Sandi Hendry didn’t initially set out to open a wildly successful blanket business. “My daughter was in the hospital for five months. She needed extra comfort when visitors were not there and wanted a cozy, soft and fashionable blanket. I couldn’t find a good one for adults, so I just went and purchased some Minky fabric and had a large one made for her. Everybody at the hospital wanted one—I made 20 and gave them away. Then 50 and gave those away,” she remembers. Finally, her husband said she should just start selling them if she was going to make them in those quantities. Thus, Minky Couture, proprietor of luxurious, custom blankets, was born.

Even with Minky growing by leaps and bounds with five locations from Ogden to St. George, Hendry is intent on keeping her operations as local as possible. “We get about 500 rolls of Minky fabric a week, cut it in-house at our Layton warehouse and about 40-45 local seamstresses pick up the fabric and manufacture the blankets in their homes,” says Hendry. “We have training for them, so they’re all uniform. It’s been great for the local economy and community because we have a lot of stay-at-home moms who can work without needing daycare.”

And she’s intent on using her business to give as much back to the community as she can, even donating an incredible number of blankets to local NICUs for premature babies. “Whenever we sell a large blanket, we donate a mini blanket that fits inside the newborn isolette. We deliver 500-1000 mini blankets to NICUs throughout the state and, now, out of state as well,” she says. “We get letters from moms who have received our minis in the NICU units, and it makes a difference to the mom and the baby.” While the minis are the smallest available blankets, the cozy covers come in infant, tween, travel, adult, monster and now the 7-foot grande.

Q&A

Q. What’s new?

“We are going to introduce new Minky robes for Christmas. They’re going to be fabulous, and we worked on the prototype to make them just the right fit, so they’re roomy but fitted. We’ll have six colors of women’s Minky robes in time for Christmas.”

Q. Why is it important in the Salt Lake/Park City community?

“The community gets excited because they know it’s a Utah based company. Now, we sell hundreds of thousands of blankets. I’m proud of the accomplishment, and we collaborate with our Minky employees once a week to get new ideas. We’ve been innovating in our designs diversifying out marketing. Ultimately, a blanket is a household staple, so it can be used for an infant up to the elderly. And these are kind of a treasure when people get them. They’re luxurious and washable.”

Q. Best Advice?

“If you believe in your product and you are committed to growing your business and building it, stick to it. And get advice from others. Work with people in different age groups so you can get ideas from people who think differently and then give them the credit—I believe that people deserve to
be praised.”