Gary and his invention? Dear Readers, The suspense is well and truly over!
Early last week, I did a little run up – a fictional attempt to get you all guessing as to what this cool yet warm Invention might be. I am sure many might have even got close to guessing.
Almost like the one in my fiction piece, one winter night Gary came up with his invention.
A couple of weeks ago, browsing the Internet, I read about the SLANKET. Inventors are a rare breed, even rarer – a successful inventor. Because he has to be creative, entrepreneurial and market savvy, all seamlessly woven into one. I was intrigued and so I decided to zero in on the Slanket’s inventor Gary Clegg, an American with a vision for the world.
Managing to track Gary down, I wrote to him with a request for an interview. Gary Clegg, true to his motto was willing to ‘spread the warmth’!
Gary, your invention is all set to stir up a revolution across the world. Little wonder some of Hollywood’s top celebrities have consented to be his Brand Ambassadors (read on to find out who they might be…)
Gary Thanks for consenting to this interview exclusively for . It’s indeed an honor to have you featured on our website.
Presenting GARY CLEGG & THE SLANKET..
Pictures Courtesy: Gary Clegg’s personal collection &
Gary Clegg- Inventor of THE SLANKET
Please tell us something about yourself Gary, your family & your brother Jeff.
Amar, well, my family is a loving family. My dad is a retired airline pilot, and my mom is a gardener, very Zen.
I traveled a lot because of my father’s job and that has shaped my global perception. My brother Jeff is unbelievable. He backed me when no one else did, and takes care of a lot of the operations of the Slanket Company. These are the things I don’t have the time or attention to detail to maintain. We are a perfect team. My mom, in the beginning made a lot of the slankets, stuffed envelopes for me, and acted as an intern would. She is great.
Q. Summer or winter- Which season of the year do you like most and why?
I love WINTER!!! I grew up a snowboarding fanatic. When I was younger, I used to compete in snowboarding and travel to Colorado, Lake Tahoe a lot. There is something very spiritual to me being on the top of a mountain with an endless view, and the silence that the snow creates. I feel most at home there.
Q. Day or night? Choose…
Night! I love all the day, and all the life, but if I have to choose I choose night. I love the lights of night. Whether it is Shanghai, or New York City I love a night filled with the excitement of people going out and enjoying each other’s companionship. Also, because night time is when I am most creative. I have been an insomniac for years, and that is actually how the Slanket came to be…in those late hours.
Q. Do you think sleep is important?
I think sleep is extremely important. Sometimes you need to set aside a night and day to let your body sleep as much as it wants to. I think sleep helps maintain a health, mental and physical.
Q. We have all heard of blankets, what on earth is a Slanket?
A Slanket is a Blanket, but The Best Blanket Ever. It really is. We all have blankets around the house that we use when we’re on the couch or we throw to house guests, etc… The Slanket is a super warm and huge fleece blanket, but it is equipped with two large and loose sleeves. This is so when you are lying down, you can poke the remote control through while staying wrapped up, or being covered and cozy while you type on your lap top, or when you want to relax on the couch and read. It is an extremely warm and comfortable blanket for sure. It’s THE blanket for the 21st Century.
Q. Gary, The smart inventing marketer, would you call SLANKET your discovery or invention?
I would call it an invention. One of the definitions of an invention is "a product of the imagination" and that is what it is to me. I like being imaginative whether it is fantasy or realistic, taking an idea to creation.
Q. How did you come up with the word SLANKET?
I was in Colorado at the time with my brother Jeff, and our friend Jay who is on the homepage, and we were having a late morning brainstorming session.
BLANKET + SLEEVES = SLANKET. It almost created itself. It was there to be discovered; we just had to find it.
Q. Slanket sounds cozy! What do you want it to be? Comfort or an essential?
The Slanket is comfortable. I want it to be an essential. Comfort…should be essential. But yes, I think everyone should have one in their home.
Q. How economical is a SLANKET?
I am not sure what you mean with this question. I will say this though. When the winter becomes chilly and the cost of heating is tough on your bank account, you can curl up in a Slanket and stay warm without watching your monthly bills skyrocket. In this sense, I think the Slanket is very economical.
Q. Do the Slankets come in various sizes or is it ‘ONE SIZE FITS ALL’?
The Slanket was designed for one size fits all. it is a large blanket, so there is a lot of extra material to assure you can wrap up nicely without letting that cold air infiltrate.
The Slanket works wonderfully for all adults; however we are introducing kids Slanket soon and a smaller adult travel Slanket.
Q. Can a Slanket be worn to office?
The Slanket can be worn in the office. Many customers and media personalities have expressed to me that their offices are always freezing cold. I have had many reports already of people using it in their office, but I believe that maybe the travel Slanket will be better.
