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"Life isn't always perfect. But it is overflowing with teachings."
- Jill Blashack Strahan
A small-town girl with big dreams. A brilliant businesswoman. And a force to be reckoned with.
Today Jill Blashack Strahan is a captivating speaker, author and one of the nation's leading female entrepreneurs. Above all, she's a role model and inspiration to thousands of people across the country.
Born and raised in rural Minnesota, Jill grew up on her family's farm, where she was deeply influenced by her father's entrepreneurial spirit. "Dad was typically before his time," she says. "He was an ideas man."
Like father, like daughter.
After earning an associate's degree in sales and marketing, Jill co-owned and managed a cafe with her father called "Jill's Grill" and later started her own retail gift basket shop. And then her story took a whole new turn.
In 1995, she founded Tastefully Simple on what she often calls "a dream and a shoestring." In fact, the company started in a 1,200-square-foot shed with no running water, using a pool table as a packing station.
Then – just three years into the business – Jill was rocked by tragedy. Her brother was killed in a fall, and only a few months later, her husband died suddenly. Jill was then faced with raising her 5-year-old son alone and a skyrocketing business. The decision to continue was difficult. However, Jill pushed herself and developed a new appreciation for living one day at a time. She says, "You always have a choice. You can get better or get bitter."
Today it’s easy to see how Jill Blashack Strahan’s passion and perseverance paid off. Tastefully Simple has become a $100 million-plus, award-winning company in the Inc. 500 Hall of Fame. (Learn more at www.tastefullysimple.com.)
Thanks to her outstanding leadership and spirit, Jill has also been personally recognized with many honors, such as:
National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) Hall of Fame for Minnesota
Direct Selling News Most Influential Women in Direct Sales
Twin Cities Business "200 Minnesotans You Should Know"
Minnesota Business Professionals of America – Outstanding Business Executive of the Year Award
Minneapolis/St. Paul Women in Business Industry Leader Honoree
Minnesota Entrepreneurs, Inc. Entrepreneur of the Year
Twin Cities Business Hall of Fame
Inc. magazine’s list of "Inc. 500" CEO All-Stars
Fast Company magazine’s 25 Top Women Business Builders
Small Business Administration Entrepreneurial Success Award
Ernst & Young® Entrepreneur of the Year National Finalist
Ernst & Young Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year for Minnesota & the Dakotas
Jill Blashack Strahan is a published author with Simply
Shine: Stories That Stirred the Fire – a collection of inspirational
stories about her life and journey with Tastefully Simple. She began shares her powerful and uplifting message with the nation as
an inspirational speaker. And in 2012, she launched Inspirada Dreams – an inspirational company providing
online members with tools to reflect on where they are in life, imagine new possibilities and create goals
and action plans to realize their dreams.
Today Jill makes her home in Alexandria, Minnesota, with her husband, Gary, and her son, Zach.
Ready to find out more? Learn more about Jill’s keynote presentations!