Incontinence, better known as a loss of bladder control, affects approximately 13 million Americans – 85% of whom are women. As a practicing physical therapist since 1977, Faye Pryor commonly encountered the consequences of this problem while treating patients with fall-related injuries. While assisting a patient with a bedpan, major spillage occurred on her clothes and bedding. The patient asked why there weren’t urinals for women to use without lying on their backs. In that same moment, a friend of hers walked in holding a baseball cap, sparking Pryor’s idea to create the PottyCap, a portable female urinal under the Blanor Products umbrella.
Pryor’s retail journey began with the help of her sister-in-law Cynthia Pryor, the Vice President and COO of Blanor Products. The two created their first prototype by working with a local university in Nashville. From there, they worked on refining the urinal with the assistance of engineers all across the country. “I’m the emotional one behind the brand and Cynthia is the analytical one. This balance makes us a great team,” explains Faye Pryor.
Although the two make quite the dream team, there were no shortage of obstacles before officially launching the PottyCap in 2021. Designing a female urinal is no easy feat, especially with the requirement to obtain a legal patent. After hitting a wall with their first attorney and working about a year with their second attorney, they finally struck some luck. Faye explains, “Our attorney called us and said they wanted to continue working with us, but everything would be pro bono.” Because the attorney believed in the product, they agreed to see Blanor Products through at no cost until they completed the patent.
Thus, their manufacturing efforts began with the quest to conquer the product’s complicated design. Faye Pryor explains that creating the perfect design took many trials and changes. While their efforts weren’t all that costly, their major obstacles were finding the right people to work with, understanding the industry terminology, and sourcing suitable materials. “We learned so much about bottles from the different sizes and designs, to the different types of plastic,” emphasizes Cynthia Pryor.
A family affair
The current team has grown to be a family-operated business located in Hendersonville, Tennessee. Their team of five includes Faye’s daughter Brittany Vance, the Director of Finance and Accounting, her son Walter Vance III, the Director of Logistics, and Faye and Cynthia’s other sister-in-law, Donna Raines, the current Director of Business Operations.
Cynthia Pryor led the business operations to help the PottyCap go to market, including setting up their RangeMe account in March of this year. PottyCap first learned about RangeMe through the Walgreens website after discovering their referral link for suppliers to sign up for RangeMe. Cynthia Pryor immediately signed up and quickly got their brand RangeMe Verified™. “The setup process was very straightforward and our Supplier Success Manager was extremely helpful in explaining how to best leverage the platform,” she explains.
Their most-used tools on RangeMe include limited-time submissions, category reviews, and downloadable sell sheets. “Once someone asks for a sell sheet, I’m able to quickly log in and simply print and send one, as opposed to recreating every time,” explains Cynthia Pryor. With the help of her Supplier Success Manager, she was able to apply for Walmart’s 2022 Open Call through RangeMe. Out of thousands of brands, PottyCap was accepted into the program and was scheduled to have a 1:1 meeting with Walmart’s buyers through ECRM Connect. Before their meeting, a contact at Walmart encouraged them to apply to be featured on Walmart Marketplace, which is precisely what they did. PottyCap’s meeting with the buying team went smoothly, and they are currently building on their relationship with Walmart, with the goal to become the first female urinal sold on their store shelves.
“I couldn’t imagine we would be where we are today a year ago. RangeMe assisted us in getting in front of Walmart, one of the largest retailers in the world.” – Faye Pryor, President and CEO, Blanor Products.
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What’s next on the pipeline
PottyCap wants to continue emphasizing the struggle of incontinence and plans to submit their product to popular health-centric retailers on RangeMe like Walgreens, CVS, and Meijer. Knowledge truly is power to Faye and Cynthia Pryor, and they plan to expand their efforts to understand their niche and extend their product offering. “We’re looking at adding travel-friendly features, disposable bags, a different bottle design, and clothing to make it easier to use the product,” they explain.
When asked what advice they would share with someone who is about to launch a product for the first time, the pair shared the following success tips:
Do your research. Don’t be shy when it comes to leveraging the power of knowledge. Leverage platforms like RangeMe that can make your life a whole lot easier. If you don’t know something about your industry, look it up and try to learn as much as possible.
Don’t be discouraged. The first thing you do doesn’t always work out. Learn how to improve and move on to the next step. Have the courage and confidence to know that your product will help others.
Lessons are meant to be learned. Treat every mistake you make as a lesson. Then treat lessons as a learning opportunity rather than a failure or a negative.
What started as a dream for Faye Pryor in 2009 turned into a one-of-a-kind product with the potential to help millions worldwide. “If I can make life easier for women and bring them independence, then I say..let’s make it happen,” she concludes.
Retail buyers can find Blanor Products and the PottyCap on RangeMe here!
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