Zoe Chapman founded Kiddiwhizz to address potty training issues with her own son and launched her invention, the Whizzer, in 2021. The award-winning parenting travel hack has proved to be a game-changer for toilet-training, a must-pack for families and a lifeline for those using it for medical reasons:
“It all started about 8 years ago when I was potty training my son. I was constantly on the go and as a single parent I was juggling everything alone. When I looked for a compact product I could quickly put in my bag that could be used at a moment’s notice, I couldn’t find anything that would be suitable or child friendly – so I ended up buying the big potties and fold up seats. But behind the scenes I began designing my own problem-solving invention – the Whizzer.”
What issues does Whizzer hope to address?
“When I began designing the Whizzer there were a few main features I wanted to incorporate: it had to be compact [the Whizzer holds 250ml is the height of a pen and less than 8cm in diameter]. Secondly, it needed to contain the urine and ensure it was completely leakproof – no splashed shoes or embarrassment. Thanks to the soft silicone that moulds to the body and acts as a discreet guard at the front, the Whizzer solves this problem while also ensuring that it gives the child privacy and a comfortable experience. Lastly I wanted it to be fun for children especially as it’s a new concept being introduced at a huge milestone during a challenging time.”
Who is the Whizzer designed for?
“As parents, we all know the exasperating phrase ‘I need the toilet… Now!’ and just because they learn how to use a toilet it doesn’t mean there won’t still be those moments – on a long car journey, at the park with no toilets or standing in a long queue. Parents never leave home without their Whizzer now.
So whether parents are enjoying the game-changing benefits of the Whizzer for potty training or reducing stress on a day out, the Whizzer is designed to hold the full bladder of an 8 year old. My son is 9-years-old now and still has a Whizzer by his bed for night-times. It saves a sleepy trip to the bathroom!”
Why should a retailer stock Whizzer?
“If you read the consistent stream of reviews, the potty training recommendations in Facebook groups or speak to a parent with a brightly coloured cup-looking device hanging off their bag, they’ll tell you: ‘it’s a must-pack item’, ‘it’s been a lifesaver’, ‘genius product’, ‘I’ve told all my Mum friends’… The Whizzer is one product that a parent will never regret buying and soon becomes something grabbed along with keys when heading out the door.
I can’t think of a reason not to stock the Whizzer!”
The Whizzer is a fairly specialist product: how do you support retail stockists?
“The Whizzer has only been available for 10 months and since then all sales have been organic, through the power of online and word of mouth. I use a consistent social media presence alongside influencers to educate people and to build confidence with demonstrations, lives and engaging content. The Kiddiwhizz website (currently being revamped) includes a fairytale story to support potty training parents, with FAQs and a blog section full of expert and real life parent experiences that will be a hub of support.”
Has the pandemic helped or hindered the progress of your business – and how?
“I actually only launched the business mid-way through the pandemic when I consistently saw news articles and heard the pain point of closed public toilets with parents struggling to find a solution. The pandemic had only exacerbated the problem so I knew it was long overdue. It’s been tough to start a new business during lockdown while juggling home-schooling and all the other challenges I faced as an unfunded female start-up, juggling every aspect of the business and parenting alone.”
What role does social media play in the success of your business?
“Facebook and Instagram have become a virtual home to me. The overwhelming support from parents that have not only used the platforms to share and support the product, but also come along with me on this journey has been incredible. I’ve shared wins and struggles along the way and my team Whizzer Mums have become as passionate as I have to make sure every parent knows about Kiddiwhizz. It’s been truly humbling and couldn’t have happened without social media.”
What’s next for Kiddiwhizz?
“As well as asking if I’ve applied for Dragons Den (!), the first question I’m asked on a daily basis is if there is an adult version coming. Mums have taken to using their kids Whizzers but the larger capacity model is coming. Funding the manufacturing of a product is a huge cost that most people aren’t aware of, but I hope to have it finished in time for the camping and festival season.
Another key aspect that I was unprepared for, was how many families who struggle with disabilities and disorders and desperately needed the Whizzer as a medical aid – from children with autism and sensory disorders to hormone deficiencies and diabetes. Children are able to use it for providing urine samples and to ensure freedom on the go for kids with physical disabilities isn’t restricted. This is the section of the business I’m most excited for and passionate about. I’m aiming for Whizzers on the NHS!”