New owner Sara Shearer looks to maintain the business vision of the late Robert Streett after recently buying Clear Water Bidets.
Shearer officially took over as owner of the Carlsborg business from Streett’s wife Josslyn on Sept. 30.
“I feel like it’s a path I found,” Shearer said.
She began working for the company in January 2018 after Robert’s sister and her partner assumed management of the company earlier that year.
Robert, 52, and his son Robby, 16, died in a car wreck on a family trip in Colorado on July 20, 2017. They are survived by Josslyn and younger son Sawyer, both of whom sustained serious injuries.
Josslyn, Clear Water Bidets’ majority owner, took over business operations after she recovered in November of 2018 with assistant Ellen Hammer.
In a way, she feels Sara was meant for the job.
“Robert said if they ever had a girl they’d name her Sarah,” Josslyn said.
He even named their online customer support representative Sara without an “h.”
“I believe Robert helped choose her in some way (for the job),” Josslyn said.
Bidets were something Robert talked about for years before starting up his retail business, Josslyn said.
In a story about his then-new business in 2015, Robert said that “washing with water just made more sense than wiping with dry paper.
“It just took one time and I was convinced,” he said. “Knowing you’re completely clean after using the toilet is like stepping out of the shower every time. Washing with water not only is hygienic but it feels good. It feels soothing.”
Shearer echoes many of the benefits for bidet users that Robert noted years prior.
Robert said bidet seats can help anyone especially those with mobility issues from ailments and with injuries or diseases that regress their toileting habits.
“The number one thing that keeps people out of nursing homes is being able to toilet themselves,” Shearer said.
She said it helps women during the monthly cycles and can help bring down the number of or eliminate urinary tract infections (UTIs).
“In aging people, UTIs are detrimental,” Shearer said.
“A person robbed of their independence affects them their whole life. No one deserves that.”
Shearer moved to Sequim in 1995 and graduated from Sequim High in 2003.
She’s worked as a yoga teacher for seven years and has a 5-year-old son, Leonardo.
Working for Clear Water Bidets offered more financial stability and an opportunity to focus solely on yoga so that it can be altruistic for her.
“I think yoga can be life changing,” she said.
In nearly two years with Clear Water Bidets, Shearer said she’s helped people feel comforted in using bidets and she’s shipped seats across the globe.
One thing she knows, Shearer said, is that “people are not comfortable talking about their elimination system.”
The best part of joining the business has been working with Josslyn, she said, and learning so much. The worst has been receiving bidets in the mail for repair that aren’t cleaned.
“The transition (to using a bidet) was easy,” she said. “It made potty training easier with a toddler.”
Shearer said she wishes she’d had a bidet prior to her pregnancy.
About Clear Water Bidets
While based in Carlsborg, Clear Water Bidets is primarily an e-commerce business, with about 90-95 percent of its sales online through its website and major retailers like Amazon, Home Depot, Walmart and eBay.
The company does repairs in-house and can send parts if needed, too.
“A lot of common issues are easy to repair,” Shearer said.
She said bidets are becoming more common in America and brands like Tushy are advertising a lot to help bridge the gap for consumers.
Clear Water Bidets sells a number of brands, she said, and she’s considering diversifying.
The store’s bidets attach to toilets and cost an average of $300-$400, Shearer said.
Typical installation is about 15 minutes so long as you have a nearby outlet for for electricity to the seat.
In the future, Shearer said she’d like to secure a funding to provide bidets for people who cannot afford them.
Locally, people can try bidets at Adagio Bean and Leaf, Shipley Center and at the Clear Water Bidets shop.
Reach Matthew Nash at firstname.lastname@example.org.