Jen Perry

President of Jelt

What inspired you to start your business?

After surviving a near-death experience, I knew I wanted to do more with my life to make my mark in the world. Jelt is a social enterprise whose mission is to create a sustainable product that everyone needs, manufactured in a way that empowers underserved women and donate a portion of all sales to organizations supporting veterans, children, and the environment.

What challenges have you faced as a woman entrepreneur and how did you overcome them?

Not only do I face challenges being a woman in the outdoor industry, but I also face agism among the other woman-owned brands in my arena. I work hard to ignore the biases and stay true to myself, my employees, and our company.

What women inspire you?

After her retirement from professorship at San Diego State University, my grandmother began her second career at the age of 70 as a romance novelist. She published 27 novels and is still a best-seller on Amazon postmortem. She was an inspiration to all women who knew her and believed that women could rule the world.

What do you see as the coolest or most important trend in your industry?

The coolest trend that I hope continues to grow is sustainability. Jelt is a B-Corp certified company dedicated to making sustainable belts from 100% recycled plastic that would otherwise end up in oceans and landfills. Customers are starting to jump on the sustainable bandwagon, and I could not be happier. We all need to work together to support brands that make products from recycled materials. We only have one Earth and we have to do our best to protect it for generations to come.

How do you define success?

Success can only be measured by happiness. You can make $1 or $!,000.000, but if you’re not happy, then it means nothing. Be in business because you love what you’re doing and what you’re doing is making a positive impact in the world.

What’s your favorite career moment?

A few years ago, Jelt was given The Community Partner of the Year award by Thrive, a local non-profit. I invited my dad to attend the banquet with 300+ people in the audience. He had once told me that women owned small businesses make zero impact in the world. I got the chance to prove him wrong with my acceptance speech, on a grand stage, in front of hundreds of people. It was a cathartic moment for both of us. I am so grateful to have that moment to remember for the rest of my life.

Fill in the blank:

When I face a challenge, I… meet it head on, preferably without delay.

If I could go back in time, I would tell myselfdon’t sweat the small stuff. It’s all going to be okay.

The one thing I couldn’t live without is… outdoor sports.

The best thing that happened to me last week was… getting a heartfelt letter from my 19-year-old son acknowledging how much responsibility I shoulder and saying he wants to be like me when he grows up.

To get my creative juices flowing, I… go for a hike!


Jelt was established in 2014 as a cause-driven business. Our purpose is to create sustainable products that everyone needs, then use the proceeds to give back to our community, our country and the planet.

100% vegan and is designed for maximum durability and strength, while lowering your carbon footprint. Jelt is a certified B Corporation, a certified woman-owned business and a partner of 1% for The Planet. Our belts are made in Montana, uplifting our local workforce.

Learn more.