After getting her period in public and not having a tampon or pad when she needed one, Claire Coder was inspired to ask: if toilet paper is free in bathrooms, why aren't period products?
This was the start of her six-year quest to build Aunt Flow, which now stocks business and school bathrooms with organic cotton period products and patented free-vend tampon and pad dispensing systems.
In an interview with Clint Betts, Claire discussed how she went from working on a project out of her apartment and a U-Haul storage unit to raising over $11 million in venture capital.
After leaving college, she started testing the market by going door to door and asking businesses if they were interested in buying period products. She waited tables to make money to put back into the company, and eventually learned about venture capital and was able to raise funds to build what is now Aunt Flow.
Claire was awarded a Thiel Fellowship, a $100,000 grant to pursue a business over formal education. She then attended a startup accelerator program called Techstars, which introduced her to mentors and potential investors.
When asked why Aunt Flow is focusing on schools, Claire explained the value they provide. According to their research, offering free period products in bathrooms increases attendance among girls by 2.4%. Additionally, four out of five students have either left class or know someone who left class because they didn't have access to a tampon or a pad when needed.
Aunt Flow has even worked to pass legislation in 20 states requiring schools to offer free period products in the bathrooms. Aunt Flow is revolutionizing how periods are discussed and managed in public spaces. With their patented, free-vend tampon and pad dispensing systems, schools and businesses can now provide their customers and students with access to period products they need and deserve.
Claire is using her entrepreneurial spirit and business savvy to create a world in which periods are no longer a source of embarrassment or inconvenience. She has worked with grassroots organizations like The Policy Project and the Period Project in Utah, as well as student advocates, to pass House Bill 162, which requires schools in Utah to offer free period products in girls' bathrooms.
Aunt Flow also works with companies like Apple, Google, Netflix, and Twitter to stock their corporate offices with free period products. Additionally, Aunt Flow has received investments from the Andrus Family Foundation and Larry H and Gail Miller Foundation to install their patented dispensers in schools and other public spaces.
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