The Cult of the Squatty Potty

The $25 stool cre­at­ing a na­tional bowel move­ment

Bloomberg Businessweek (Europe) - - Etc. - By Sam Gro­bart

As if mod­ern life wasn’t al­ready full of anx­i­ety, you can add this to your list of wor­ries: You’re go­ing to the bath­room wrong. That’s the claim made by Judy and Robert Ed­wards, the mother-and-son duo who’ve cre­ated the Squatty Potty, a toi­let ac­ces­sory that’s gone from gig­gly sub­cul­ture to full-blown phe­nom­e­non.

The Squatty Potty is a $25 foot­stool that promotes a squat­ting po­si­tion while you’re on the toi­let. “They say ne­ces­sity is the mother of in­ven­tion, and, well, my mother was con­sti­pated,” Robert says. In 2010 a doc­tor sug­gested that squat­ting—which is how two-thirds of the world relieve them­selves, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany’s mar­ket­ing ma­te­ri­als, and how three-thirds of hu­man­ity did be­fore moder­nity forced us into a seated po­si­tion—could im­prove her sit­u­a­tion. When you raise your knees above your hips, the body re­laxes cer­tain mus­cles, turn­ing what many peo­ple are fa­mil­iar with as a de­bate be­tween body parts into a sim­ple, declar­a­tive state­ment said in uni­son.

Find­ing suc­cess with squat­ting, the Ed­ward­ses wanted to spread the good news. In 2011 they de­signed a wooden stool to give to friends as a Christ­mas gift. “Peo­ple thought we were crazy at first,” Robert says, “but then they’d come back and say we’d changed their lives.”

Since turn­ing Squatty Potty into a busi­ness in 2012, the pair has sold more than 2 mil­lion of them, mostly on­line. Those sales have been boosted by ap­pear­ances on Shark Tank and The Dr. Oz Show. The com­pany also re­leased a joke-filled video of a uni­corn on a toi­let. Viewed al­most 11 mil­lion times on YouTube, it’s led to a 400 per­cent in­crease in sales at their pri­mary re­tailer, Bed Bath & Be­yond.

The Ed­ward­ses have found their great­est friend in Howard Stern, who’s been evan­ge­liz­ing the ben­e­fits of the Squatty Potty—of­ten in vivid, graphic de­tail—on his show for sev­eral years. For Stern, the Squatty Potty has been noth­ing short of a rev­e­la­tion. “When I hear an an­gel fly­ing too close to the ground,” he said on-air, “I’m think­ing of Squatty.” <BW>

The Squatty Potty is de­signed to fit right around your toi­let for easy stor­age. How to use it is pretty self-ex­plana­tory.

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