Local business Jams by Kim has been chosen as a winner of The American Small Business Championship hosted by SCORE, mentors to America’s small businesses, and made possible by the generous support of Sam’s Club, a leading U.S. membership club serving small businesses since 1983. The Championship awarded the title to 102 small businesses from 48 states for their sacrifices and dedication to the success of their business. The American Small Business Champions each receive a $1,000 Sam’s Club gift card, an all-expense-paid trip to a training event, SCORE mentoring for one year, and promotion throughout the year to showcase each Champion’s story.
Jams by Kim earned the title of American Small Business Champion by submitting an online application answering the question “What sacrifice have you made to help your business succeed?” Nominations which garnered at least 100 votes were then presented to a judging panel of small business experts that determined 102 businesses including Jams by Kim to be the winners.
In 2009 Kim Osterhoudt, Founder and CEO at Jams by Kim was laid off from her corporate HR role at Prudential Financial, and managed to get herself into a Jam. Selling her home and giving up most of the trappings of her former corporate lifestyle, she started making artisanal jams and jellies for sale at local farmers markets and online at http://www.jamsbykim.com. In 2014 she celebrated 5 years in business with a party honoring her mentors and donating to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in honor of her late father. Today Jams by Kim is a staple at several local farmers markets and her savory flavors are among her most popular jams. “To be able to work at something that I really love to do is a blessing. I am passionate about using traditional methods to make my Jams by hand, the same way my mother and grandmother made their jams.”
Osterhoudt is the President-Elect of the National Association of Women Business Owners, Central Jersey Chapter (NAWBO-CJ). She also won the NAWBO-CJ business plan competition – SEED (Supporting Emerging Entrepreneur’s Development) in 2010. “The women entrepreneurs of NAWBO were extremely generous to me with their advice and counsel, and I look forward to helping other women entrepreneurs when I become President of the Central Jersey Chapter in June 2015.”
“We are so honored be recognized for the obstacles we have overcome as a small business. Thank you to our wonderful community both locally and online for supporting us, and helping us succeed. This would not have been possible without you” says Kim Osterhoudt, Founder and CEO of Jams by Kim. “We are so proud of the accomplishments of the small businesses chosen as our American Small Business Champions,” said SCORE CEO Ken Yancey. “They are true representatives of the American dream and the hard work, determination and sacrifice it takes to achieve small business success. We are honored to reward that work.”
“From restaurant owners and inventors to non-profits and consultants, every entrepreneur has a powerful story of sacrifice and perseverance,” said Don Frieson, executive vice president for operations at Sam’s Club. “Our clubs and buyers are dedicated to providing business owners with the resources they need to overcome the challenges of managing a small business. Together with SCORE, we look forward to growing with these Champions, saving them money and time and helping them achieve their goals.”