Parenthood can be a wonderful experience, but it does require some tasks that are honestly not that much fun. Potty training might not be number one (no pun intended), but it certainly is somewhere near the top of the list! Once accomplished it makes life a lot easier for everyone, but along the way there can be some seriously “yucky” experiences.
Potty training usually comes around the same time that most toddlers are obsessed with proving that “I-can-do-it-myself” and this sometimes leads to one of those undesirable experiences. Colt and Stacy Hall found this out when they were potty training their first child. She was an independent youngster and always wanted to help remove the bowl from the potty chair and help empty it. While the Halls were happy she wanted to be helpful and did want to encourage her in developing independence, the truth is this led to some nasty spills.
Colt and Stacy tried to find a childproof potty chair, but none were available. In an interview with Pat Walls of “Starter Story” Stacy recalls that Colt, who she says “can fabricate anything and has the patience of steel,” created a device that would lock the bowl to the chair. The lock could be removed by an adult, but not a child. That solved the issue and potty training proceeded without further problems. Having read many reviews when they were searching for a childproof potty chair, they knew they were not the only parents to ever experience this problem.
Stacy told Pat Walls that she hadn’t set out to be an entrepreneur. She had earned a degree in accounting and was planning to climb the corporate ladder. After having their first child, however, the demands of the corporate world began to interfere too much with her family life so she switched to a less demanding position as an office manager closer to home. When the opportunity to promote their new invention arose, she had enough time to dive into launching Potty Safe.
The first step was to protect their invention and the Halls hired an attorney to file for a patent. In June 2017, they attended an inventor show with the prototype, gaining a lot of interest and making important contacts, including one who would eventually become their manufacturer. Learning the cost of tooling, however, was discouraging and Stacy admits she was almost ready to give up. After a great deal of discussion, and realizing they didn’t want to someday look back and wonder “what if,” the Halls decided to mortgage their home to finance the endeavor.
Potty Safe is designed with a patented, childproof latch, non-slip feet and a built-in splash guard. The simple design allows for easy cleaning. The molds for Potty Safe were completed and inventory was ready for sale by the end of September, 2018, and the Halls began to advertise on social media, set up an on-line store and take their product to various retail stores. Interest grew slowly but steadily. On March 30, 2019, Potty Safe participated in the World’s Largest Baby Shower event in Springdale, Arkansas, and in June they were awarded 2019 Creative Child Product of the Year and 2019 Baby Maternity Top Choice Award. Potty Safe was one of 500 companies out of 10,000 applicants that were invited to attend the Wal-Mart Open Call Summit in June of 2019, resulting in the product being available on Walmart.com, and Potty Safe became available on Amazon that August. Potty Safe was featured in the “Inventors Spotlight” section in the January issue of Inventors Digest2020.
Colt and Stacy Hall learned a great deal while creating a product and developing a company. When asked by Pat Walls what advice they have for a new entrepreneur, Stacy said the most important things are to get out of your comfort zone and ask a lot of questions. Don’t take criticism too hard, she advised, and use it as an opportunity to learn and grow.