Oct 3, 2017
Claire Coder was a competitor in 2015 GSEA Competition, and also the founder of Aunt Flow. In today’s episode, she shares the stories of her business ventures, and she started her business and grew it to where it is today. On a mission to change the world one cycle at a time, Claire talks about the importance of investing in your business and nurturing your entrepreneurial inclinations from a young age.
[:45] Claire started her first company — There’s A Badge for That — when she was only 16 years old. In a matter of two years, she grew the company, and this company got her excited and engaged in entrepreneurship.
[2:50] When she was school at the Ohio State University, she got the idea for her second business: insert name. The company is growing rapidly, and the products have been well-received across 47 states.
[5:45] What has been most surprising so far is the difference in reception that they’ve received from men and women when they’re selling business-to-business. They get the most criticism from females, whereas men are more likely to see the logic behind providing menstrual products in their bathrooms.
[7:19] Claire was on a TLC TV Show called Girl Starter — a show design to show entrepreneurial grit and stamina. She placed second in the competition with her partner and the show. Though she had just recently launched her company, this was a great experience for her.
[9:24] Their warehouse and distribution center is located about 20 minutes outside of Columbus, with a small office in downtown Columbus. About 70% of their revenue comes from selling to other businesses, while the other 30% comes from individual consumers. They also have an educational component to their company, which they feel is very important in changing lives around the world.
[10:25] What’s next for Claire and Aunt Flow? As the business is growing significantly and quickly, Claire’s personal mission is to make sure everyone has access to menstrual products so she is always working to complete that mission.
[11:30] Their team is in a period of transition, so by October, they are hoping to be fully staffed with two employees, as well as a few contract employees. They have received investment from an angel investor in Columbus, and Claire was also successful on a podcast called The Pitch.
[14:00] People listening to the podcast can help Claire and Aunt Flow by stocking their businesses with tampons, that has all information about why it’s important to stock these in your business. If you are interested in trying the product, visit the website below!
[15:15] The hard part about working with some of the public institutions is that it’s a long sales cycle, and there’s a lot that goes into selling to the public institutions. They focus primarily on the public sector but will serve the private sector as companies reach out to them.
[16:38] Claire attended Ohio State University for one semester. Since she already had her business in high school, she really already knew what she wanted to do and how to do it. She made the decision to use the money she would’ve used for school to put towards her business. Though it was a little rough at first, her parents now are huge supporters of her business.
[20:05] At the beginning of the business she really felt like “the lonely entrepreneur.” She worked several waitressing jobs when her company started to help pay the bills, and she wants to encourage listeners that it’s okay if you have to work a part-time job until you reach the revenue metric you need to sustain yourself.
[2:28] To avoid burnout, Claire is going to take one of her first vacations in the two years since the business started. Focusing on this balance between work and life will hopefully allow her to come back to the business refreshed and ready to go harder.
[23:27] For Claire personally, she had an entrepreneurial drive that her parents encouraged from a young age. She tells the story of her “first business” as a child selling beer to construction workers. This helped her learn the importance of identifying the target audience, understand the customer, and making the sale. As a parent, it is important to observe situations like these with your kids, and decide how you can respond in a nurturing way.
[25:49] If there are any businesses who want to join the menstrual movement, please visit the Try Aunt Flow website below to learn more details.
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