Jess Ekstrom

Founder of Headbands of Hope and Author of Chasing the Bright Side

Jess is a top business keynote speaker and the founder and CEO of Headbands of Hope, a company she started as a junior in college in 2012. For every headband sold, a headband is given to a child with cancer. The company has been featured on the TODAY Show, Vanity Fair, Seventeen, Good Morning America and more. But more importantly, they’ve donated over 500,000 headbands to every children’s hospital in the United States and 6 countries. Jess is also a professional speaker, author, and writer for Entrepreneur and The Huffington Post.

 

  • Jess Ekstrom`s Keynote Speaker Fee This reflects Jess Ekstrom`s U.S. Speaking Fee

    Please Inquire

  • Languages Spoken

    English

  • Travels From

    North Carolina, USA

  • Jess Ekstrom`s Keynote Speaker Fee This reflects Jess Ekstrom`s U.S. Speaking Fee

    Please Inquire

  • Languages Spoken

    English

  • Travels From

    North Carolina, USA

Suggested Keynote Speaker Programs

Chasing The Bright Side: Why Optimism is The Secret Ingredient to Success

When we look at someone successful, we often skip right to where this person posts on his or her profile: job title, accolades, financial status, fancy degree, and how many times they’ve appeared on the Today Show. So when we look at that list, it makes us feel like ...

When we look at someone successful, we often skip right to where this person posts on his or her profile: job title, accolades, financial status, fancy degree, and how many times they’ve appeared on the Today Show.

So when we look at that list, it makes us feel like we have to check those boxes in order to be successful, which can be daunting and seem impossible. However, when we hear the real stories of the initial spark of an idea from a basement or a dorm room and how it was built, we realize that every expert we know was once a beginner. We always see the Chapter 7, 8 and 9 or even their next book, but rarely Chapter 1.

Chapter 1 in anyone’s success story had to start with one thing: optimism.
Anyone who’s ever done something great, created something new, shattered tradition or changed patterns had to start with the mindset that they could make it better. Optimism is the rooted belief that there’s something good on the other side. In fact, studies show that optimism can be linked to a longer life span and triggers positive cognitive responses associated with greater flexibility, innovation and problem solving.

Jess encourages her audience to use optimism as a tool to not just envision the good, but create it. When we think optimistically in our careers and in our lives, we’ll feel more confident, creative and empowered to go for it. And forward mobility is contingent upon our optimistic mindset coupled with the willingness to go for it.

By using her story of creating a million dollar company from her dorm room, Jess talks about the three essential tools to practicing optimism: confidence mindset, failure management, and purpose activation.

Some past clients for this talk have been Leadercast Live and Catalyst University.

Takeaways:

  • Every expert you know, was once a beginner
  • Failures are not opposite of success, they’re a part of success
  • In order to be resilient, you have to believe in the end result
  • Tactical tips to practice optimism in our daily lives and jobs

Learn More

Who Do You Serve? Connecting Our Work to Our World

...

When Jess worked in Disney World, she met two custodians. One of them always complained about her job. She said she was just picking up trash and she questioned why she was even there. The other custodian loved his job. He said he loved working outside, helping guests plan their days, and handing out fast passes to the kids.

Both employees had the same assigned work, but one of them saw trash and the other saw meaning. The difference of mindset between these employees is what this talk will cover.

Through humor and inspiring stories, Jess helps the audience build a closer connection to their work by bridging their actions to a greater purpose and mission of the company. She helps the attendees make a human connection to their work by encouraging them to think about who they serve, not who they sell to.

Having a sense of meaning is one of the top 3 most important factors cited by employees when it comes to job satisfaction and engagement. Engaged and loyal employees will allow companies to remain innovative, impactful and competitive in their industry.

In this keynote, Jess will debunk the idea of bouncing around searching for your ‘calling,’ and instead find alignment between your work, purpose, and greater mission of the company.
Some past clients for this talk include SAS Global Leadership Forum and Newell Brands.

Takeaways:

  • Learn tactical strategies to increase employee empowerment
  • Discover potential ways to increased workplace engagement
  • Employees view their roles with deeper meaning
  • Enhanced workplace culture with new ideas to keep it consistent

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That's What She Said: Making Our Internal Dialogue our Biggest Cheerleader

...

Whether or not we recognize it or hear it, we have this voice in our head: the voice in our head that tells us we’re not ready. The voice in our head that makes our failures louder than our wins. The voice in our head that compares us to the woman beside us. The voice in our head that tells us someday, but not today.

The voice in our head is our internal dialogue we have with our feelings, decisions and actions. We’re not just out in this world aimlessly reacting to anything and everything without thought. We have a buffer in our head that puts a space between our world and how we feel and respond. We have a conversation with ourselves just like we’d have with a friend. And that buffer and conversation is the voice in our head that tells us when:

  • We can or can’t.
  • We’re too old or too young.
  • We’re too busy or too bored.
  • We’re too tall or too short.
  • We’re ready or not.

