People Helping People, Period: The Origins of a 23-Year-Old Founder & Transforming Your Business in a Pandemic
Claire Coder is a 23-year-old serial entrepreneur, a member of the Forbes 30 Under 30, and a proud college dropout.
Claire started her first business, a promotional products company, at age 16. In just two years, she was able to grow the business to employ eight independent distributors, sell in boutiques across the Midwest, and sell internationally online. That sparked her passion for building companies and led her to dropping out of college to launch Aunt Flow.
Headquartered in Ohio, Aunt Flow ensures every bathroom outside the home is stocked with freely accessible menstrual products. Four years of grit and hustle has positioned Aunt Flow to sell to hundreds of companies and schools, raise venture capital from top firms, and give back 500,000 menstrual products to people in need.
Claire also has a unique wrinkle to her backstory: she was blind for a year of her life as a child, ultimately diagnosed with bilateral posterior scleritis, and she was the only one of 15 kids that survived childhood. She was certain that she’d die young, and she used that as fuel to live better.
What Brett asks:
- [03:40] How old were you when you started selling beer to construction workers?
- [07:25] What are the childhood experiences that shaped you?
- [20:25] Connecting the dots from Claire’s perspective on death to creating a brand centered around menstruation.
- [24:47] Is the education system really measuring how capable people are?
- [40:02] Tell me about how you were hustling to pay the bills after dropping out of college.
- [48:25] Tell us about how you got the idea for Aunt Flow and the early days of the business.
- [51:25] How did you adapt and sustain your business during the pandemic?
- [01:00:12] Can you talk about the future of Aunt Flow?
Lessons for intentional living:
- A simple lesson in business learned from selling beer, not lemonade, to construction workers: learn your target market, lean into it, and understand the cost of goods sold.
- There are few things more powerful than having a vision for yourself — and as Claire shows us, you don’t even need to be able to see to do that. “I never fear death because I just assumed it was going to happen at a young age. But I also recognized that I was living for some reason, and even in darkness, I still had a vision for myself: to change the world.”
- Like menstruation, death is a natural part of life that we all know is coming. That’s beautiful, not scary, and we should talk about both more.