Today we are talking with Jess Ekstro, who in 2012 launched Headbands of Hope, an inspirational company crafting handmade headbands and buffs. For every headband sold, Headbands of Hope will donate $1 to St. Baldrick’s Foundation, which funds childhood cancer research. Jess shares with us the inspiration behind her exceptional company with a mission we can all get behind. Shop her headbands now on zulily.
How did you come to found Headbands of Hope? What was the inspiration behind the idea?
When I was in college, I did an internship at a wish-granting organization for kids with cancer. I saw girls loved to wear headbands instead of wigs after losing their hair to chemotherapy. I searched for organizations to bring them headbands and couldn’t find any. Therefore, Headbands of Hope was born!
What has been the most rewarding part of starting Headbands of Hope?
Seeing the expressions on girls’ faces when they look in the mirror with their new headband. I can’t even put that feeling into words.
One girl in particular didn’t want to go to her first day of kindergarten because she was afraid the other kids would think she was a boy because she didn’t have any hair. Her mom told me that when she got her headband in the hospital, she immediately took out her backpack and started to plan her outfit for school to match her new headband.
It’s stories like these that really show the power of a simple accessory.
What’s next for Headbands of Hope?
Hopefully, we won’t be around in the next 5-10 years because there will be a cure for cancer. But until then, we’re always trying to keep our styles fresh! We’ll be venturing into more beaded and intricate collections along with winter styles. Our presence in stores across the US and Canada has also been picking up in the past year and we hope to continue that.
Why did you decide to partner with zulily?
zulily not only loved our headbands, they loved our cause. We really appreciate how passionate they are about helping the kids we benefit. They have an amazing platform to wonderful people around the world and we’re happy we can be a part of that!