The story we write in our head tells us how we’re going to respond. Are we good enough? Up for the challenge? Is it the “right” time? Whatever the answer, the voice in our head will tell us, and frankly, sometimes it doesn’t know what the heck it’s talking about. Sometimes, girlfriend is whack. It tells us we shouldn’t apply for the job or it’s not the right time or we’re not good enough or it feeds off of all the negativity. So what happens when we change the story?

Opportunity. That’s what happens when we change the voice in our head to tell us that there’s good and we can bring itIt opens up a whole other world that maybe we thought was beyond reach before. Everything we want is within reach if we’re willing to throw perfection out the door and embrace the messiness of the journey.

But first, we have to learn to recognize the voice in our head and train it to be our biggest cheerleader, instead of the coach that keeps putting you on the bench. In this keynote, Jess will use her story of Headbands of Hope to show how she actively trained the voice in her head through times of inspiration, chaos, failure and purpose.

Some past clients for this talk include Leadercast Women and Women’s Business Summit.

Takeaways:

  • Recognizing the voice in our head and what it tells us
  • Tips to making our internal dialogue more positive
  • Learning that confidence is a voice, not a skill
  • Understanding that we are always in control of our story

Learn More

About Keynote Speaker Jess Ekstrom

Jess is the founder and CEO of Headbands of Hope, a company she started as a junior in college in 2012. For every headband sold, a headband is given to a child with cancer. The company has been featured on the TODAY Show, Vanity Fair, Seventeen, Good Morning America and more. But more importantly, they’ve donated over 500,000 headbands to every children’s hospital in the United States and 6 countries. Jess is also a professional speaker, author, and writer for Entrepreneur and The Huffington Post.

More about Jess:

During the summer of 2011, Jess Ekstrom participated in an internship at a wish-granting organization for kids with life-threatening illnesses. During this incredible experience, she quickly discovered that there were so many small things that made such an immense impact. One of the things that impacted her personally was the idea that kids loved to wear headbands after losing their hair to chemotherapy, yet all she could find was donations of hats and wigs.

Armed with inspiration, she spent her junior year at North Carolina State University developing her company, Headbands of Hope, a mission-driven brand geared toward both women and children. For every headband sold, a headband is given to a child with cancer. By the time she graduated, she had donated thousands of headbands to kids with cancer and was elected to give the commencement speech at her graduation to 20,000 people.

Along with her business, her message started to spread across America. In just over two years, she’s spoken to over 100 campuses, conferences and businesses totaling over 100,000 people. Jess focuses on increasing workplace engagement and employee empowerment. She also encourages her audience to focus on their personal bottom-line: the underlying or ultimate outcome of their life fulfillment, not just finances. 

In the past year, the company has launched impact initiatives such as hosting proms and children’s hospitals and starting their #BandTogether program where they partner with a childhood cancer charity and donate proceeds from sales to their mission. They’ve also joined hands with art therapy by having the patients create their own headbands with the flower crown kits they provide.

Jess believes that luck is where preparation meets opportunity. She’s passionate about helping others find those collision points and live a more purposeful life. Her most popular audiences are employees, millennials in the workforce, leaders and college students.

Testimonials

“Jess has an infectious personality and incredible passion for serving others. Her experiences through Headbands of Hope are inspirational and tear jerking. She is a polished public speaker with a vast library of personal stories and experiences that will inspire, invigorate, and focus your team on philanthropy and the power of being intentional in everything you do.”

Amber Faulk

Fonville Morisey Realty

‘The first time I heard Jess speak at FailFest I was blown away. Blown away by her company, her speaking, her message, but most of all, blown away by her.’

Jeff Hoffman

Co-founder of Priceline.com

“When Jess is on stage, she is a confident and natural storyteller. She knows how to frame the story of her journey in a meaningful and impactful way for an audience to feel engaged with her story and her business, Headbands of Hope.”

Kelly B.

Under Armour

“Jess is a total powerhouse. She was a jolt of energy and left everyone in the audience feeling incredibly inspired and motivated. Jess is a hands-down pick for your next event.”

Leah W.

Citrix

“Jess was hands down the fan favorite at Yellow Conference this year. A standing ovation and a line to talk to her was no surprise.”

Joanna Waterfall

Director of Yellow Conference

“After the program, I waited in line to get a picture with Jess. I want to hang that picture in my office one day and tell people, this is the girl that changed my life.”

Tonya L.

Western Carolina University

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COVID-19 special virtual keynote fees are available for webinars. Fees listed above are for a live keynote – Please ask your advisor for special pricing on virtual keynote / webinar fees.

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