Why are they called the “wee hours”? Is there any time of day or night less well-suited for a trip to the toilet? All sorts of bad things can happen.
“I’d usually turn on the bathroom light, startle my wife, and totally wake up both of us,” says Bill Bradford. “It usually took me quite some time to get back to sleep, with complaints from my spouse echoing in my ears.”
Then a lightbulb went on, so to speak. Bradford thought: Why not a nightlight in the bowl that switches on when the seat is raised?
A few prototypes later, Bradford had invented the Johnny Light, his very first business venture and a beacon of harmony for married couples everywhere.
No more stumbling forays for him, no more middle-of-the-night wakeup calls for her. Plus, Bradford says, “it improves a man’s aim and cuts down on bathroom cleaning.”
In the 10 years Johnny Light has been on the market, Bradford has discovered other advantages. It speeds potty training for toddlers. “They like going into the bathroom and lifting the seat to see the light and then doing their business.”
Annual revenue for his company is now $375,000. Asked the secret of his success, the former nuclear power-plant engineer credits perseverance. “I never allow myself to hear the word no when I approach a merchandiser. Instead of no, I hear ‘not at this time.’ This keeps the door open in my mind.”
His goal is one day to make Johnny Light a household name. But for now it’s still a small business, with four employees running the organization. The bulk of the company’s income stream is Internet sales. “The Internet rocks,” Bradford says. “Orders keep coming. And the Johnny Light has gone international, with sales across the Pacific and the Atlantic.”
Perhaps it’s the Johnny Light’s soft green color that aids overseas sales. As Bradford points out, “green means go” in any language.