When it comes to super cute gifts that are easy to send people in the mail, I always think of Packed Party right away. Founder Jordan Jones is smart, driven, creative and, best of all, a total #GirlBoss. Here’s what she has to say about her company and the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur.
How did you come up with the concept for Packed Party?
I started Packed Party in 2013 after moving to San Francisco not knowing anyone and having a Pity Party for myself shortly after moving. I was, embarrassingly enough, feeling a little sorry for myself on the phone with my mom one night missing my friends and family in California and she told me I was having a pity party and to head to bed. I (thankfully) listened to her because I woke up from a dream that night about sending myself a themed party for one package. I stayed up all night that night writing a business plan, knew I wanted to call the business Packed Party, and even sketched out the logo. A little surreal looking back now, but it was almost as though it was sent to me in the middle of the night. At the time the concept of sending themed “party packages” around life events like birthdays, break-ups, etc. wasn’t on the market so I hit the ground running right away in 2013 getting my website setup and marketing.
What’s the best thing a customer has ever told you about their experience with your brand/products?
Jeez, this is a tough question! I am so fortunate to make people’s days for a living with Packed Party’s gifts. To step back sometimes and read all the notes people are sending one another or see just how many loyal customers we have makes me kind of feel awe-struck. There are a few stories that stand out to me, but my favorite was a story about The Doorstep Necklace we sell. Two friends who grew up down the street from one another reconnected and sent (unknowingly) one another the necklace. They sent us this long note about their experience with our brand and how the necklace sort of solidified their friendship – it was so sweet to read. We used to print and hang all our customer notes on one board in our office, but truthfully there have been so many it got a little crazy to print them all out – we looked like hoarders. Our brand is all about making people’s days so when people take the time to drop a small (or big) note in our contact email it means the world.
What’s the best part of your day and what’s the worst?
Weirdly there’s not one thing I look forward to or dread every day because I kind of have to do it all and look at everyday like a blank slate. I think in any startup environment you have to have the no job is too small or too big attitude and be ready for whatever the week throws at you. I love the people I work with so that helps a ton, and again not really having a predictable schedule brings a lot of excitement and at times stress to the table.
What advice do you have for other women who have a unique business idea and want to pursue it?
I think the hardest part of starting a business is just that – starting. Commit to the idea you have, make sure you’re passionate about what you’re doing, and go for it 110% percent. Know you’re the absolute best person to execute the idea and you’ll never worry about the competition because they’re not you. Confidence and perseverance will separate you from everyone else. Just jump into the deep in and do it.
What’s one thing you wish you knew when you first started that you learned “the hard way”?
I always joke there’s no manual for starting a business. There are so many things I wish I knew when I first started. I think there’s nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to starting out small. I was so terrified people wouldn’t take my idea or brand seriously in the beginning because it was just me, but truthfully my story of starting proved to be the reason we grew, brought on employees who trusted how hard I was willing to work, or seemed approachable to retailers. Everyone has to start somewhere so remember not to compare yourself or your business to someone else. Everyone is on a different journey starting a company and while slow and steady doesn’t necessarily win the race, speeding to the top doesn’t either. You have to trust your gut. There are so many people that came into my business so early on and doors would close and I’d be so bummed whether it was an investor or just a partnership, and now looking back I’m so thankful these doors were closed because we wouldn’t be where we are today. Be patient and persistent because it’s not going to be easy…that’s why there are so few successful businesses.
Anything new or exciting coming up for the brand?
Yes! We’ve grown so much since starting three years ago. We’ve expanded more in the last year outside of just party packages into other items that make life a party like our popular Disco Drinks, or Everything Pouches, so we have our first line of spring items rolling out here in just a few months then shortly after some summer items too! I’m talking everything from travel gear to pool floats to lunch boxes and actual party plates, cups, utensils too. Kind of insane, but equally exciting! I smile thinking about it all honestly. We’ve been working extreme hours to get everything together so it’ll be awesome to see the response to so many new products and casting our net of gifts that make life a party a little wider. We also really expanded our wholesale business this year, so keep an eye out for us in a few major retailers like Paper Source.
Read more Real Women Doing Real Things interviews HERE.