Summer -- Featured PowerHouse Profile
June 08, 2020 | By Erika Rasmussen
A home-grown Montana girl, Jen grew up in eastern Montana then went on to pursue her love of art at Montana State University – Bozeman, graduating in 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) focused in Fine/Studio Arts & Graphic Design Minor from Dickinson State University. Jen’s entrepreneurial spirit sparked in her college years and she has been working as a freelance artist for over 15 years.
After college, Jen moved back to her hometown of Glendive until moving to Billings in 2017. She enjoys contributing time and talents to various organizations and projects; for example: the rebranding of Dawson Community College, creation of the logo for the Dawson County Fair, designing and wrapping of traffic boxes featuring area photography by local artists. She is proud to help other small business owners create their own identity and realize their goals.
Jen was a key member of a small grassroots organization “Revive Glendive” that was able to conceptualize, raise funds, and complete the construction of a Splash Park for the Glendive Community in just one year. During the process, Jen helped to organize and facilitate group meetings, handle finances, oversee the selection and hiring of various construction and supply contractors, work closely with City Officials and participated in the many fundraising events for the project. Since that time, Jen has continued to help with the efforts of other community groups including the Greater Glendive Community Foundation, Glendive Chamber of Commerce, Dawson County High School Red Devil Booster Club and more. She was involved in a non-profit that helps teachers, students and artists gain access to quality arts and learning to develop their creative potential: Share Create Reuse and Promote (SCRaP) of Billings. She is a member of Project Love - a project that began in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis in March 2020. Project Love is bringing the Billings community together to feed kids who have no way to get to their schools for the lunch program by delivering healthy sack lunches right to their doorstep.
Supporting and connecting with other women has always been something that Jen is passionate about. She started a local Women Entrepreneurs group in Glendive as means to network, trade ideas & secrets and learn from those that share in the same struggles & triumphs. She helped to build the foundation for Legacy Creative - an empowering community providing the tools, resources and support for women entrepreneurs, and a creative agency that takes a collaborative + creative approach to small business consulting, digital, and creative services. She was invited to join the “Wonder Women” advisory group for the PowerHouse Montana initiative in 2015 and continues her involvement today.
What motivates and inspires you?
Anything creative and beautiful - nature, people, art, books…
Who are your personal ‘Sheroes’/Female Role-Models?
The amazing women around me that are doing such incredible things - there are so many, too many to name. I am connected with business women and entrepreneurs that inspire me on a daily basis with the things they are doing and how they make an impact on others.
What technology/literature/art/seminars/ideas do you love, and recommend to others?
I absolutely LOVE learning. I latch onto every opportunity I can find to learn new skills! Some books (though it is very hard to narrow this list!) that have had a major impact on me: Eckhart Tolle - The Power of Now, Amy Cuddy - Presence & all things Brené Brown.
I am always motivated and inspired after conferences and have enjoyed Athena Pack, Innovate Montana, MT Young Professionals - all here in our great state!
In our world of technology and internet, online communities provide a way to connect those even in the most remote areas. My favorite community is, of course, our Living Legacy Club — where women in business can come together for support, resources, learning and endless inspiration. We also host an annual Recharge & Realign Retreat where we gather together to recharge our minds, bodies and souls and realign our goals, priorities and intentions for the year ahead.
How do you reboot?
Montana is such an absolutely amazing and awe-inspiring place to live and get out into nature. I love hiking, skiing, hot spring soaks, taking in the mountain views, days on the lake… Art and crafting is high on this list as well - painting, drawing, etc.
What is your biggest accomplishment, so far?
Without a doubt, I am most proud of the life I’ve built for myself and my two children, James and Ella. They are both so smart, funny, caring and kind-hearted — two incredible, loving little humans who give me reason to push on and be better every single day.
What is the biggest career risk you’ve ever taken?
I would have to say making the leap of full time entrepreneurship. CS Lewis said that “Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny…” The first few years were H.A.R.D. But I DID IT and became stronger, smarter, skilled, DETERMINED woman.
What is the ‘lasting legacy’ you hope to leave?
I hope that I am remembered for empowering and lifting up other women. I firmly believe in the adage “rising tides lift all boats” and the best thing we can do for ourselves is to lift up those around us.
Words of wisdom you want to share with Montanan women?
🖤 Trust your gut - it is RARELY wrong.
🖤 Stay true to your passion - if you love what you do, it won’t feel like work, it will feel like living!
🖤 Network like you love it (even if you hate it!) - the power of a strong network is limitless - collaborations, word of mouth, external expertise…
🖤 NEVER stop learning - when we stop learning, we stop GROWING, and when we stop growing, we stop LIVING.
Mid-March 2020, the governor announced school closures for our state. My friend Sarah Moyer, of Project Lunch, made a decision that night to figure out how to serve those kids. She had previously worked for Head Start and knew that some parents and children would have no way to get to the schools to pick up lunches. Project Lunch makes and delivers fresh salads and wraps in returnable containers so she shifted to include the deliveries of healthy sack lunches to kids. Sarah messaged me about creating some stickers for the bags to make a special ‘note’ to each of the kids saying “You are Loved.” I immediately jumped in to help - it was a way that I could give back to the community even while I was home with my two children. We came up with the idea of coloring sheets to include in the lunches and I created those based up sponsors who have generously donated and supported the project. I’ve helped from behind the scenes, running the social media and getting the word out to the community about what we’re doing and to help continue Project Love. The first day 19 lunches were delivered, day 2 - over 100, and as of early June we have delivered well over 10,000 sack lunches to kids in need! We’ve had many donations come in from the community and volunteers who have helped deliver the lunches. We created Project Love merchandise and every $10 donation helps us deliver 3 lunches. We are hoping to continue the project as long as we can throughout the summer. We are so thankful for this supportive community we live in! For more information about #projectlovebillings, to volunteer, or donate to Project Love, visit www.facebook.com/Projectlovebillings or wwwg.projectlunch.biz.
Deer Creek Design Studio - Owner | Graphic Designer
A creative studio that specializes in developing and communicating a strong, attractive brand for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Our goal is give your story personality and vision. Let’s create something incredible together! https://www.deercreekdesign.com/
The Legacy Creatives - Chief Creative Officer
We have taken our combined over fifty years in business to grow you and your business. Some agencies focus on the website or the marketing. We believe that the more YOU grow YOU ….the more that your business grows. Our unique process of uncovering your secret sauce will take you and your legacy to places that you did not even know were possible. https://thelegacycreatives.com/
Recharge & Realign Retreats - Co-Founder
Cultivate your legacy through connection, inspiration and adventure. We will recharge your mind, body and soul with outdoor experiences and creative expression. We will realign your pathway to success by providing you with stepping stones and to achieving your larger than life dreams! https://www.facebook.com/rechargerealignretreats