Webconsuls Blog

Monday, January 24, 2011

T-Shirt Memory Blankets - Why Didn't I Think of That?

Aaron with his Disney t-shirt 1983
We all have "aha" moments. Or better yet, we smack our forehead and say to our self "Why didn't I think of that?" This morning I had one of those moments. I passed by the television which at the time was tuned to MSNBC. A promo ad was playing for MSNBC's Sunday Morning show Your Business highlighting  uBlanket.  Take a minute and watch a video here.

Ok, so now you have watched the video and I hope you have visited uBlanket's website. 'Remember...Reduce, Reuse, Rethread - All uBlankets are MADE IN THE USA!'

It is such a wonderful idea, great gift for birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, showers, retirements...the list is endless and it is a functional, cozy memory blanket - a keepsake that tells a story.

I don't want you to think or assume that uBlanket is our client. They are not (yet), but I love what they do and I think they have a great business model. Plus, I get a kick out of how simple the idea is. Think about it, or better yet, get up from your computer right now and walk over to your clothes closet or dresser (I am assuming you are at home or imagine you are at home). How many of these "memory or souvenir t-shirts or sweatshirts" do you own? I am going to bet dozens to 100s.

Here's the thing. Yes, this is a great idea, but it is not original. You know how I know?  As I wrote today to Brett Snowden, Co-founder uBlanket.com:
"about six years ago I was sorting through "stuff" with my younger son and we came across a bag filled with little t-shirts that had belonged to my older son. You know the kind of souvenir t-shirts that you buy babies and children when you are traveling, etc? Well, the older son stopped by the house and the younger son handed him the bag and told him to "do something with these shirts!" About four months later I received a package in the mail, a t-shirt blanket quilt made with the little t-shirts! Aaron and a friend had created the blanket."

But you see, an idea doesn't have to be original to be successful. It has to be acted upon. You have to think it through, plan it out, and do it!  In this case it really seems that Brett Snowden and John Murch are doing it right. They are doing it green and they are helping the homeless, too.  You can follow them on twitter @uBlanket and like them on Facebook.  

Let me know what you think? Do you have an idea you have been thinking about?  Or did you have an idea that you wished you had developed?
Do you see the Disney T-shirt on Aaron's Memory blanket?


  1. I love this blanket. In fact, I have a box of tshirts just like this! Thanks for the idea and yes....success is when you ACT on such ideas. Good for ublanket.

  2. Susan,
    Thanks for stopping by. Just last evening, I went in to my closet and within 15 seconds I eyed a dozen of these shirts. The other thing I really like about their business model is that they make extra blankets for the homeless. Everybody can win.

  3. Great website. Sadly I had donated most of my old tshirts to the salvation army before moving but is a great website to bookmark. Never know when this might come in handy.

    As for ideas, everyone has tons that cross their minds when they think of "how convenient would it be if..." and no one does anything about it. A year later you find out someone did something about it and now are making it big.

    Makes you want to think, what's else is left to jump on... hmm

  4. Malik,
    I know what you mean about donating the shirts. But this is a great idea to pass on to friends and family. Sometimes you are just trying to think of an unusual gift. And this fits the bill.


  5. As one of the co-founders of uBlanket I can not thank you enough for this amazing post. I am so happy to hear you and your readers are loving uBlanket.

    We took the JFDI (Just Freaking Do It) approach with this idea and really built it out as a business. Unless you sew, it would be very hard to have these made. We have streamlined the process so all you have to do is put your shirts in a bag and a couple of mouse clicks later you designed your uBlanket.

    We are always looking for more ideas and opportunity, please keep in touch on twitter @uBlanket or facebook.com/ublanket

    Thanks again!!!

  6. John,
    Nice to meet you. It was my pleasure to write this post. I love a great story and you have no idea how I felt the day I opened that "birthday" present from my oldest son. There were all his little t-shirts, mostly gifts from his father who traveled a lot for business.
    Anyway...I do know how to sew. My mother made sure my sisters and I learned how to make our own clothes! So, if I put my mind to it, I could probably make one of these blankets...but what I love about your company is the GREEN element and helping the homeless and small children. So it would be my pleasure to send the shirts on to you and create a keepsake!

    I will continue to follow your story.


  7. Dear Judy,
    Was intrigued as we have seen lots of quilters out there doing this kind of ...We'll make a quilt for you out of your memorable T-shirts". It all reminds me of the dilemma of the SOCIAL NETWORK film. Who gets the prize for knowing how to and doing the complete job to get something off the ground and into the marketplace and make it grow? How much do you owe to the guy who understood the concept but couldn't market it? An endless discussion but one worth having at some point.
    As ever, Judy Tracy

  8. Judy,
    I know you are a great quilter and have so many friends that enjoy quilting, I just had a feeling you may know some who have created this kind of personal keepsake.

    You and I grew up learning how to sew. For so many...sewing anything would scare them to death. In the old days, Home Economics classes included sewing basics (even Aaron who I talk about in this post had to take Home Economics in 8th grade and he had three sewing projects), so I thought sharing this site would be a gift to some people who don't know how to sew, don't have friends to help...and do not have a local vendor to create the product/gift.

    The other thing that caught my eye, as I mentioned, is that they also partner with Project Night Night.

    Thanks for stopping by, as always you offer good insight.


  9. our bus driver got a Tshirt from all the teams that he carted around to games and whatnot and had everyone sign and made it into a quilt it was pretty cool.

  10. Sounds crazy enough to work somehow. Indeed, why did I not think of it or come up with it. But this is an innovative idea nonetheless.


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