Photo C/O: Tasha Van Zandt
Molly Hayward is the visionary female founder of Cora, a brand that gives women a modern method for managing their periods. With body-conscious organic tampons and sustainable menstrual products given to girls in developing countries for every monthly supply sold, Cora is transforming the experience of womanhood on a global scale. While living in Mill Valley, California with her boyfriend, Liam and her dog Stella, Molly has become the first entrepreneur to establish a modern, pro-social brand, presenting the issues of healthier products and women’s global social justice to the mainstream female consumer.
Growing up I really wanted to be
Someone who helped those in need. I was always campaigning my childhood classmates to collect money for UNICEF and raise awareness about issues, like girls not being allowed to attend school in places around the world.
My go-to order at a coffee shop is
Soy latte. Bonus points for fair trade, ethical coffee.
I don’t know how I ever lived without
A home near the ocean.
One thing people don’t know about me is
I live at the top of a mountain.
How I got started with my current career
I traveled as a volunteer in Kenya and learned girls there often stayed home during their periods. I immediately knew I wanted to create a brand that could represent the smart, modern, sophisticated woman while helping provide products to girls in need around the world.
What I love about my work is
Having the opportunity to make a real, tangible difference. I’m passionate about innovating in the field of women’s health and I’m passionate about keeping girls in school during their periods. Creating and growing Cora has allowed me to do both, and I’m especially proud of the number of girls we’ve already helped. In 2016, Cora provided 250,000 biodegradable pads to girls in need; in 2017, we’ll provide more than one million.
My real life hero is
The girls in India and Kenya that Cora provides pads to. They overcome tremendous obstacles just to go to school each day.
The dumbest thing I did when I was starting out
Try to do everything myself.
My typical day looks like
I have no typical day! Each one is completely different, but usually some mix of wake up, run, shower, head to the office, check emails, have meetings, feel so much gratitude for my amazing teammates. The only constant is my morning coffee!
I used to think success meant
Getting to retire early.
My current definition of success is
Getting to advocate for women’s rights globally for the rest of my life.
I know my work/life balance is out of sync when
I have trouble finding things to be grateful for.
The last time I created something I was proud of was
I’m proud to have collaborated with designer Katarina Hornwall to bring our new Freedom Necklace to market. It was created as a symbol of the pro-period movement, representing the idea that our periods are not something we need to hide or be ashamed of, because every woman on the planet menstruates. The necklace holds a single applicator-free tampon. And for every necklace purchased, Cora will give a year’s worth of menstrual pads to a girl in Kenya through our giving partner, ZanaAfrica, so she can stay in school during her period.
I wish I could tell my younger self
Trust that life will take you exactly where you need to be in every moment.
The legacy I hope to leave is
A world where no woman or girl is disempowered by her period, or any other aspect of being female.