Meet the Team

Jess Ekstrom- CEO & Founder

Favorite headband(s)Obviously, all of them! Knotted and Twist Turbans are my top!

 Favorite quote: "But my fear of failure never approached in magnitude my fear of what if. What if I never tried at all?" - Will Ferrell

 Quirky fact: I once made it on CNN when I completed the Krispy Kreme Challenge (when you eat a dozen donuts and run 5 miles!)

 Why Headbands of Hope? 

 When I first started Headbands of Hope out of my dorm room in college, I had no idea if it was going to work or not. Then one day I received an email from a mom whose daughter was in remission and was supposed to start kindergarten in a week. She said her hair hadn't grown back yet so she didn't want to go to kindergarten because she thought all the kids would call her a boy. Then she got her headband from us in the hospital and immediately laid out her kindergarten outfit and all her school supplies.

It was that moment that I realized this was going to work...and it did :) 

Lauren Athey- President

 Favorite headband(s): Choker + Headband Combo & all the Glitz!

Favorite quote: "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." - Eleanor Roosevelt 

Quirky fact: I get a huge satisfaction from physically crossing things off my "to do" list each week with a sharpie. Some call me organized, others call me OCD. :)

Why Headbands of Hope?

During my first ever major retail event that I worked for HOH, we were slammed packed at an expo booth in Richmond, VA. I was going cross-eyed from all the transactions and headbands we were gift wrapping, when a man approached me with such grace and dignity. In the mix of the frenzy, he stopped to show me a picture of his daughter, Emma. Emma was currently at Richmond Children's Hospital receiving chemotherapy. With tears in his eyes (and as mine began to water), he simply "thanked" me for bringing a moment of joy to his daughter's day during such a difficult time. At that moment, I knew what I was doing was changing the world. 

Caroline Mathis- Marketing & Retail Director

Favorite headband(s): All of the headscarves & Velvet Scrunchies

Favorite quote: "We are what we believe we are." - C.S.Lewis

Quirky fact: I love to run! I am not a natural runner so I had to learn how to run. Running a half marathon was a HUGE accomplishment for me!

Why Headbands of Hope?

When I first started Headbands of Hope, I did my first donation with Lauren. We dressed as Disney princesses and handed out these headbands to the most beautiful children I have ever seen! That was the moment I realized how amazing this job really is!

Brittany Gauvin- Wholesale & Product Developer

Favorite headband: ALL the tube turbans 

Favorite quote: "I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles." - Audrey Hepburn 

Quirky fact: Like Caroline, I enjoy running. I love running spartan races which are muddy and full of challenging obstacles, usually taking place on a mountain. Learning to climb a rope was a big accomplishment for me! :) 

Why Headbands of Hope? 

Bringing headbands and hope to the kids in the hospital on my first donation day really put things into perspective. Doing something every day that I love and putting smiles on children's faces couldn't be any more rewarding and less like work.

Samantha Woods- Warehouse Manager


Favorite headband(s): Wire Ties & Clips!

Favorite quote: "The heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others." - The Wonderful Wizard of Oz 

Quirky fact: I might not have a human baby, but I have a dog and that is more than enough for this momma. 

Why Headbands of Hope?

It's easy to get caught up in the mix of the real world and the duties of "adulting" but then I snap back to it and realize that the impact Headbands of Hope makes on the lives of children battling cancer. We really are changing lives, one headband at a time. 

Ella Mathis- Chief Baby Officer

Favorite headband(s): Any of the baby turbans or baby swaddle sets 

Favorite words: Dada & Nana 

Quirky fact: My mom is Caroline & I am obsessed with sweet potatoes!

Why Headbands of Hope?

 I get to model all of the fun baby headbands and I love it! Plus, because my momma said so!


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