“The blanket that hugs you back” puts on a fresh face
August 7, 2018,
Los Angeles -- The first weighted blanket company on the scene is happy to see the idea going mainstream.
The Magic Blanket relaunched its web site over the weekend and has become more engaged in social media now that other start-ups in the space are raising the profile of weighted blankets.
The product’s roots date back to 1997, when the family was on a road trip and her sister laid her Beanie Baby on her father’s shoulder. He found the weight of the beads soothing and started thinking about creating a blanket filled with beads.
“We were the only ones doing this for so long, so it was a small family business,” said Kaitlyn Zivalich, communications director and the daughter of company founder Keith Zivalich.
“I’ve always joked that he’s like the dad in ‘Beauty and The Beast’ – always tinkering around,” she said. Her father and mother worked on several prototypes. When they felt they’d hit the right balance, they shared the blankets with friends and family. One of recipients was a special needs teacher.
“Giving her sensory-seeking students a firm hug had long been one of her preferred methods to calm and comfort her students during anxious moments in the classroom,” Keith writes of the company’s history. “When I told her about the idea behind the heavy blanket, she was very interested in trying it out with her students.”
The product resonated. The company created a tag line – “The blanket that hugs you back” – and made its first sale in 1998. As the Internet grew, so did sales – beginning with a 2005 ad on Yahoo’s small business forum. Over the years, the Magic Weighted Blanket has been the subject of articles in the mainstream press, including Forbes and Cosmopolitan, as well as periodicals and blogs devoted to easing anxiety and creating healthy living environments.
New direct-to-consumer online brands starting up are raising awareness and driving more consumers to the Magic Blanket site, said Kaitlyn. Hence, the new site makeover. “We have to step up our game,” she said.
The fill consists of 100% new, BPA-free, non-toxic, hypo-allergenic polypropylene pellets. All blankets are made in three days or less at a Los Angeles shop the company has worked with since its launch. Prices start at $99 for a fleece cover, with most constructions starting at $139.