Squatty Potty Before Shark Tank
Bobby Edwards and his mother/business partner Judy Edwards are part of a health-conscious family. They wanted an inexpensive, natural way to treat and fix colon issues that had been bothering them. They realized that humans naturally defecate in a squatting position, rather than a sitting position, and wondered if there was a way for people to squat while still using the standard toilets found in American homes.
They invented the Squatty Potty, a stool that lifts people’s feet and knees in the air when they go to the bathroom. The stool sits on the floor in front of the toilet.
According to medical research posted on their Web site, the squatting position causes a person’s puborectalis muscle to relax, allowing for faster, more thorough elimination, and helping relieve problems such as hemorrhoids, bloating and constipation. Squatting is the position humans have used for thousands of years, and in many parts of the world where people don’t have indoor plumbing, they still squat outside.
Sitting on a toilet may be considered the modern, civilized way to “go,” but it could also be causing health problems.
The Sharks Swim ‘Round the Potty
Bobby and Judy appeared on the ninth episode of Shark Tank‘s sixth season. They sought $350,000 for a 5% share in their company, saying they needed to increase production.
But to get an investment, they had to explain what the Squatty Potty was, and how it worked. “Simply put,” Judy said, “we’re in the business to help you do your business.”
On the stage beside Bobby and Judy, a sheet covered part of the company’s display. Bobby pulled the sheet away, revealing a toilet and a Squatty Potty. Suddenly Robert Herjavec understood Judy’s wordplay. “Oh, that business,” he said.
Judy said that, with the help of a Shark, her company would become “the goose that laid the golden egg.”
The bathroom humor continued.
“But how do you squeeze out a profit?” Mark Cuban said. Kevin O’Leary was apprehensive at the valuation of $7,000,000. “That’s a whole lotta poo-poo!” Kevin said. Bobby replied they’d already sold several million dollars’ worth of the product, and all sales were done online. They hadn’t tried to crack the retail market yet.
Reacting to those impressive sales figures, Robert said, “Holy crap!”
Lori immediately knew the secret to their success. She remembered seeing the product featured on the Dr. Oz show. Bobby said that was true, and Dr. Oz himself had told his viewers that the product worked. Howard Stern had also extolled the Squatty Potty’s benefits on his show.
Getting down to the numbers, Bobby explained Squatty Pottys cost $4.50 to make and were sold for $25. Mark said, “With those margins, you gotta be pooping cash!” Bobby said sales could soar even more if they could get the FDA to approve the product as a medical device, which would allow insurance companies to reimburse customers. Bobby also said he wanted to get the product into retail stores.
The Sharks seemed hooked. “This is the first crappy investment I like,” Kevin said.
But ultimately, only one Shark made a deal. Robert didn’t invest because he thought it would be too difficult to change consumers’ bathroom habits and get them to use the product. Kevin wanted 10% of the company, which Bobby balked at. Mark didn’t like Bobby’s valuation of the company, so he went out. Barbara said she thought Bobby seemed untrustworthy–something about his body language made her uneasy.
Finally, Bobby and his mother/business partner Judy took Lori’s offer. She’d offered them $350,000 for 10% of the company, which was the same offer Kevin had made–but Lori had the advantage of her QVC connections.
“I know that this [product] helps a lot of people,” Lori said after hugging Bobby. “I know this really works.”
Squatty Potty Update In 2023 – How They’re Doing Now
Sales exploded after the episode aired- to the point where they completely sold out within four days. Within a few months, they had done more than $5 million in sales, which is a considerable increase, seeing as how they had previously done $6 million in three years.
They were eventually given an update segment in episode 625, where they revealed that they’ve since sold $12 million in products. Not only that but the product is also available in every Bed Bath Beyond store across the country.
In January 2016, they were also featured on an episode of Beyond the Tank. In the follow-up, they revealed that marketing has been challenging due to the nature of the product. While Bobby and Judy were discussing the issue, Lori came in and reassured them, saying that she’s never seen such high numbers the first night of Shark Tank. She also suggested that they market the Squatty Potty with an infomercial as that may be the best way to educate the public.
Bob was hesitant as their first experience with infomercials had been disappointing; they had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars but had poor results, which led them to end the contract.
Lori reassured him that it will work this time as they now “have her on [their] side”. She also recommended that they work on the video themselves and to upload it on their website and social media, which they agreed to. The three then talked about potential ideas for the videos.
Fast forward a few years and the Squatty Potty has become one of the most successful products to have ever been featured on Shark Tank. In another update segment, which was included in season 11, they revealed that they’ve done more than $250 million in lifetime sales.
Later in 2021, it was announced that the Squatty Potty has been acquired by Aterian, a publicly traded consumer products company, for $31.1 million.
As of 2023, the Squatty Potty is still available for sale. If anything, it’s just as popular as ever. Not only is it available through their website, but it can also be found at a number of retailers across the U.S., including Amazon, where the original model has a 4.7-star rating out of 47,000 reviews. They’ve also expanded their line of products to include kid stools, bamboo stools, flip stoops, and adjustable stools. They even have a Spongebob Squarepants stool!
Various accessories such as dual-stream bidets, and hidden toilet brushes are also available from their site. You can even get merch- including a miniature Squatty Potty! And they offer free shipping on all US orders above $50.