(WXYZ) - Oh, how far Karen Bonnici has come… After spending years sewing Super Blankys in her dining room, they're now going to be mass produced and sold in every Target store starting on November 4th.
What is a Super Blanky?
A Super Blanky is a blanket and super hero cape all in one, with a unique twist. Unlike most capes, Karen designed these with patented sleeves that allow the wearer to play superhero or cozy up with the blanket wrapped around their shoulders, instead of having a tie around their neck.
“It’s cozy and it's comfortable,” Karen says. “It’s great for sitting down and reading and playing superhero.”
Karen knew she had something special when she first designed it back in 2012 , but it took years of hard work and perseverance to get where she is today.
“When people would see it, and seeing how excited they would get, I couldn’t stop believing in what they were believing in… so that kept me going,” she says.
How she did it
When I first interviewed Karen three years ago, she hoped to appear on ABC’s Shark Tank with her Super Blanky. While she didn’t ultimately swim with the sharks, she chose to go the route we hear the Sharks talking about a lot… licensing.
“Licensing is renting what you own,” she says.
She owns the trademarks and the patent for those clever sleeves. She began researching the idea of licensing, even attending a huge licensing convention. She ultimately found the perfect licensing partner.
“So I’m renting it to a manufacturer and that manufacturer rents from Nick, Disney and DC characters,” she explains.
So her Super Blankys come adorned with the following licensed characters… Batman, Jurassic World, Paw Patrol, PJ Masks, Trolls, Despicable Me 3, Emoji Nation and My Little Pony.
“So they get paid, and I get paid and the manufacturer does the production and puts It in stores.
On November 4th, Super Blankys will appear on an endcap display at every target store in the country.
When I got the final, final, thing in my hand with the packaging and the product and everything together, I cried… all day long,” she says. “It’s just so overwhelming, because it’s as real as real gets and it’s happening… This is the launching pad, so from here forward, I see very exciting things.”
Ultimately Karen would like to get a licensing deal with sports teams, collegiate and professional, and offer them in adult sizes.