Q&A with Claire Code, Founder & CEO of Aunt Flow

Aunt Flow had one mission: ensure everyone has access to menstrual products. But when COVID-19 hit, founder Claire Coder saw an opportunity to help by focusing on the resources and relationships she had already cultivated. She launched a new division of the company focused on PPE called Work Flow.

In June 2020, Aunt Flow competed in the finals of the WBENCPitch Pivot tournament. This blog is part of a series highlighting the women entrepreneurs who pivoted their businesses and stepped outside of the box to create or offer products, services, and solutions that fill supply chain gaps during the COVID-19 pandemic. WBENC is proud to tell the stories of these incredible women business owners and showcase their resilience and innovation.

Read our Q&A with Claire Coder on how Aunt Flow pivoted and what she has learned in the process.


How did you pivot your business to survive and thrive through this crisis?

When schools and businesses were starting to close their doors, I said, “We need to not look at what we do not have, but rather hyper-focus on the resources we do have.” As a supplier of 100% organic cotton tampons and pads, dealing with medical devices, FDA, and large enterprises is natural for our team. We leveraged these unique abilities to concert our supply chain to produce the most necessary products — PPE. We spun up a division of Aunt Flow – Work Flow. Our mission is the same throughout: Ensure EVERYONE has access to basic, quality necessities. Our suite of products includes FDA Approved 3PLY Masks, Wipes, Disinfectant, Sanitizers and more.

What have you learned about yourself and your leadership style throughout this process?

I believe that the past 6 years of building Aunt Flow prepared me for this moment.

As our company grows, there are not less problems, they are just bigger.

As a 23-year-old, COVID is undoubtedly the largest personal and professional “problem” that I have ever faced, thus I am grateful for the past 6 years of brute-force training…. entrepreneurship.

What’s next for your business?

Corporations, non-profits, and enterprises are now relying on us to be their provider for facilities products. We are continuing to build Work Flow as a reliable solution for facilities products.

What piece of advice would you give to other women business owners or aspiring business owners on how to best navigate a crisis?

The overarching female mentality that we are not enough, we don’t know enough, we don’t have enough, we are not old enough, pretty enough, savvy enough. Therefore we may not succeed because we are not enough. Wherever we are at right now, is ENOUGH, and we CAN do it.

Women, as we’ve seen throughout history, thrived and continue to thrive in the midst of chaos, so don’t let that deter you from getting to where you want to be!

How has being a WBENC-Certified WBE helped during this crisis?

Through our WBENC connections, we started working with Dominion Energy as their supplier for masks. It was a remarkable opportunity to expand our business thanks to the WBENC network!

 

Aunt Flow has built a reputation for designing the first free-vend menstrual product dispenser to ensure employees and guests have access to tampons and pads when needed.
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Author

Claire Coder
Founder & CEO, Aunt Flow

After getting my period at an event without the supplies I needed, I started Aunt Flow in 2016 at 19 Years old. I thought to myself “toilet paper is offered for free, why aren’t tampons and pads?” At that moment, I knew that I wanted to be on a mission to ensure EVERYONE has access to quality menstrual products. I dropped out of college the day after I had the idea for Aunt Flow. Now, for every 10 tampons and pads we sell, we donate 1 to a menstruator in need. I call this people helping people. PERIOD.®


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