Wabi Whiffs is the playful yet functional toilet odor eliminator company founded by sisters Donna and Debbie Seeman. The powders and tablets work to neutralize odors instantly, adding colour, glitter, and fragrance to the toilet bowl. The formulas are made with septic-safe chemicals, biodegradable glitter, cosmetic colourants, and natural essential oils.
The duo runs the company out of a facility in Charlotte, North Carolina where they do all the blending, formulating, and packaging of the products. Wabi Whiffs are available in all 50 states, in boutiques, gift shops, and in select Ace Hardware stores, as well as on the company website.
The Story Behind the Whiffs
Donna Seeman says she made the toilet odor eliminators for her sister Debbie, who was having gut issues due to her gallbladder. Trying to alleviate the embarrassment surrounding having to use the restroom frequently, Seeman came up with a way that would make these visits odorless.
“Our products eliminate all bathroom odors, and they are discreet in low-profile pouches. No more anxiety or embarrassment. Just sprinkle it in and it’s done. Plus, they are fun and they smell so good,” said Donna Seeman, Co-Founder.
In addition to helping those with medical issues, the sisters wanted to launch a fun product that featured playful language, bright colours, and glitter to make the product more than a bathroom essential.
“There is definitely a medical side to the product. It can help those with poor gut health, Crohn’s disease, and any other bathroom issue. But you don’t have to have a problem to use the product. It’s a fun product for everyone to use,” said Seeman.
Launching the Bathroom Odor Eliminators
Wabi Whiffs first launched in July 2019 when Donna and Debbie introduced the product at the AmericasMart Gift Show. There, they showcased the loose powders in 200g jars, featuring five different scents.
“It wasn’t very exciting and we didn’t get a lot of orders, but we met some amazing people, and got great feedback. It was clear we needed a change,” said Seeman.
So, in three weeks, the duo overhauled the entire line. They created 17 unique scents, added glitter and colour, and created tablets (or ‘bombs’). In addition, they added an on-the-go, single-serve product that quickly became one of their best sellers.
“Creating an on-the-go product was important because of Debbie’s issue of having to use the restroom frequently, and not always at home,” said Seeman.
According to the duo, their competitors in the bathroom odor elimination space had liquid products that didn’t transport well and were prone to leaking, so they wanted to create a powder in a single-serve pouch that would be easy to pack in a pocket or purse. And it wasn’t just Debbie who enjoyed the on-the-go option.
“So many people call and tell us about their health issues, and how the product has helped them. Also, people would come up to us at the show and show us that they were carrying a full-size bottle of our competitor’s liquid product and then they threw it in the trash. They were so happy to have a more discreet solution that wouldn’t leak or spill,” said Seeman.
Discovering the Packaging Solution
To create the small, single-serve bags, Wabi Whiffs began looking for a supplier that could accommodate short runs, and print the bags quickly. While exploring some options with suppliers that required high minimums for each SKU, they were faced with having to pick and choose which scents to run.
Not wanting to sacrifice their line-up, Donna and Debbie knew they needed a better solution— digital printing with ePac.
“The quality is outstanding! With digital printing, we can keep all our SKUs, and run all of them in low quantities,” said Seeman.
Equipped with the new single-serve, on-the-go pouches, Wabi Whiffs relaunched the brand in January 2020 at the AmericasMart Gift Show with a new full line-up of powders, and odor eliminating toilet bombs with the new scents, colours and glitter. They quickly saw what a hit the new pouches were and were even approached by The View, asking to showcase the brand on their television show.
Obviously, this was a big break for the small brand; however, the brand had run into a problem with the finished product. The gases from the chemicals inside the pouch were expanding, leading to bloating in all 30,000 bags that the company ordered. To alleviate the pressure of the gases, the duo pin-pricked each one by hand. But, needing a larger inventory in anticipation of the show airing in the fall, they knew that hand-pricking each one was not an option.
Going back to ePac, Seeman asked if the company had a solution. And they did: ePac worked with a partner that was able to perforate each pouch so that the product could breathe, eliminating the bloating problem.
“It is so important to work with people who understand substrates and different materials for a project. ePac was so knowledgeable about what we would need to make the package a success,” said Seeman.
After fixing the bloating issue, the next challenge was ordering enough product in a tight turnaround. And with ePac’s unique digital printing technology, the brand was able to place an order of 200,000 pouches and get them fast, in time for The View’s airing in late September.
The Power of Packaging
Choosing ePac and digital printing wasn’t solely about getting the toilet bomb packaging printed quickly. Seeman said that she wanted to have an interactive toilet bomb packaging design in a pouch with a clear window that would showcase each colour and the visible glitter throughout.
“We really wanted the packaging to be fun and nice enough to leave out when guests come,” said Seeman.
ePac uses only high-quality films and digital printing technology for precise, high-impact graphics and colours. Brands of all sizes have the power to print various SKUs, choose from a variety of films and package sizes, and work with a local supplier.
“Digital printing is so good for small companies that want to try something new, like new flavours or new scents. And since the minimum orders are more about price points, instead of quantities, we are able to mix and match SKUs and have short runs for multiple fragrances,” said Seeman.