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Jess  Ekstrom

Jess Ekstrom

Founder of Headbands of Hope


Jess lives by three words: inspiration from frustration. Whenever she's frustrated, she usually finds inspiration in a business idea to solve the problem. Hence, she’s a 2x successful social entrepreneur. In 2012, she took a $300 grant and launched Headbands of Hope, a company that provides headbands to kids with illnesses. Read More >

Since then, her company has donated millions of headbands all over the world and has become the official headband provider for the NBA, WNBA, and are now sold in all Kohl’s locations.

Jess is a Forbes Top Rated speaker with past clients like Zappos, Priceline, Netflix, Canva, Edward Jones, Magnolia, Under Armour, Newell Brands, Leadercast Live, SAS, Harvard, TEDx, and more.

But her career goals are not just about getting herself on stage, she wants to help more women get on stages as public speakers. And in 2018, she founded Mic Drop Workshop®️, a company with the mission of empowering more women to share their message as a public speaker and author.

Jess is a 2x bestselling author of Chasing the Bright Side and Create Your Bright Ideas. She’s been featured on the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, Vanity Fair, Forbes, and People Magazine ran an exclusive piece about her when her book was released. You've most likely seen Jess on your TV whether it was an interview on your favorite morning show, shopping on QVC, or watching her run her business from her Airstream in a global Canva commercial.

Some of her recent badges of honor…

  • Chip Gaines said, "Jess Ekstrom is leaving her mark on this world and it's amazing to watch her do it."
  • Jess was dubbed The Ultimate Game Changer by Women’s Health Magazine
  • The co-founder of Netflix said, "Jess is a very poised and polished speaker- confident, funny, great connection with the audience and left them inspired."
  • Jess was tapped to interview the First Lady of Iceland on women’s equality issues
  • Linkedin Learning and TED Education have asked Jess to host courses on the art of public speaking
  • Forbes named her a Top Motivational Speaker
  • Arianna Huffington put her on her 99 Female Disruptors List
  • Becoming a new mom to a little girl and advocating for moms in the workplace
  • And Business Insider said Jess is a “Woman to Watch”

Jess brings humor, inspiration, and entertainment to every group she addresses. Her motivational, edge-of-your-seat storytelling and infectious energy is a refreshing experience for audiences looking to improve their culture, purpose-building, and fulfillment. Read Less ^

Speech Topics


This keynote is perfect for: workplace engagement, overcoming burnout, adapting a more positive mindset at work, employee retention, increasing fulfillment, navigating change and hardships, startup struggles and culture building. Read More >

Nowadays, it’s so easy to get warped into negative thoughts and constantly feeling like you’re moving from problem to problem.

A recent study at the American Academy of Neurology found that prolonged negative thinking diminishes your brain’s ability to think or reason clearly and it quickly drains your energy.

You’d think the solution to negativity would be to tell yourself to “just be positive!” but we all know that doesn’t trick your brain, it only frustrates it.

In Jess’ bestselling book, Chasing the Bright Side, she talks about how optimism isn’t about eliminating the negativity, it’s about using it to create something better. Even the spark of her business, Headbands of Hope, was started because of a problem she saw: kids with cancer wanted to wear headbands after hair-loss. Now, her company has donated over one million headbands to kids with illnesses and has reached every children’s hospital in the United States and 22 countries.

But it all began because there was a problem. Problems are where a lot of great ideas begin if we let them.

If you’re looking to find a keynote speaker who can deliver inspiration infused with humor and entertainment, then Jess is your choice. In this keynote, she aims to inspire audiences to not just envision a better future for their life, work, and community, but go create it. Read Less ^


This keynote is perfect for: purpose building, audiences seeking fulfillment, hitting goals + targets, improve retention rates, improving connections to customers/clients, recentering your career to remember why you started. Read More >

Let’s get one thing straight: meaningful work is not assigned to you, it’s created by you.

Most of the time we believe that in order to do something meaningful, we have to do something else: live somewhere else, work somewhere else, do something else, be someone else.

But what if we didn’t have to change our circumstance to do something meaningful, but changed our mindset around it? Read Less ^


The perfect keynote option for any women’s group or women-focused event! Read More >

There was a study that asked men and women in their last moments of life what they regretted.

Women said, “I cared too much about what others thought of me.”

Men said, “I worked too hard.”

In other words, women had regrets over their thoughts and perception…men didn’t.

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.

So what happens when we change the story? Read Less ^