We’ve all heard of (and most likely already own) a sleeved blanket. One that wraps around your body like a warm cup of hot cocoa with extra marshmallows:

The Slanket | Kid Vs. Cold: The True Story of the Best Blanket Ever

The Slanket Photo by Slanket Facebook

 

We’re guessing it looks something like this, right? Ours too. But you might be surprised to hear that this great idea almost didn’t happen. Check out this heart(and body)-warming story of one college kid v. big corporate greed…

In 1997, freshman Gary Clegg sat in his college dorm room at the University of Maine.

This story will sound familiar: frigid winter night, guy watching TV, warm inside a sleeping bag. The inevitable happens… A dreaded commercial.

A mental battle ensues: Do you risk losing the warmth and reach for the remote across the coffee table, or *gasp*….sit through bad commercials? Suddenly, Clegg was struck by inspiration: What if you could grab the remote, AND stay warm?

Slanket Inventors | Kid Vs. Cold: The True Story of the Best Blanket Ever

Clegg (left) with his brother in 2009 Photo by Bangor Daily News

 

Clegg first tried cutting a hole in his sleeping bag to stick his arm through. But that didn’t work for obvious reasons.

So he did what any real inventor would: He asked his mom for help. The two put their minds together and developed something radical: The Slanket, a blanket with sleeves… A is born.

Oddly enough, he wasn’t the first one to attempt to solve the ‘TV too far from the remote’ problem. He learned ‘The Freedom Blanket’ existed before he and his mom developed the Slanket. Not to mention, the Snuggie came out and completely copied their design.

Seriously? | Kid Vs. Cold: The True Story of the Best Blanket Ever

Unfortunately, obtaining a patent for the sleeved blanket was next to impossible.

Most people would have given up – but not Clegg. He used good ol’ fashioned entrepreneurship – marketing, branding, and a solid business strategy – to grow his business. The result? Today he’s selling millions of Slankets a year.

And get this – most reviewers of the Slanket prefer its high quality and uber soft fabrics to the Snuggie’s cheap, course, mass-market version.

That was only the start….Clegg went on to develop more ingenious, high-quality, comfort-driven products from the pillow blanket, to the travel blanket –– all designed to satisfy his mission to keep America snug and comfy. Bravo Sir.