonating with the toughness and resilience of a seasoned sailor.
- Education: Before launching her venture, Tracy earned her stripes at Le Moyne College, Syracuse.
- Inspiration: The sea-faring adventures of her great-great-grandfather, J. Slocum, serve as a compass for her brand.
- Product: Pretty Rugged features a unique blanket, boasting a luxe faux fur side paired with a rugged and practical waterproof side.
Tracy transitioned into entrepreneurship after a career in pharmaceutical sales, combining her business acumen with a homage to her family’s maritime heritage. The result of her efforts is a product designed to withstand the elements, reflective of Captain Slocum‘s own resilience. Her company’s offerings embody a blend of luxury and durability, setting sail in the marketplace as Pretty Rugged‘s flagship creation.
Shark Tank Appearance: The Pitch and Investment Details
During Season 14 of Shark Tank, Tracy Slocum introduced her company, Pretty Rugged, seeking a considerable investment to expand her innovative product line.
Negotiation with Sharks
Tracy Slocum stepped into the Shark Tank, confidently asking the Sharks for $200,000 in exchange for a 10% equity stake in Pretty Rugged. Her product, the RuggedTex and SatinTex technology-based blankets and outerwear, was designed to be waterproof, windproof, and washable, striking an interest among the Sharks. As the negotiations began, prominent Sharks such as Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, and Emma Grede showed intrigue in the potential of Pretty Rugged.
Slocum’s pitch and the unique qualities of her products led to a competitive discussion among the Sharks. Lori Greiner and Robert Herjavec were particularly interested in making a deal. Greiner offered to invest $200,000 for a 20% stake, which was double the initial equity offered, while Herjavec proposed $200,000 for a 25% stake, presenting a more aggressive offer. After careful consideration and negotiation, Slocum struck a deal believed to best align with her company’s goals and future growth.
Product Line and Design Excellence
Pretty Rugged has garnered attention for its unique blend of style, comfort, and technological innovation in its product line, notably recognized on the TV show Shark Tank. Emphasizing both aesthetic appeal and practicality, the brand has established itself in the lifestyle market with a distinctive offering.
Signature Faux Fur Blankets
Pretty Rugged’s original claim to fame lies in its premium faux fur blankets, which exude an air of luxury while being functional. They are designed to deliver warmth and are available in various styles, catering to a wide range of customer preferences.
Innovative RuggedTex and Satintex Materials
The brand utilizes proprietary RuggedTex and SatinTex technology, setting their blankets apart with attributes such as windproof and waterproof capabilities. This innovative design aspect ensures that customers can enjoy the elegance of faux fur without compromising on durability or utility.
Expanding into Apparel and Accessories
Expansion of Pretty Rugged’s product line includes fashion-forward apparel and accessories, such as the Collins Capelet, cardigans, and scarves. The extension into fashion pieces allows the lifestyle brand to offer a comprehensive range of items that stay true to their core values of style, function, and luxury.
Business Growth and Brand Development
Pretty Rugged has not only made a splash in the Shark Tank pool but also significantly grown in brand strength and market presence post-show. Its financials show a trajectory of robust sales, while its marketing strategies demonstrate a keen understanding of its target demographic.
Sales Performance and Financials
Pretty Rugged experienced a significant increase in sales following their appearance on Shark Tank, where CEO Tracy Slocum presented their luxury, functional faux fur products. The company witnessed sales jumping into the multi-millions in the year after the show, up from a previous $1.8 million. Featured on Good Morning America and endorsed by Oprah in her favorites list, the brand’s financial health flourished with a reported valuation increase. They even scored a lucrative deal with Big Bee Little Bee at a Lake George trade show.
- Sales Before Shark Tank: $32,000
- Sales After Shark Tank: $3 million
- Valuation: Increased significantly post-Shark Tank
- Investments: Sought $200,000 for 10% equity
Marketing Strategies and Market Presence
The marketing strategies of Pretty Rugged have undoubtedly contributed to their growth. They efficiently leveraged the “Shark Tank effect” by optimizing their website for increased traffic and ensuring availability on retail giants like Amazon. By tailoring their products like windproof and waterproof blankets towards outdoor sporting events, picnics, and tailgating, the brand resonated with consumers seeking comfort and luxury outdoors. Trade shows and partnerships have also proven to be pivotal, with the deal from Big Bee Little Bee at a Lake George trade show highlighting their presence in niche markets.
- Visibility: Enhanced by Good Morning America and Oprah
- Retail Partnerships: Amazon and others
- Trade Shows: Lake George trade show success
- Product Lines: Expanded to include various durable apparel
By focusing on a combination of luxurious and functional products and leveraging key media and trade experiences, Pretty Rugged has seen remarkable growth in both its sales and brand development.