Q. What about laundry bills for Slanket? Can it be washed at home?
Unless you are eating popcorn, and ice-cream and potato chips in your Slanket like I do, you probably won’t need to wash it so often. But, if it is needed, of course the Slanket can be washed at home. It can be washed in a sink with soap and water or in a washing machine in warm water and gentle cycles.
Q. Have you tried driving with a Slanket on?
I have not tried driving with a Slanket on and I shouldn’t go on record promoting it, but I plan to attempt it and I will let people know how it works out. Maybe in a convertible in fall or spring when it is chilly outside.
Q. I heard the Eskimos have placed orders for Slankets? Why? They plan to wear it when they go to the fish holes?
Well, a lot of people in Alaska have become interested in the Slanket and I am not surprised.
As far as fishing goes, when you are ice fishing, it involves a lot of sitting and waiting. The Slanket is perfect for this polar downtime.
Q. Is the Slanket just a winter product or do have anything for the tropics too?
The Slanket is a product for anyone who might ever use a blanket to keep warm when they feel cold. I would say that the tropics are out, but other areas like desert are in because the nights often get cool. We have sold them from Brazil, to Israel to Guatemala so I guess it could be anywhere.
Q. Where can I buy a Slanket from?
Currently the best place to buy a Slanket is
Some retail chains are showing interest, so the possibility of it showing up in some department stores around the world is very good.
Q. How do you plan to promote Slanket across the world?
Global marketing is something new for me. We are attending some of the largest trade shows in the world attended by buyers from Asia, Europe, and North and South America. We hope to acquire retail deals in these places. I want to maintain my genuine attitude towards world culture and community though. So, if possible I will have a large influence over the marketing and image that is presented to the people in various regions. I enjoy connecting with people and promoting positivism, and I have been lucky enough to do this through the sale of the Slanket.
Q. This is one killer product, do you plan to introduce it the Hospitality industry?
I have been considering it. I am still working out prototype materials.
Q. A Slanket user is now called a slanketeer?
This is one of the names that have become attached with a Slanket user. A slanketeer…yes.
It evokes imagery of brotherhood and a belonging, which is a feeling I like to create. I consider anyone who has purchased a Slanket to be a friend and a part of a community.
Q. Do you believe in the adage "Early to bed, Early to rise makes a man healthy wealthy and wise’?
Yes and No. I do, but I don’t subscribe to that. I think in general it means, someone who knows what they have to get done, and expresses self discipline. Under this meaning, I believe it fully. I think self discipline and the creation of goals are ingredients for success. But, literally, no…I am late to bed and early to rise sometimes and other times late to bed and very late to rise. It all depends.
Q. Which celebrity do you think will make a brand ambassador for Slanket?
We have some celebrities who have already shown interest. I know Rachel Ray is really into it and might feature it on her show. I think Jay Leno and Julia Roberts are interested and would like to be ambassadors.
Q. Any more inventions up your sleeve?
I have a couple of ideas, but those are secret. One has more technology behind it and uses LED lighting, so that prototype is taking longer to create.
Q. India is one of the largest economies of the world, a super power in its own right and a marketers dream. Do you plan to launch your products in India?
I have no plans to market in India necessarily, but would not turn down an opportunity.
Q. Indians form a big chunk of the expatriate population in the USA, do you plan to target them for SLANKET?
Yes, Indians do represent a large group here in the U.S. but the Slanket in my opinion is universal, and because of that I don’t form any marketing towards specific cultures. If you live in the U.S. during winter you will understand, I’m sure, why the Slanket rocks!
Q. Have you been to India anytime?
I have never been to India, but am very interested in seeing this beautiful country. I have a things-to-do list for my life, and traveling to India is very high on my list.
Q. Do you have any Indian friends?
Yes, I have many actually and have been inspired by a lot of them. I have found the Indian community here in the U.S. to be one of the friendliest and open to me.
Q. It rains 7 months of the year in our hometown Mangalore and we have a terrible mosquito menace there. Do you think you could make something special for Mangalorean rains and mosquitoes?
I had a similar problem where I was in Brazil, when I lived there for a year. Yes, I might be able to come up with something. Let’s work on it.
Q. Is there any SLANKET experience you want to share with us?
Through the Slanket I have traveled more, and have met even more wonderful people. I have learned that if you have an idea, don’t be afraid to try and follow through with it. Life is very short, ask yourself, "why not". Also, if you ever have wealth or power, through a position or business venture, use it for good and to create more positivism in this world.
Q. Your message for our readers around the world.
The Slanket is a magnificent product to keep you warm, and it will.
It was created by a guy who has a vision for the earth that is far better than what currently exists. The Slanket was created to solve a problem for myself, and without a doubt will satisfy. The Slanket Company wants to promote warmth, with a blanket, on the couch, or through the smiles and open minds of the good people of the world, which is most of us.
Mangalorean.com wishes Gary Clegg & the Slanket every success, a merry Christmas and a prosperous new year in advance.
Author: Amarnath Bantwal- Kuwait