I’m fairly certain Jordan Jones is the most adorable CEO like, ever. She launched Packed Party just over a year ago and it has since blossomed into a delightful success, bringing smiles — not to mention, the party — to countless bebs all over the country. So, join the party and get social with Jordan and the Packed Party crew as they liven things up. Seriously, it’s one heck of a shindig so don’t miss out!
NAME Jordan Jones
LOCATION San Francisco, California
EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND Oklahoma State Universty
COMPANY Packed Party
ESTABLISHED July 2013 (in the middle of the night)
Packed Party is a truly ingenious (not to mention, insanely fun) notion. Tell me a bit about your company – what sparked the idea & how did you get started? That is so kind of you to say, thank you! Packed Party is a company that I came up with after recently moving to San Francisco where I didn’t know a soul! I was working in Dallas and felt like my life was sort of planned out there for me, so being a bit of an adventuresome person I decided to find a job, sat my parents down at the kitchen table and told them I felt like there was something so much bigger waiting for me, a bit weird right? Little did I know what was in store. I moved here and worked for a software company in the heart of Silicon Valley where I quickly realized I was not in Texas anymore. Not knowing anyone here mixed with the commute from the city to my job every day grew a little difficult for me because I didn’t really have a “social calendar” just yet. I’m the person of my girlfriends who is always sending cards or care packages so I spent the evening last July on the phone with my mom when I told her I was upset with my situation. She immediately told me I was having a Pity Party (spark!) and to go to bed.
I awoke that night with the concept to send packages like a Pity Party to yourself and throw a “party for one”. I knew I wanted to call the company Packed Party laying there in my bed that night frantically writing my thoughts down because everyone has been at an actual “packed” party at some point and wished they were home on their couch. So..I thought why not send yourself a Packed (packaged) Party and throw your own party? The concept just ran from there with the idea of people throwing parties for themselves in life and picking themselves or someone else up when life’s events happen. Packed Party was created in essentially one night and took 4 months to get off the ground and start selling online. Before we started selling online though, I started posting about the concept to share it with my friends and family and it sort of grew from there. Social media is a powerful thing.
I have been following @packedparty for some time on Instagram and your crew always looks to be having so much fun! What does your typical workday look like? It seems like 80% of people hear about us through Instagram, and I love that! Again, it’s amazing how powerful social media is and the reach it gives. A typical workday for me is waking up, checking emails, communicating to our warehouse about any specific orders or inventory updates because we’re always getting things in, posting on our social platforms, playing customer service, and really anything that comes my way. No day is the same for Packed Party and I love that about it. I wear a lot of different hats and it’s what makes my job so fun.
What were you doing before you started Packed Party? What gave you the encouragement to throw caution to the wind and branch out on your own? (P.S. We’re so glad you did.) I was working at a startup in the valley as their sole events person. I looked like Elle Woods in the office coming from Texas and well, being me. My time there was a bit short lived as I got in trouble after six months for working on Packed Party and I had to make the choice to end Packed Party completely (yeah, sorry, no) or quit. So off I went. There was a lot of caution, don’t kid yourself here! Starting something on your own is terrifying in a lot of ways because there is no hand-book or manual for what to do. I was by no means ready to be working on Packed Party full-time when it happened and of course living in one of the most expensive cities in the country, I was really uncomfortable for a second, but it worked out extremely well. This was the push I needed to really go all in on Packed Party. My work was better, I created the blog, added more packages, and was doing exactly what I needed to be doing.
Despite being a new company on the block, you already have a very respectable following. How did you get the word out when you first launched? My background from school was in strategic communication so I knew social media was the easiest (and most cost effective) way to get the word out about my brand. Don’t judge me, but I created a BuzzFeed article about myself in third person regarding Packed Party in the Community Section and watched it spread like wild fire. I realize this makes me sound a bit crazy, but it worked. Packed Party’s following isn’t too large in comparison to bigger brands, but hey, we’re just under a year in selling our packages so I’m happy with where things are at. Rome wasn’t built in a day and I realize really building a brand doesn’t happen over night, it takes time.
