Impact, Optimism & Chasing the Bright Side with Jess Ekstrom of Headbands of Hope

I have to say, I’ve had incredible guests on this show, but you are in for an absolute treat today!

My (now) friend Jess Ekstrom and I started chatting after connecting on Instagram a while back. She came across my podcast, I loved her mission, and it was a regular Instagram modern-day romance in the DMs. And now I have the chance to introduce you to her and her incredible story and mission!

Jess Ekstrom 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.

Her first brush with success was selling all of her toys on eBay when she was twelve. Since then, Jess and her company have been featured on Today and Good Morning America and in Seventeen, Vanity Fair, Forbes, and People. More importantly, they have donated hundreds of thousands of headbands reaching every children’s hospital in the United States and in fifteen countries.

Jess is also a professional speaker and founder of Mic Drop Workshop, an online course with the mission of empowering more women to share their message as a speaker. Jess and her husband, Jake, travel around the country in their Airstream with their dog, Ollie.


At its core, entrepreneurship is just the action to create what you wish existed.”

– Jess Ekstrom

This was a fascinating discussion with Jess, and I loved every minute of our chat. Here’s a glimpse at just a handful of some of the things we covered:

  • Treating optimism like a muscle to be trained
  • The realization that tough times give us a choice, and how to make the most of those moments
  • How she pushed through MASSIVE failures that other people might have taken as a sign to stop, and instead continued to find new and creative ways of making things work
  • Questioning what would happen if it worked out? (rather than always focusing on and worrying about the negative side of things
  • Women deserve to get paid and paid well for the work that they do
  • Sharing your very vulnerable stories with the world in a beautiful way


Jess is not your average success story in my mind, because she actually shares so many of the things that have gone incredibly wrong from the very beginning of her business. Not only that, but she has regularly turned what other people would consider to be obstacles into the very things that helped her to get to where she is today.

Jess stresses that optimistic does not always mean positivity, but it DOES mean being able to find & create the optimism when things are hard.

And, her brand new book Chasing the Bright Side is dropping on November 5th, 2019 and pre-order is available! My copy finally made its’ way to me over in Bali after bouncing around from Canada to Chicago and Hawaii, and I loved every minute of this captivating read. Jess will leave you inspired, motivated, and ready to get moving with your big dreams.

I know you’re going to love Jess as much as I do and want to pick up her book, and the best way to support an author is to pre-order, it’s so important. Plus as a bonus, you’ll get access to extra stuff, including one of Jess’ incredible headbands made to match the gorgeous colours on the front of the book, but pre-order won’t be available much longer!

I LOVE the beautiful headband, and what makes it even more special is knowing that there’s a child out there who is having a tough time, but feeling a little bit more confident because of one of the headbands that Jess has made sure they have access to as well.

If I haven’t already convinced you how awesome Jess is, take a listen to the podcast and then go connect with her yourself at any and all of the places listed below!




Chasing the Bright Side, by Jess Ekstrom

Instagram @jess_ekstrom

Facebook @ Jess Ekstrom

Twitter @jess_ekstrom



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Questions? Comments? Want to connect and chat? You can email me at [email protected], or DM me over on Instagram @emilygoughcoach with any questions, comments, or takeaways! Plus, I would absolutely love to connect with you and thank you for listening in real life. It makes me day to see you listening to the podcast and fills me up with pure joy. Seriously. See you on the ‘gram!

Questions? Comments? If Instagram and Facebook aren’t your jam, send me a good old fashioned email! [email protected]



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