When Stacy Hall and her husband, Colt, were potty training their daughter, things had the tendency to get a bit … well, messy.
“She wanted to help dump the potty or show off her accomplishment,” says Hall. “It sometimes ended with her potty dumped all over the floor or herself.”
It’s a story likely familiar to many parents who have potty trained their children.
Thinking there had to be a better way to go about creating a training potty, the Halls purchased some supplies and – literally starting from the bottom – created what they called the Potty Safe. The chair features a latch system that keeps the waste bowl in place and prevents the child from spilling it.
Hall, a 2007 graduate of Missouri Southern, and her husband will show off their invention to a national audience on Friday, May 8, during a new episode of “Shark Tank” as they pitch their invention to a panel of investors on the business-focused reality show.
“We had pretty busy lives and were tired of the extra baths and scrubbing the floors (during potty training),” says Hall. “I got an idea in my head for what I needed it to do. My husband is a welder and has patience of steel, and made it come to life.”
With a homemade prototype created, they spent a year and a half gaining a patent (a process that took “the power of prayer and Google,” she says) for Potty Safe and creating the mold to the standards they wanted it. By the fall of 2018, they had a product that was ready to sell.
They toyed with the idea of pitching their invention on “Shark Tank,” but the closest open calls to their home in Exeter, Mo., was at least six hours away.
But in April of 2019, the reality show announced an open call in Bentonville, Ark.,
“They had never held one there before,” says Hall. “It just came out of the blue.”
The couple made the trip to Arkansas and pitched Potty Safe in front of staff members from the show. They advanced to higher levels of auditions and last fall were invited to Los Angeles to appear on the show.
“I was expecting something different out in Hollywood,” she says. “But everyone was so nice and took really good care of us.”
While she can’t take about the episode before it actually airs, the process for filming the show was definitely eye-opening, says Hall.
“Now that I’ve been behind the scenes, I’ll never watch TV the same again,” she says.
Having graduated from Missouri Southern with a degree in accounting, Hall says she was prepared for the business side of Potty Safe, while her husband’s experience in manufacturing ensured they were ready to tackle the experience of launching their creation.
If there’s one thing Hall has learned over the last few years, it’s not to doubt yourself if you feel strongly about something.
“If you have an idea, go for it,” she says. “That’s the approach we took with Potty Safe and the ‘Shark Tank’ audition. You don’t want to look back on your life and think, ‘What if?’ We had to try and I’m really glad we went ahead.”
The Halls will be featured on “Shark Tank” at 7 p.m. Friday, May 8, on ABC. For more information about their invention, visit www.pottysafe.com.