Tell me about the themed boxes available in your shop. How do you choose the products that go into each? We have six packages available on our website currently and definitely have plans to add more as we keep growing. I’m really specific about products I put in packages because I think it’s important we don’t give people something “ordinary”. People using a “box” to discover new beauty products has been done, we aren’t that brand. We’re the company that sells themed care packages to people to throw yourself or someone else a party. We make it affordable to be extremely thoughtful and creative when it comes to gift giving and remembering the little things. People want to feel cared about and remembered so I knew in choosing items to go in packages that had to sort of evoke feeling. I had to think to myself, okay, I would have died laughing if someone sent me a brass knuckles phone case or a “stick it to your ex” voodoo kit when I was going through a breakup, or oh, I love when people give me letter pressed cards. Every item in our packages has meaning and thought behind it so I do a ton of research when it comes to finding products and working with different vendors that might be more difficult for the average person to find.
Between budgeting, pricing, marketing, labor & material costs – just to name a few – there are a lot of things to tackle before launching a business. How did you learn the ins and outs of running your own company? How long did it take to see everything come together once you conceived the idea? I learned as I went. As I said, there is no handbook or manual to starting your own business based off a concept you had, you just sort of run with it. I think this is what makes Packed Party unique in that no one is breathing down my neck saying post this, make this kind of package, or do this. I make what I believe are the best decisions for the brand based off instinct and they may not always be right, but I’m learning and that’s the beauty in this all. I’d say it took about 6 months to see everything really working the way I wanted it to after having the idea. It’s a lot of trial and error when it comes to marketing. Material cost were are biggest thing as labor was free in the beginning (hi, mom!). My mom packing the packages changed very quickly though since we grew so much in our first year. We now have a warehouse in Chicago where our packages are made and shipped.
In what ways would you like to see Packed Party evolve? I make goals for myself and the brand for different benchmarks and try and separate them by attainable and downright crazy. I of course have plans to grow and add several different packages to the Packed Party line, but also for different demographics and spaces. We’re playing with the idea of expanding into hotels right now, so I guess you’ll have to stay tuned : )
With funding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, it is no surprise that starting a business can take a serious financial investment. How did you handle the financial reality of starting your own business? I get asked this a lot actually. I went to my parents with my idea though, and never having asked them for anything like this before, my dad said he’d invest a little money in me, and when he saw I was extremely serious about what I was doing (I had no friends or life yet in SF, let’s remember here), we asked my grandparents to invest a little more money in Packed Party. Everything was extremely planned out in excel sheets when I started so no stone was really left unturned when it came to how much anything was going to cost. It was difficult in the beginning starting because of course we were a new brand so vendors were cautious about putting their products in some random package. This changed quickly though as we grew. I know every penny that goes into each package and I think to have a solid business you have to. Being informed and 100% involved on the financial side isn’t fun, but it’s a must-do when starting your own business.
I absolutely love it, but I’m curious…why navy? I’ve always loved the color navy. It’s really feminine and goes with just about anything. I knew that if we did navy packages and wanted to expand our brand some day to different demographics it wouldn’t be a crazy sell. Can you imagine hot pink packages showing up on a guys’ doorsteps? Probably no…
Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s? Trader Joe’s
Perfect Sunday? The San Francisco Farmer’s Market & a walk around my neighborhood.
Guilty pleasure? Real Housewives of New Jersey easily. I have the cookbooks!
Starbucks (or Peet’s or Blue Bottle) order? Peet’s. Always an iced almond milk latte…the way to my heart.
Ultimate superpower? Time traveling, I’d love to replay things in my life and sort of watch them like movies.
Featured image of Jordan courtesy of Dorly Cue of Goldenlight Creative