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From left, Josh Stewart, Bryan Simpson and Dane Watts demonstrate Big Blanket Co.’s flagship product.
Photo provided by Big Blanket Co.
From left, Josh Stewart, Bryan Simpson and Dane Watts demonstrate Big Blanket Co.’s flagship product.

Big Blanket Co. Kickstarter generates $94K in pledges

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A local startup selling “the biggest, best blanket ever” conquered its Kickstarter goal by a large margin.

With $94,286 raised in nearly two months, Big Blanket Co.’s crowdfunding campaign came in 943 percent above its goal of $10,000. The campaign ended at midnight after launching Nov. 14.

Co-owners Bryan Simpson, Josh Stewart, Dane Watts and Anthony Tolliver sought the funding to bring to life 10-foot-tall by 10-foot-wide polyester and spandex blankets designed to cover customers from head to toe. Through the campaign, 591 backers contributed. The blankets sold for as low as $129 through the Kickstarter, and Big Blanket Co. is selling the product for a retail price of $209 online.

Simpson, the founder and former owner of Five Pound Apparel LLC, previously told Springfield Business Journal the co-owners would be "thrilled" to bring in $75,000 to $100,000 through the Kickstarter.

“I had a gut feeling that people would hook onto it and it would resonate with them,” Simpson told SBJ in November, shortly after the campaign hit its original $10,000 goal.

On the Kickstarter page, Simpson told a customer the first production run of 1,500 blankets — by a manufacturing partner in China he previously declined to name — was finished and the company would start shipping them to customers by the end of January.

Simpson also is chief operations officer for Springfield marketing firm Hook Creative LLC, where Stewart is CEO and founder. Simpson knew Minnesota Timberwolves player and Springfield native Tolliver from high school, and Watts is a former teammate of Tolliver’s at Creighton University who played professionally overseas.

The Kickstarter also featured a promo video starring Springfield comedian and “The Mystery Hour” host Jeff Houghton.

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