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.
Claire Coder ~ Aunt Flow