Belonging Through Bandages

Your Stories

One associate’s journey with Walmart led her to product development—and the chance to make a difference for people everywhere.

Karrié Claybrook loves an underdog story. And that’s what drew her to Walmart. 

Though it may be hard to think of it that way, the world’s largest retailer is perhaps so well-known as to be often overlooked. For many, it’s a place to buy milk and a bottle of Equate ibuprofen—not much more. What Karrié saw was vastly different. 

“What I saw was a company that was deeply mission driven,” Karrié says. “A company uniquely positioned to make an impact in all of the communities it served—and I wanted to be part of that impact.” 

And be part of it she has. Her eight-year Walmart career has spanned the company: She started in IT audit, did a brief stint as part of the People org., spent time in corporate affairs and operations, and now works in merchandising as a product developer in health and wellness. 

By her own admission, Karrié wasn’t totally sure what she wanted to do—other than make a difference. 

“When I first got here, I was less focused on a specific path, which allowed me to explore various areas,” she says. “But I came to product development because I’m a fierce advocate for the customer. What better place to drive change for our customer than through our private brands?” 

Behind that question is some interesting history. And it starts, as many stories here do, with Sam Walton.

“Mr. Sam started Walmart because rural communities didn’t have access to affordable products and services. Private brands is where we have the chance to deliver with that mission in mind,” Karrié says. “No matter who you are, where you’re from, or how much money you make, you too have access to an affordable, quality product.” 

Karrié was interested in the health and wellness business because of her hope to drive Walmart’s mission in a space where underrepresentation has, at least historically, been an issue. In searching for a solve, she thought again of the customer. 

photo of a woman holding a box of skin tone bandages

“I started by asking myself, ‘Who isn’t being included?’ In our first aid business, a key destination for moms, our customer insights continue to reinforce the importance of creating safe spaces,” Karrié explains. 

“When it comes to healing, research shows that one’s ability to better hide a wound can actually help people to heal faster. With this in mind, the private brands team had already developed individual shades of skin toned bandages. But how could we go beyond healing in the privacy of our customer’s homes to creating safe spaces everywhere?”

photo of a variety of skin tone bandages

She came to a simple solution: more variety. Working with her team, they launched a first-to-market variety pack of skin tone bandages in various sizes and shades. Karrié saw a need she could fill for people beyond the walls of their houses—on soccer fields, in classrooms and at the office. She saw a way to usher in greater inclusion from a single shelf in the first aid section.

“That’s the true superpower of Walmart: The ability to take an idea, and with the full weight of the company behind you, bring it to fruition for the customer,” Karrié says. 

photo of a variety of skin tone bandages on two individuals arms

Her hope for the bandages is simple. That somewhere, a child won’t have to wonder why there’s no bandage that matches their skin tone. That when a paper cut causes chaos near the water cooler, someone has a solution made for people of all sorts. 

“This is a small way to reframe for people what it’s like to be different. And in doing so, to make a difference,” Karrié says. “Who gets to wake up every day and do that? My title may say product developer, but I think I get to get up and change the world, one product at a time.”