American Dreams

Flushing with success, one entrepreneur cashes in a disposable idea

Flushing with success, one entrepreneur cashes in a disposable idea

Out of frustration from not finding traveling packs of high-quality toilet seat covers, Dora Cardenas-Ruckstuhl creates a product that puts a profitable spin to an unsexy item.
LatinaLista — By her own admission, Dora Cardenas-Ruckstuhl has always been a dreamer. Ever since emigrating from her native sultry Colombia for the teeth-chattering temperatures of Canada at age 9 with her family, Dora dreamt of a future where she was the master of her destiny.
“I was always a dreamer,” Dora said. “I remember at least once a month informing my dad that I changed my mind about my “destined” career. This lasted way into my twenties and each time I told him of my newfound path, he acted with enthusiasm and never once asked why I changed my mind. My dad made me feel as though I could do and be anything in this world.”

Dora Cardenas-Ruckstuhl, co-founder of Toletta, showcases the handy travel-size product that makes using public restrooms safer and cleaner.
Yet, never in her wildest dreams did she ever foresee herself where she is today — as vice-president of communications and co-founder, with her husband Caine, of Toletta, a line of disposable toilet seat covers.
The idea for Toletta was born literally out of frustration.
Dora and her husband were trying to find some travel-size packs of disposable paper toilet seat covers to take with them on a trip. They didn’t realize how hard a task that would be.
“Not only was I shocked to learn that travel packs are hard to find,” Dora said. “But the products we did find didn’t have any ounce of style or quality tissues. All the products we found looked and felt like something you would find in camping supply stores — not exactly something retail stores and supermarkets would be proud to carry on their shelves.”
So the young couple got to work to create the kind of toilet seat covers they wouldn’t mind using themselves. They found the softest tissues on the market, 20 percent larger and 42 percent thicker than other brands. But that was only half of the equation. They realized that just as important as the product was a strong brand.
“We were looking for a name that not only made people think about toilets but also made people feel that the brand was high-end,” Dora revealed.
Finding the right brand name and available URL to create the kind of website they envisioned to market their product took over six weeks to accomplish. Dora credits her husband with thinking of the brand name.
However, the two would soon learn that was the easy part of the business success they both dreamed for themselves.
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American Dreams

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