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Whatever Happened To Pretty Rugged After Shark Tank?

Those who enjoy experiencing the sights and sounds of nature but want to stay fashionable while doing so may have been paying close attention in Season 14, Episode 5 of "Shark Tank." Pretty Rugged is a lifestyle brand with a line of premium blankets, outerwear, and faux fur accessories that blend durable, functional technology with luxurious design. The company's claim to fame is its blankets that employ a proprietary wind and waterproof fabric known as RuggedTex, the first of its kind.

Founder Tracy Slocum's love for the outdoors can be traced back long before she was born. Her great-great-grandfather Joshua Slocum made history in the late 19th century as the first person to solo sail around the world, with many going on to deem him "The New World Columbus." While on his expedition, Joshua was wrapped in different furs to combat the harsh weather conditions at sea. 

Tracy enjoyed spending mornings boating on the lake but failed to find a blanket that would keep her warm and dry all the way. Inspired by her great-great-grandfather's ingenuity and adventurousness, she embarked on her own journey to find a better solution, working alongside different fashion experts to deliver on her vision. Pretty Rugged officially launched in 2016 and already started seeing major traction. Tracy won the NY NOW Best New Product award in both 2018 and 2019, along with the company's pet blanket getting placed on Oprah's Favorite Things list in 2018. In 2022, Tracy hit another major entrepreneurial milestone with her "Shark Tank" debut.

What happened to Pretty Rugged on Shark Tank?

Season 14 of "Shark Tank" sees Tracy Slocum appear seeking a $200,000 investment for 10% of Pretty Rugged. The investors enjoy the fashionable products and are fascinated by the story of Slocum's intrepid ancestor. She hopes that having a shark on board will give her the strategic partner she's been looking for to elevate her operation. 

The products given to the Sharks range in price from $220 and $290. They cost between $36 and $40 to manufacture with 70% to 80% margins. This and her nearly $3 million in lifetime sales are exceptional, but there's a catch. Despite bringing in $1.19 million the previous year, Slocum only netted $32,000 in profits. This was due to the expenses spent at trade shows and a recent massive purchase order. With 20 upcoming trade shows, she expects more or less the same results without any help. 

Kevin O'Leary, Emma Grede, and Mark Cuban all go out, either feeling that they aren't the best fit for the company or that it's not an investable enough brand yet. Robert Herjavec and Lori Greiner like Slocum and her product a lot, believing she can learn from her mistakes. They offer to come in together at $200,000 at a 25% stake and disagree when Slocum tries bringing it down to 20%. Realizing the value of having both sharks on board, she takes their proposal.

Pretty Rugged after Shark Tank

On their own, Lori Greiner and Robert Herjavec are among the most revered investors on "Shark Tank," transforming brands such as Tipsy Elves, Scrub Daddy, and Squatty Potty into booming businesses. Their involvement with Tracy Slocum's Pretty Rugged should be an instant recipe for success. But as with most "Shark Tank" deals, things aren't so simple. 

Following the airing of her segment on October 21, 2022, Pretty Rugged experienced the "Shark Tank" effect, where businesses receive a massive boost in sales and exposure in the immediate aftermath of being featured on the show. When asked by Albany Business Review how much she made in sales, Slocum had some good news to share. "I can only tell you it's in the hundreds of thousands [of dollars]," she said. "People are ordering everything. Blankets are always No. 1. What I had on [for the show], my bomber jacket, we sold out in a couple of colors." She also expressed her pleasure in the outpouring of kind comments from friends, family, and "Shark Tank" viewers. 

At this point, however, Slocum had yet to officially close the deal with either investor. This is a common occurrence following the handshake deal seen on the show, as all parties engage in further due diligence and negotiations. Nevertheless, she hoped that Greiner and Herjavec would be on board early into the following year as she aimed to start looking for new production facilities.

Is Pretty Rugged still in business?

Pretty Rugged continues to operate today. Those wanting to find its products can find them on Amazon or the company's official website. Here, buyers can learn more about the brand, its mission, and the technology behind its items.  The outdoor blankets remain the most prominently displayed product, but Pretty Rugged also carries indoor blankets, cardigans, ponchos, scarves, totes, and much more. Its products range in price from $10 to over $300.  

As for the deal with Lori Greiner and Robert Herjavec, there is no evidence to support whether the deal went through. Given that the business is not listed on Greiner's website, it appears that the deal has yet to be finalized if it was completed at all. Yet this has done little to halt founder Tracy Slocum and her company's success. Many of Pretty Rugged's products sport near five-star average ratings on its website, with many responding positively to its products' high quality and functionality. 

Slocum has gone on to be a speaker at events for the Entrepreneurs Club, while her business has been featured on outlets such as The Pioneer Woman, Tom's Guide, Southern Living, and more.  Pretty Rugged remains active on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.

What's next for Pretty Rugged?

Tracy Slocum has developed a one-of-a-kind lifestyle brand with Pretty Rugged, and it is still going strong. The company has more than proven its worth with award wins, high-profile recommendations, and a strong following to boot. But similar to her limit-pushing great-great-grandfather, Slocum sees her endeavor going worldwide. 

Speaking with Albany Business Review, Slocum shared her vision for Pretty Rugged's future. "I want this to mean Pretty Rugged will be a household name and we can develop this product line into something much bigger than it is," she said. "There are just so many places to bring Pretty Rugged with Robert on the finance side and Lori on the sales and marketing side and my team. We feel this is going to be really big." But big sales aren't all Slocum hopes to see her business produce.

Slocum is proud to have started a successful business in her 40s. Ultimately, she hopes that her story will touch others in similar scenarios. "As women, we can so easily lose ourselves trying to achieve perfection," she explained in an interview with HERLIFE Magazine. "We need to learn how to break the mold so we can achieve our own dreams while helping others achieve theirs. But most important within that, we each get to decide what our dreams are; no one can tell you what it should be. I hope women can see, through my story, that you can do whatever it is you want to do." 

With some ambitious goals for the future and some worthwhile products, Pretty Rugged is shaping up to be the latest "Shark Tank" success story.