Tracy Slocum - Founder and President
With extensive experience in design, manufacturing and retail, Tracy Slocum’s natural next step was to create a brand of her own - Pretty Rugged Gear - a Certified Women-Owned Business Enterprise. Her passion coupled with her incredible, approachable style that bridges luxury and practicality are a winning combination - the Pretty Rugged Luxe Original Fur Blanket won best in market at NY NOW in 2018 and there more exciting news coming very soon!
The Pretty Rugged Story:
The best ideas often come from a need and from drawing upon the past, this could not be more true for the Pretty Rugged brand.
Tracy Slocum’s favorite activity has always been boating on Lake George, however, the chilly mornings and evenings coupled with mixed weather left her and her family cold and wet...That gave Tracy an idea—to create a rugged-yet-beautiful blanket that doubles as a fashionable wrap, offering boaters luxurious warmth and protection from the elements. She drew inspiration from her great-great grandfather, Captain Joshua Slocum, who wrapped himself in fur to withstand inclement weather when he was the first person to sail around the world alone in the late 1800s.
Working with top fashion consultants, Tracy created the world’s first blanket with luxe faux fur on one side and waterproof, windproof, spill-proof RuggedTex® fabric on the other. The Pretty Rugged Blanket is the perfect marriage of modern, easy-care materials, designed to provide years of luxury, performance and style.
It became clear that this special blanket wasn’t just for boaters. With its many uses, including taking the chill out of sitting on metal bleachers to watch her son’s high school football games, it was great for picnics, tailgating, après-ski and so much more. The brand boasts four blanket lines with more products coming soon.
Sheila Mendleson - Executive Vice President
Sheila has worked in both the private and non-profit sector. She worked for 15 years in Human Resources for PWC in Boston, and UHY in Manhattan. Her keen interest in marketing and public relations has always been evident. In addition to her corporate endeavors, Sheila spent 11 years as the Vice President of Capital Region Sponsor A Scholar, a non-profit organization that assists students by providing college tuition grants.
Her retail experience involves owning an independent bookstore, as well as sales for J. McLaughlin Clothing. She serves as a board member for several non-profit organizations including the Albany Medical Center, and the State University of Albany. Her passions include boating, fishing, college basketball and spending quality time with family.
Maria Turgeon - Product Design
Forever a New Yorker, Maria Turgeon moved to Manhattan from upstate New York to build a career in the fashion industry, working for design firms and eventually entered the entrepreneurial world with her eponymous collection, Maria Turgeon, where she designed and marketed a successful line of handbags and accessories. From there, she began a long and impactful career at Coach as an Executive SVP of design, where she managed large creative teams in a corporate setting. She currently splits her time with her family between Manhattan and the Catskill Mountains.
Pamela Fishman Cianci - Marketing
Pamela is a highly skilled and well-connected serial entrepreneur with a proven track record working both autonomously and with teams of all sizes in startup environments both on and offline for the past 20 years. As part of a significant double e-commerce business acquisition, Pamela was awarded multiple opportunities to create new revenue streams and systems. As such, Pamela has deep brand partnership, digital marketing, retail (on and offline) and user acquisition expertise. She is also a master planner with tremendous organizational and leadership skills.
Pamela currently works nationally with the Hudson’s Bay Company, owns and operates Outlined Productions - an event production and marketing consulting company, Sugar & Spike - a made-to-order bakery and ARE YOU READY? - a digital emergency planning and preparation website. As an avid skier and lover of sunshine, good food and award-winning wine, Pamela has found Northern California the perfect place to make her home and raise her family.