In the beginning, Bobby sent free Squatty Potties to health bloggers to generate buzz, and success has flowed with more regularity than Metamucil. Dr. Oz's show called (Bill Edwards thought it was a crank call from his kids), and then Howard Stern started talking about the product.
Finally, on their second try, Squatty Potty qualified for "Shark Tank." They sold $1 million in product within 24 hours of the TV appearance, and the company also received a $350,000 investment from Lori Greiner, which led to high-profile shelf space in Bed Bath & Beyond.
First-year sales in 2011 were $17,000. Sales hit a whopping $19 million in 2015. And by the end of 2017, they reached nearly $33 million. "We're going to probably hit $100 million within the next few years," said Judy.
In the past year, the company has developed new products like a toilet plunger incorporating the poo emoji and a line of toilet deodorant sprays. The Edwards have expanded operations in Utah and added a new plant in Canada to focus on international sales.
The biggest challenge has always been finding a marketing balance between humor and health. "You can get really gross, or you can get so ambiguous that people don't know what you're talking about," said Bobby.
The Squatty Potty YouTube ad is a good example. It stars a Prince Charming character and a unicorn that poops ice cream. "This is where your ice cream comes from," says the prince. "(Unicorns) are good at pooping, but you know who sucks at pooping? You do."
When first presented with the idea for the video, the Edwards family thought it was too cheeky and too expensive. "We're talking about a subject nobody wants to talk about," said Judy, "and if a unicorn, or anything, is going to show poop, we don't want it to be poop, we want it to be something that people like and enjoy."
Hence, the ice cream. "It's not OK to talk about poop, but it's OK to talk about ice cream," said Bill.
They eventually decided to spend $250,000 to make the ad. At last count, it had over 100 million views, and sales have surged. "We're going to make more videos, and they're going to cost a lot more than that," Bill laughed.