By Claire Coder
Distinguished Young Woman of Ohio for 2015
Wabi-sabi (Japanese) – A way of living that focuses on finding beauty in the imperfections of life and accepting peacefully the impermanence of things.
High school ended. College started. Business started. Leave of absence from college. Full time business owner of Aunt Flow. This series of events in my life forced me to realize the malleability of life and the impermanence of circumstances. Wabi-Sabi.
Fernweh (German): To be homesick for a place you have never been. An extreme form of wanderlust.
During my first semester at The Ohio State University as a Comparative Religion Studies major, I found myself wanting more. I wanted to be intellectually challenged and I wanted to make an impact. My desire to change the world and learn more created a sincere desire to take a leap. After my first semester of college, wanderlust crept up on me and I knew I needed to do something. After attending my first Startup Weekend and placing second at the competition with my buy one, give one subscription model for tampons, I decided to take on the business idea full-time to see it to fruition.
Ikigai (Japanese) – A reason for being. The reason to get up in the morning. The purpose one lives for.
Resfeber (Swedish) – The restless feeling before beginning a journey. A tangle of anxiety and anticipation.
Taking a leave of absence was not easy. In fact, it was probably the hardest transition I have encountered. Not only did I have to mentally comprehend my decision, I also had to counter my parent’s pressure to finish my four year degree.
Meraki (Greek) – to do something with soul, love, or creativity. The essence of yourself that you put into your work.
As the founder of Aunt Flow, I awake every day ready to make an impact, ready to make a difference. My mom always told me “do what you love, and love what you do.” Each time I star in one of our humorous and educational videos on Aunt Flow’s YouTube Channel, I embrace creativity and joy for life. The subject of tampons is not very savy, but I view it as an opportunity and I put my heart and soul into each video.
Querencia (Spanish) – The place one’s strength is drawn from. Where one feels most at home. The place where you are your most authentic self.
Speaking of Aunt Flow’s YouTube channel, talking about tampons is where I feel most at home (pretty odd… I know.) When I dress up in the Aunt Flow costume (coral dress, big white glasses, panty hose, and a tie scarf), I feel empowered to talk with women and men about everything menstrual related. It is not an easy topic, but I have made it my personal mission to break negative stigma.
Sisu (Finnish) – Extraordinary determination and courage in the face of extreme adversity.
When introducing myself as “the lady that talks about tampons for a living,” I face all kinds of weird looks, questions, and adversity. My profession is not common, nor is it revered, but that is not a reason to stop what I am doing. I view it as a reason to move forward. I have the motivation and courage to flow forward, even though I know I will face adversity each day.
Claire Coder is a college freshman at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. Originally from Toledo, Ohio, Claire was a participant in the Distinguished Young Women program and was selected as the Distinguished Young Woman of Ohio for 2015. Learn more about Claire here!