Culture and Leadership Connections Podcast

Susan Allen and Tara Priya Chandra – Mess is the Mission, Laughter is the Vision

July 24, 2023 Marie Gervais Season 6 Episode 14
Culture and Leadership Connections Podcast
Susan Allen and Tara Priya Chandra – Mess is the Mission, Laughter is the Vision
Show Notes

Susan Allen grew up in Massachusetts, and received her BA in communications and legal studies from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. After three years at a healthcare policy non-profit in Boston, she moved to New York City to join the Open Society Foundations. Susan completed her master's in management at the London School of Economics in 2015. She relocated to London in 2016 to lead the Foundation's work on diversity, equity, and inclusion and to launch Here We Flo with her best friend, Tara.

Tara Priya Chandra is co-founder of Here We Flo. Born in San Francisco, she studied economics at Columbia University in NYC After briefly working on Wall Street, Tara ended up in the music industry in LA while freelance copywriting for brands like Ray-Ban. Tara received her master's from the London School of Economics, where she met future co-founder Susan and received the C200Award for exceptional MBA students.


“Our mission is shamelessly natural care for life’s messiest moments.”

“Don’t be afraid to fail, everything’s not going to go perfectly. As long as you’re learning and improving, that’s the most important thing.”

Episode Highlights: In this episode, we learn how Here We Flo was created by Susan and Tara.

Personal Journeys:
Tara grew up in San Francisco, California. Her parents were Indian and Persian. At 12, Tara lost her mom, and her independence journey started. Different people mothered her. Having the two sides of the family exposed Tara to different cultures and developed her open-mindedness.

Susan was born in the US Virgin Islands and her family moved to Massachusetts when she was one year old. Her mother started working to recruit minority doctors at Boston Medical Center and at the age of nine, Susan’s parents divorced. 

One day Susan’s brother was shot. Their mom didn’t have money for the required surgery, so he had a colostomy bag for 18 months. Later, they found out there was a free program that could have covered the surgery. The experience made Susan’s mother a strong healthcare advocate.

Childhood Incidents:
Hindu culture believes service to humankind is service to God. Growing up, Tara realized that her dad always encouraged her to pursue a career that would help her serve people. According to him, the most successful people were not the rich but those who served others.

Susan’s mom believes in service to others, and from Susan’s story, it is evident that her children took a similar path.

How Tara and Susan Met:
Tara and Susan met at the London School of Economics. One day, during a conversation in the restroom, Susan suggested they start a business, Tara was agreed and they started brainstorming. One thing Susan knew for sure was it would be a “feminine Mafia.” Tara loved her feminine organic care pack, but it was becoming difficult to find the products. They decided to launch a business for organic feminine care products, called “Here We Flo.”

Workplace Culture at Here We Flo:
Susan describes their workplace culture as a feminist oasis in a sea of patriarchy. Their culture revolves around trust, compassion, and appreciation for their team members. Their aim is to make Here We Flo a great workplace like Google and Microsoft.

What Brings out the Best in Susan and Tara:
Susan and Tara love working with people who are honest about their ambitions. To bring out the best in them, one must be open and willing to learn, vulnerable and transparent.

Tagline: Shamelessly natural care for life’s mes

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