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Person 2 Person: Sandi Hendry, the woman who started Minky Couture

Sandi Hendry bio.jpg

(KUTV) Sandi Hendry is the woman behind the blanket company, Minky Couture.

Minky Couture has now sold over one million blankets, and received the Best of State Award for the "Best Gift Ever" category for the past two years.

Minky Couture started in 2009 with just one blanket.

The first blanket was made for Hendry's then 27-year-old daughter, who was sick. She asked her mother for a "soft, cozy, cute, cute blanket."

"I was given baby blankets as gifts and I thought, 'I'm just going to make that baby blanket bigger for her,'" Hendry said.

After that first blanket, Hendry started making them for her family, who told their friends. Word of mouth spread, and Hendry eventually started selling the blankets out of her car.

Minky Couture then went online, and then Hendry opened up a few stores.

Hendry was in her 50s when she started her company, which she had always dreamed of doing.

"People need to know: whatever your dream is, it doesn't matter how old you are. You can start today, you can start in your 60s, you can start in your 20s," Hendry said.

Minky Couture's blankets are handmade by dozens of seamstresses.

"They're really the backbone of my company," Hendry said.

She recalls some advice given to her by her father, who also owned a business. She was told that if she surrounded herself with great, hardworking people, she would succeed.

Hendry has definitely seen some success, but there were times she worried her business would fail.

She went through a time where she would call up business advisors to ask questions. Many of them told her she couldn't be the manufacturer, the retailer, and the wholesaler for the blankets.

"And I said, 'Why? Sure I can. I can do that,'" she recalled.

She was told that taking on all three roles wasn't cost effective. But she was sure she could make it work.

"You can't tell me no,'" Hendry said. "You can't tell me I can't do that because I'll do it."

Hendry taught 5th and 6th grade for 30 years in the Alpine and Weber School Districts. She describes her time teaching as "fabulous."

"It prepares you for all kinds of things--running a business, people being on time, people handing in their assignments," she said.

Some of her former students even work for her now.

Some of her family members are also involved in Minky Couture.

A daughter-in-law does photography, a son-in-law works on the website, and her oldest daughter is the one who helped her name the company and pick out the soft fabric.

Hendry's son also helps spread the love of Minky Couture. He is an orthopedic surgeon who gives a blanket to his patients who undergo surgery.

Giving back is a big part of Hendry's business.

Minky Couture donates blankets to the NICU units in Utah. With every purchase of an "adult" or "monster" size blanket, Minky Couture donates a mini blanket to a NICU unit.

Hendry believes when she and her company gives back, "It's going to touch somebody's life. It's going to make somebody feel better."

"I really want at the end of my life to be remembered as somebody that loved people and cared about people and that gave to people," she said.

For more about Minky Couture, visit the company's website.

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