Bobby, Judy and Bill Edwards, owners and creators of Squatty Potty
Judy Edwards, Squatty Potty Owner and Creator, tells it like it is. Her mentoring during Make48 events, has been pin-pointed as a highlight by many contestants. But what makes the Squatty Potty concept-to-market story so compelling? For those of you who don’t know, Squatty Potty is a product that is designed to sit under your feet while you go to the washroom, to help you squat ‘while you go’ and have easier bowel movements. The brand’s funny, bold advertising helps you quickly get over the awkwardness of talking about bodily functions and gets you to really pay attention to the obvious health benefits of their products.
Check out: This Unicorn Changed the Way I Poop!
“Squatty Potty like most new inventions was discovered out of need. After hearing about the squatting concept and knowing it was literally a product for everyone we knew that we needed to bring this product to market even if it was a product that no one really wanted to talk about.”
Realizing what a big difference toilet sitting posture can make in our health and wellbeing, Judy teamed up with her husband Bill and son Bobby and created the first Squatty Potty, “I had been using a regular stool that I had around the house and hated it in my bathroom. It was not the right size or height and it was aways in the way. So one day while talking about it at the kitchen table with my husband and son Bobby we decided to make a stool made for the task. We drew out some drawings that we thought would work. Then I went to a neighbor and asked him to make a prototype out of wood. We had several made before we come up with the perfect design that we thought would work. And of course we had to come up with a name get some design patents and also trademarks. It was a lot of work at the beginning. We had never marketed a product before so was not sure how to go about it. Thats why I was so interested in Make48 when I first heard about it because If we would have been involved with a program like Make48 we could have saved some headaches along the way.”
A Squatty Potty (Ecco)
The Squatty Potty brand has only continued to grow since, bringing new, innovative products into their line. “It is really hard to develop a brand without bringing on more products. Those products needed to fit into our goal of making a better bathroom experience. Not only pooping better but other things to make the experience and time spent more comfortable. So one of the first needs was making several types of models of Squatty Potty for different decorative tastes.”
“Then our customers wanted a travel version that was easy and affordable to take along on trips. Then we also have a bidet for easier cleaning. We are also coming out with a kids potty training kit that will contain a cute manual on potty training along with a stool called the SquattyPottymus. We have also designed a children’s toilet seat that fits on your existing seat and holds the child securely on the toilet. The SquattyPottymus is taller and will allow a 2-3-year-old to get their knees up to aid in elimination. We have a product that also helps the bowels for those with chronic constipation. We are also working on a whole line up of squatty potty products for better gut health.”
Other Squatty Potty Products! The Porta-Squatty, Unicorn Gold Before-You-Go Toilet Spray, Good Move!
Ultimately, the experience of bringing this product to life was extremely rewarding, and the highlight for Judy is hearing how her family’s product has helped so many people! “Squatty Potty has been life changing for lots of people, not only ourselves, as it has provided a better income for many people and secured our future retirement. It is very gratifying to hear so many people that have shared their experience of using our products with us. We always love to hear their stories and testimonials”
The questions is: can anyone bring a great product to market? (can YOU?) “Absolutely! But it does take a good idea, creativity, and time. And also could take a little money (or a lot of money) so be prepared to surround yourself with others who might be able to help and also it may mean giving up some equity.” Judy’s advice is to first and foremost always, always test your market with your product before investing in it. “Test out your product with lots of people and get their feedback. If over 50% love your product then you know you may have a winner, if less that 50% I would consider another idea. Not worth the risk and money for less than 50% of your target market.” Simple!
Judy’s advice overall, like that of her husband and son, has been highly valued by contestants (check out our interview with Team Churgler to learn about their experience meeting the Squatty Potty team!), so we wanted to make sure Judy shared her best advice with you, too! “I have really enjoyed mentoring and being a part of make48. I understand the frustration of having a great product and not knowing what to do next. Make 48 helps provide the tools and connections to make that process move along more quickly. My advice would be to not give up too easily. Follow your gut and dare to do and go places that make you uncomfortable. The best advice that I have received is: don’t give up easily and don’t take anything personally. Also if you fall get back up and try again. We have had many falls in our life and with each one we learned more about what to avoid the next time around. I call it the ‘school of hard knocks’.” So, if you’re currently in this particular school, don’t let it get you down! Keep going!
We (of course) also love that as a successful entrepreneur, Judy believes so strongly in the value of Make48, and what it can offer to new inventors. “I could see the value of Make48 right from the beginning. It is a mini course in development, production, and marketing of a new Idea or product. They provide a great team of experts to help. So much advice from so many people is a great help in preventing lots of mistakes from the beginning. Not only are you given great advice but you have an education at Make48 that you would not received at any school. Using those tools could be life changing especially if you have a product that becomes successful in the marketplace and will provide you a secure future. If I had attended something like Make48 in the beginning process of Squatty Potty I really feel we could have prevented some of the pitfalls that we fell into. Like they say knowledge is power!”
To learn more about Squatty Potty and their products, check out their website!
If you are inspired by Judy’s story, don’t forget to Apply to the next Make48!
It’s all happening September 28-30 at the Kansas City Art Institute.
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