Childhood friends from the suburbs of St. Paul have established the Homer Blanky, a blanket uniquely Minnesotan, to keep fans warm and cozy for the Twins Opening Day on April 1.
While growing up in Little Canada, the Abdo brothers (Paul, John and Corey) and the Pickett brothers (Andrew, Sam and Mike) were inseparable. They would ride their bikes to the nearest gas station and buy baseball cards. The neighborhood friends also had aspirations to launch a business inspired by their love of baseball. Now the friends are in the process of making their childhood dream a reality.
They have created the Homer Blanky which is a 50-inch-by-60 inch blanket made of sweatshirt material. It’s sold for $24.98 online at homerblanky.com.
“We have taken a charitable partner in Breakthrough Saint Paul,” said Paul Abdo. “They provide opportunities for underprivileged kids. … It allows them to access higher level of teachers on a regular basis to help them further their education.”
Homer Blanky will donate 5 percent of the sales from each blanket to Breakthrough Saint Paul.
The idea for the blanket came after the Abdos and the Picketts attended a Twins game at Target Field.
“When the new Twins stadium opened up, we all got season tickets,” said Abdo, 34. “When we went to our first game it was freezing outside.”
From there, the Abdos and the Picketts checked the merchandise stands at Target Field to find “non-branded” blankets being sold for $50.
The friends from Little Canada started selling the stadium blankets in November last year. Paul Abdo said they have been working on the website, both the Facebook and Twitter pages, and the design for the Homer Blanky for about two years.
The design has three main components: a baseball diamond, the North Star at the top of the blanket and HB for Homer Blanky.
“We tried to encapsulate as much of the Minnesota feel with out being cheesy,” Abdo said.
The design of the Homer Blanky will be changed in the upcoming baseball seasons.
“We aren’t going to keep the same design every year,” said Abdo. “We are going to change it up. We plan to go to local designers in town here and ask them ‘What do you think from a Minnesota standpoint it means to design this blanket? How would you do it and why?’”
Abdo said that business has been going well in the early stages of the company. The Facebook page has over 2,500 likes and he said there are 25 to 30 new fans each day.
The blanket is a Minnesotan, Midwestern brand from start to finish.
“We want to bring a product people can obtain so that they can show their team spirit,” said Abdo. “It’s Minnesota boys, Minnesota values and Minnesota visions that are still here in town. We are obsessed with our towns (Minneapolis and St. Paul).”
Eric Mueller is studying journalism at the University of Minnesota