CBUS Startup — Aunt Flow, Wants to Talk About Your Periods
by Paola Santiago, Photos by Allison Lehman (The Wonder Jam)
Periods or female menstruation is often a taboo topic, which is, frankly, ludicrous, because periods are entirely natural and happen to of-age women around the globe. It’s like breathing or growing hair or sweating — and there’s a teenage CEO that wants to talk to you about it.
Ohio native and OSU dropout Claire Coder, started her business as a teen and realized helping women with their periods was the passion her heart wanted to follow.
“My mom would talk to me about the women who she was serving who didn’t have access to these products, because they didn’t have tampons and pads. Stuff like that really started getting to me. It’s literally unimaginable hell if you didn’t have the products that you need,” Coder’s mother, an art therapist, works with underprivileged and homeless women.
These women often use leaves or plastic, sometimes multiple layers of clothing to mask their periods — which can endanger their health. Needy and homeless women often go so long without using real sanitary menstrual measures that they forget or are never taught how to actually use them. This service isn’t about filling a possible need, it’s about filling a gap that has always been there and gets bigger every day.
And so, Aunt Flow was born — a subscription service that sends you a box of tampons or pads to your door, and for every box you purchase, a box is sent to a woman in need.
After a year of crazy crowd funding, fundraising events, working odd jobs to make ends meet, and being another Columbus one-(wo)man-band, she’s finally launched her service.
“We’re set to send out 100,000 tampons and pads in the first year of business – that’s kind of my measurement of success, how many vaginas can I fill with tampons and pads,” said Coder.
So this service is pretty friggin’ awesome — especially because although it shouldn’t be taboo, periods are still treated like the plague. Going to the store to buy a box of tampons or pads, and then having to walk through the entire store with the box in your hand is basically like wearing a giant neon sign that says, “HELLO WORLD, I’M ON MY PERIOD.”
Now imagine you can’t even buy the products that help you manage a period. If that’s a type of hell, Aunt Flow is heaven.
The cotton pads and tampons are sourced from Veeda USA and are 100% cotton, as opposed to other popular brands that can mix cotton with other synthetic materials, irritating dyes, and scents.
Coder’s services run anywhere from $13 to $140 depending on how many products you want delivered in one year.
“My goal is to make sure that every human has access to quality products that you put in your body.”
So be proud of your period (or a friend’s period) and visit her website here to learn how you can help a woman in need “flow forward.”