Last month I had the pleasure of speaking at the Ohio HR conference for the second time. Fabulous event (as always) with lots of peace, love and happiness HR-style.
This was approximately a ‘cycle’ ago with a bunch of women (lots of gals in human resources) at a jungle-themed-sexy’ish midwestern resort with (free!) SHRM and vendor-sponsored wine. We probably all got in sync with our menstrual cycles; 4 days at an HR conference is like living together in a sorority house or serving side-by-side in an army platoon or working together in an office – isn’t it? That theory, called the McClintock effect, has been debunked through ongoing studies.
Whatever. I don’t care.
Plus, whether syncing our cycles is real or not it’s still fun to talk about periods in front of a bunch of squeamish men. Kinda because they’re squeamish men. Which……kills me. Do we get embarrassed when dudes talk about their testicle sweat or armpit hair? Well…ok..maybe a bit.
…. menstruation and periods and talk about sanitary products and tampons still makes people (ladies and men alike) squirm. Which has to end.
OK…back to Ohio SHRM.
At this conference I met the absolutely most awesome woman and entrepreneur named Clair Coder – she had a booth and I got pins and we took pictures together (I can’t find them) and she gave me a bunch of tampons.
I just loved everything about Claire and her company so I (1) fan-girled all over her (2) helped coordinate her speaking gig at this past Wednesday’s #DisruptHRCincy and (3) pinned her down for an interview. Here’s what I asked and what she had to say:
You started Aunt Flow in 2016 – what was your inspiration?
I founded Aunt Flow after I unexpectedly got my period in public without the supplies I needed. I was at an event and was trapped. Surrounded by men and no tampons in the bathroom, I ended up leaving the event early. At that point in time, I decided it was critical to change the world, one cycle at a time. I now ask companies “If you are offering a ping pong table, beer, even toilet paper for free, why aren’t you offering the necessary menstrual supplies?”
One of the cool things you do is donate 10 tampons to an organization of the buyer’s choice for every 100 tampons purchased? What are some of the groups or organizations where donations have gone?
Where do you hope to take the business?
Aunt Flow’s mission is to ensure EVERYONE has access to menstrual products. We do this by selling our products to businesses, so companies can offer them for free in their bathrooms for employees and guests. We are celebrating our 1-year birthday at the end of November. By that time, it is my goal to have donated over 100,000 tampons to organizations across the USA that support menstruators in need.
What’s your mantra?
People helping people. PERIOD.
OMG I love everything about this!
- Let’s de-mysistify a natural human function
- Let’s treat the biological needs of both genders on an equal basis
- Let’s ensure women and girls the world over have access to basic necessities
- Let’s take care of all our employees – stocking tampons is as common sense as stocking toilet paper
- Let’s remember that (as Aunt Flow tells us) – “Many of the 26.4 million menstruators living in poverty in the United States must resort to plastic bags and dirty socks to stop the flow. No one should ever be forced to choose between food and tampons.”
More cool stuff about Claire: