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Joseph Pedott, the innovative entrepreneur behind the Chia Pet phenomenon, passes away at the age of 91


[Joseph Pedott, the revolutionary advertising executive, who transformed the Chia Pet and Clapper light switch into retail sensations, has passed away at the age of 91. His creative genius and entrepreneurial spirit allowed him to turn these novelties into iconic products loved by generations. Born in Chicago in 1932, Pedott overcame a difficult childhood and found his calling in advertising. In 1958, he founded his own advertising agency in San Francisco, which led him back to his hometown in 1977. It was there that he encountered a ceramic figurine from Mexico, soaked in water and covered in fast-germinating Chia seeds. Sensing its potential, Pedott acquired the product and relaunched it as the Chia Pet through his company, Joseph Enterprises. The catchy jingle “Ch-ch-ch-Chia” became synonymous with the product and propelled it to incredible success. Pedott also introduced a variety of animal and character Chia figurines, making it one of the most popular novelty items of all time. In addition to the Chia Pet, Pedott revolutionized the market with the Clapper, a device that allowed users to control appliances with a simple clap. His creativity and business acumen led to the widespread popularity of these products both in the United States and around the world. Pedott’s legacy lives on, as both the Chia Pet and Clapper are now part of the Smithsonian Institution’s collections. He leaves behind a partner of nearly three decades, Carol Katz, and his philanthropic work continues to make a difference in the lives of others.


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