I'd like to say that I'm a lifelong entrepreneur. I started my first "business" when I was seven years old and it was actually a lemonade stand. It was a hot summer day, I was seven years old, my babysitter had her boyfriend over, who the hell knows what they were doing. But I realized that down the street there were construction workers and it was a hot day, so I was like, "omg", I have my target audience. So here I am, mixing up some Crystal Light packets from my Mom's stash and pouring it into little cups. My best friend Dana was actually was with me that day and we went outside, we put up a little cardboard box and we had our lemonade stand. Then I realized that I have never seen my Dad drinking lemonade and these construction workers looked a lot like my dad, What I often saw was my Dad drinking lot of beer! So at seven years old I was raiding my dad's beer fridge, bringing his beer outside and selling it for $5 a can. That was the first $5 that I made.
What ignited the spark in you to start a new business venture or to make significant changes in an existing business?
How did the idea for your business come about?
After having my period at an event without the supplies I needed, I thought to myself “Toilet paper is offered for free, why aren’t tampons and pads?” At that moment, bloody underwear and all, I knew that I wanted to dedicate my life to ensuring everyone had access to menstrual products
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
I suck at numbers and logistics and everything operations. I don't have a co-founder, I'm a solo founder, so I don't have somebody that evens out my creative brain. I've had a really hard time hiring that person. In fact, we're like two and a half years in and I still don't have somebody managing all of that, I'm still doing it all! Because of that, our business has really been stunted in growth. So now we're strategically trying to hire somebody to fill that role as the Director of Operations. Looking back, I think that has been the hardest part, really identifying the skills that I am lacking and feeling comfortable hiring that role.
What books are you currently reading? And your recommendation for entrepreneurs to read?
Considering I am dyslexic, podcasts are my JAM. Some of my favorite podcasts:
How I Built This (Highly suggest for people 'thinking' about starting businesses, so they understand what it really takes)
Serial (Appreciate the investigative journalism). The Daily by The NY Times (I listen to this every morning, so I don't sound like an idiot)
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits?
How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
When I first left University to start Aunt Flow, my parents were not thrilled. The first year after dropping out, I felt I had no-one. I had yet to immerse myself in the greater startup community in Columbus, my parents were not supportive, and I was a wandering 18-year-old with no degree and little direction. I cried a lot and ate a lot of Jeni's Ice Creams, but my vision to change the world never faltered.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
The insurmountable support we have received from mentors. SO many people have lifted this business up from our first customers, to volunteers, to investors. We are successful because of our community. It truly takes a village.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
OOOO. How do I pare this down to just one? Here is a LinkedIn post I did on startup hacks that I had to learn on my own, but I wish I would have known them earlier.
What advice would you give to an upcoming entrepreneur locally and internationally?
It is all about execution. I often hear people talking about how they “want to do something.” Just do it already!