Meet Claire Coder, Aunt Flow

Never did I think that I would portray the character of a horrendous, once a month, blood-splat. But here I am, Aunt Flow, and I honestly can say that I could not be happier.

Founding a social enterprise that would be a sustainable solution to help women has been a dream, and I am proud to say it will be a reality.

So how did I get where I am right now? I am not going to delve into the nitty gritty of my childhood, (I will save that for another blog post, stay tuned!) but I will give you an idea of how I have ended up here, in Columbus, as Aunt Flow. Alright, let’s go with the flow…

After receiving my high school diploma from Sylvania Southview, I accepted a scholarship to The Ohio State University. From a combination of OSU, local scholarships, and the Distinguished Young Women program, I didn’t have to pay a dime out of pocket for my first semester. Honestly, my whole senior year, I didn’t want to go to college, but it seemed like the only option. Therefore, I had my generic graduation party, and headed off to OSU. I entered as a Communications major and Spanish minor. After one week into classes, I quickly realized that Communications was not meant for me. I didn’t want to be a news anchor and I felt that the department was attempting to stymie my creativity with their strict rules on “how to successfully write.” I immediately began the vigorous process of “what major do I choose now?” With over 200 degree options, I was overwhelmed. Religion has always interested me and I made the impulsive decision to switch to Comparative Religious Studies.

During my first semester in college, I frequently cut class. My roommate will confirm this. To clarify, I wasn’t cutting class to do “typical college activity.” Personally, I viewed business meetings, tea time, and mental meditation more important than a monotonous lecture. I rarely partied and I wasn’t huge into the drinking scene. Friday nights I frequently felt out of place when all of my floor-mates were heading to the bars and I was left sitting at my computer responding to emails and preparing for an early morning networking group. I really didn’t mind the severe juxtaposition; it simply made me realize that the typical college scene wasn’t for me.

Late November 2016 I attended my first StartUp Weekend at CoverMyMeds. (Side Note: If you have not been to a StartUp weekend yet, regardless of your age and background, I highly suggest) The Friday night of the event, I pitched a buy one, give one concept for feminine hygiene products. After 3 days of vigorous working, my team and I presented Aunt Flow. We placed second and received very positive feedback. After the event, I knew I wanted to move forward with the idea. My dream to launch a company that would address a national problem was coming to life.

As I continued to cut class, meander away from campus to explore the Short North, and chose networking meetings over parties, it became clear that I needed to look at alternative options to college.

During all of this time, I had started to work at a marketing company, ContentVia. I had just read the book Undecided by Simon Fraser, which explained how college isn’t for everyone. I was feeling empowered and ready to approach my parents regarding my future plans.

I vividly remember the first conversation I had with my parents regarding my plans to explore alternative options. We were all sitting at Acre, a local farm-to-table restaurant in Columbus. I shared with them that I was planning on “taking a break from college.” My parents immediately began to defend college and explain how it is a great crutch to fall back on, “just in case.” Wiping my tears away, I began to realize that any huge life decision will come with severe scrutiny. It just hurts more when the negativity comes from those whom you love the most.

But I was committed to my decision regardless of the skepticism.

I knew that college was not right for me at that time. After my first, and only, semester at The Ohio State University, I decided to take a sabbatical. January 2016 I moved into an old victorian house in the Short North with a coworker at ContentVia. I accepted a full time position at ContentVia as an Account Executive, placed Aunt Flow on full-throttle, and I was beginning to immerse myself into the entrepreneurial community that Columbus offered.

Now it is February 2016 and I am still working at ContentVia, attending networking groups, and Aunt Flow is ramping up for crowdfunding. At OSU, I am still active with the Mount Leadership Society and I raised over $300 for BuckeyeThon. Although sleep time is minimal, I still make a great attempt to maintain my physical health. I have joined PowerHouse Gym, and I frequent ZenCha Tea Salon.

All-in-all, I could not be more appreciative of the support I have received from friends, family, and the Columbus community. This kind of support is the epitome of people helping people. Period.

Thank You,
Claire Coder ~ Aunt Flow

February 11, 2016

Claire

Written by:

Claire Coder is the founder and CEO of Aunt Flow. Now 19, the young entrepreneur spends her very limited free time dancing spastically, geeking out over podcasts, and dreaming of being on The Ellen Show. Claire loves chatting about religion, higher education, and left-handers, so shoot her an email on the contact page.