Category : Women-Owned Businesses
Woman-owned businesses continue to grow and thrive. The Jell-Craft family is privileged to be among one of the 10 million companies that is owned and controlled by women in the United States. Woman-owned businesses bring in approximately 2.5 trillion in sales each year, and around 1 in every 7 workers is employed by a woman-owned business which equals 19.1 million workers.
From the time Walter Oertling founded Jell-Craft products in 1945, women have always played an important role in the Jell-Craft family.
Walter Oertling purchased Blue Bonnet Potato Chip Company because his wife Carmen had become pregnant and made the request of settling in one place. At the time, Oertling was a sales representative for a five-state region representing Sunkist Citrus Company in Louisiana. Oertling thought this was the perfect opportunity to purchase Blue Bonnet Potato Chip Company in San Antonio, Texas, which happened to be directly behind the house where he would settle with his family.
Oertling named the line of potato chips his company produced at the time, Carmen’s, after his wife. His wife Carmen also played a significant role in the company, and continued to run the company with her son Robert Oertling after his passing in 1979.
Fast forward to years later, and the company has continued to
thrive due to the leadership of women, including our current President, Mary Son, Robert Oertling’s widow. Recently Elizabeth Miller, Robert and Mary’s daughter, has become the third generation of Oertling’s to help manufacture Jell-Craft Products.
This month marks the 27th anniversary of the signing of the Women’s Business Ownership Act which has provided assistance to the development of small business concerns owned and controlled by women. This bill was significant to women entrepreneurs, because it put an end to the state laws that required women to have male relatives sign business loans. This act is vital to the Jell-Craft family since Walter Oertling always held his spouse in a high manner, his daughter-in-law has owned the majority of the company for the past 18 years, and currently his granddaughter has joined the family business.