SQUATTING IN HEELS
What does Fashion, Public Toilets
and Social Causes have in common?
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ATTENTION: FASHION AND LIFESTYLE EDITORS
JUNE 23, 2010 - BALTIMORE, MARYLAND. According to Caine Ruckstuhl, founder of TOLETTA (Ottawa-based paper toilet seat cover manufacturer), "a lot more than what you might think."
Today, fashion model Martha Robichaud from Baltimore showed off her talents by posing in front of a camera inside a public bathroom holding TOLETTA travel packs. "Modeling inside a public bathroom was actually a lot of fun. It's not everyday that I get asked to model in a public bathroom, so I jumped at the opportunity. I love innovative products and alternative marketing so this was perfect", said Ms Robichaud. "I was a little skeptical when I was told I'd be modeling for a toilet seat cover in a public restroom, but the shoot actually turned out to be surprisingly glamorous. I've never seen such a cute toilet product!"
Fashion photographer, makeup artist and stylist Michelle Aristocrat handled all the photography, make-up and wardrobe styling. "Let's face it, there's nothing sexy about public toilets. This was a great opportunity to take an otherwise boring product like a paper toilet seat cover and make them sexy. I am a huge fan of TOLETTA so it was a natural extension for me to combine fashion with personal hygiene," said Aristocrat. "I carry it with me everywhere I go in my Louis Vuitton bag. As a fashion photographer, I end up in places that aren't so clean and glamorous.. TOLETTA saves me from squatting in my heels." "The concept of the shoot was definitely 'Squatting in Heels'. As a fashionista myself; I love heels! The higher up the better.. and that is the same in the fashion world and for the real world. I decided there was no other place to shoot then a public bathroom, and no better model then Martha. Martha and I have worked together in the past and she knows how to make something sexy and fabulous, even if the location is not." Aristocrat states. "It was 100 degrees outside and I didn't think that the heat would be a problem for us due to the fact we planned to shoot inside. Well that wasn't the case- we were in a public bathroom with not the best smells to do a shoot and there was no AC!"
Shooting in a public bathroom in the heat was uncomfortable for all involved. "I have never spent so much time in the bathroom before." Robichaud said. "And it was so hot in there!" With all the movements, squatting and a small stall the TOLETTA photo-shoot started off very steamy. Aristocrat decided there would be no better time to get a fan into the stalls and make this shoot even steamier. "I wanted the concept to match the photograph" Aristocrat says. "I wanted the 'squatting' to be ridiculous and the positions to be somewhat unrealistic with a fashion twist. I asked Martha to give me sexy, sweaty and bendy positions which may happen behind the stalls. Each photograph is a statement to what 'Squatting in Heels" is all about and how TOLETTA would save our legs if we carried it around with us."
TOLETTA markets to women ages 20-45 who are health conscious, fashion conscious and socially conscious. The company's mission is two-fold. First, to help women feel pretty even in a not so glamorous situation like a public bathroom. Second, to increase awareness about important social causes such as breast cancer and child poverty. By also using fashion models in their "what's in my purse" videos and launching a Facebook group last year called Sugar Pop Magazine (a fashion magazine with over 2275 members), TOLETTA is poised to be a major player in the toilet seat cover travel pack market.
While saying tolettas are fashionable is somewhat of a stretch, Ruckstuhl said, TOLETTA's success hinges on branding. "It's been a magical combination. We took an unconventional product, picked a niche target market (in this case, models), learned what makes them tick, then wrapped our branding around that. Toilet seat covers are not a high-interest category. It's not something people are looking for or think are cool. Therefore, it's important for us to do things differently."
TOLETTA is part of an ongoing trend towards personal hygiene, social consciousness and product premiumization. Since the company's launch last year (September 2009) they have already sold over 30,000 packs. It's the company's goal to eventually donate 10% of all revenues to social causes. "Having social causes on our packaging will not be a one-time, special campaign like other products. When you see a pink ribbon on other products, the donation to social causes is only for a specific time period. We're in this for the long haul and plan to make donations for the life of our products because social causes are an integral part of our brand", said Ruckstuhl.
Each travel pack contains 5 toilet seat covers. Tissues are made from large sheets of 3ply toilet paper so they are extra soft with 20% larger and 42% thicker paper than other brands. A percentage of the proceeds from the Pink packs go towards Breast Cancer Research and the Blue ones support Child Poverty Awareness. Each pack retails for $2.49 - $3.49 USD.
Caine Ruckstuhl, Martha Robichaud and Michelle Aristocrat are available for interviews upon request. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org