October 18, 2018

An Exclusive Interview with Packed Party Founder and CEO Jordan Jones

The third in our Empowered Entrepreneurs series: don't underestimate the power of hard work, determination, and passion.

Editor’s Note and a Special Announcement

from Carrie Colbert

Hey there, colorful crew. I am so thrilled to bring you the third installment of this month’s Empowered Entrepreneur series focusing on inspiring business women. Make sure you read our prior two interviews — one with artist extraordinaire Ashley Longshore and one with Create & Cultivate founder Jaclyn Johnson.

Now, on to today’s interview… 

This one is a special one for me. Why? Well, I’ve been keeping a secret for over a year. What’s that secret? Well, first some backstory.

There once were two colorful gals who met on Instagram: @carriec + @jordanplusjones. Jordan started her own business called @packedparty. Jordan knew how to design, sell, hustle, and put her heart into everything she did. Conversely, Carrie knew about numbers, finance, strategy, and all that stuff.

Three or so years ago, the pair met in person. They began sharing advice and ideas and planning and dreaming. When the time was right last fall, the two decided to join forces in a more formal way. Last fall…

I became the first investor in Packed Party!

That’s right… After working in the energy industry for almost 18 years, when I retired, I was fortunate enough to have some cash on hand. For almost two years, I had been analyzing various investment opportunities. I particularly targeted female-founded and female-run businesses.

Of course, Packed Party was always at the top of my list! But we had to wait until the timing was right for both Jordan and me. Thankfully, last fall, the timing was indeed right for all concerned. Most of you are probably already familiar with Packed Party, but if not…

Packed Party is a lifestyle gifting company based out of Austin, Texas, that aims to make everyday a party with unique and fun gifts.

I could not be more thrilled to be a part of this amazing company! I look forward to sharing more with you in the near future. But for now, keep reading for some inspiring words from Jordan…

An Interview with Entrepreneur Jordan Jones

by Julie Weinstein

When we think of empowered entrepreneurs who are inspiring and hard-working, you are at top of mind. When you were growing up did you always know you wanted to run your own business? If not, was there a light bulb moment when you decided you were going to make it happen?

I didn’t grow up thinking I wanted to own a business, but looking back I was really entrepreneurial and didn’t really ever even think about it. I loved selling anything from lemonade to headbands and even lampshades I decorated from elementary school to college. I always loved seeing my ideas come to life and the thought of sharing them always felt so special to me. My mom used to bribe me to behave as a little girl by taking my “designs” to market because she worked in the fashion industry for 17 years.

You and your brand are so inspiring. To what do you attribute your success to?

Thank you! I work extremely hard and am pretty determined in my efforts.

Even on bad days I get back up and will go back at it. I have hired a lot of people that sort of take that same “whatever it takes” winning approach and it’s really played a big factor in growing Packed Party.

You’ve spoken about how Packed Party started in your tiny San Francisco apartment with the simple thought of wanting to send yourself a care package, and now it’s turned into THE party brand selling your lifestyle gifting products to party girls all over the world.

How has your brand and business evolved from curated boxes to an extensive product line, from a tiny apartment to a large office and warehouse in Austin, Texas?

We have definitely expanded since starting in 2013 in that tiny little apartment I had. I was so young and naïve looking back, and I think it’s a lot of what made Packed Party the brand that it is today.

I was fearless in starting and never considered the idea of failing that a lot of times stops people from ever tackling their dreams.

I loved curating the packages when I first started with different items around the theme or party being thrown. But I was constantly asking vendors to make me custom packaging, tweak copy, or even change the color of a product so everything inside the package felt more experiential or special. I can remember so many times feeling badly for the vendors working with me that I kept changing their creative or products, but it was sort of funny they all were so willing to do it because of the exposure through Packed Party’s social channels, and even in some cases they kept the creative I had come up with to sell on their own, which was fine by me at the time.

This “problem” of always changing everyone else’s products to fit the Packed Party brand actually turned into me starting the process of designing my own products to go inside packages slowly, just domestically here and there, which then led to making our Doorstep Necklace, then Disco Drink and here we are today with a full-fledged line of products that all align with the idea of making life a party and a little more fun. It happened very organically and I love that. I never had any outside pressure from investors or friends to be this massive company from day one. I was just doing something I loved, and candidly was really good at, and big things started to happen.

When you’re passionate about what you’re doing you forget any “what if’s” and just go for it! It was like tunnel vision building the Packed Party brand once I started designing products.

Running a business is no easy feat. We know it’s long days, late nights, and plenty of sacrifices along the way. What would you say your favorite thing is about what you do? And what would you say is the most challenging?

Working to design the products with our team and see them in-person on shelves is overwhelmingly exciting. It’s such a process from a sketch to a shelf or doorstep and the stories we get to hear of making people’s days or impacting their lives is something I’ll always carry with me. I get to bring people joy for a living and have a brand that makes life a party; how fun is that?

On the flip side, it’s challenging at times managing expectations being such a fun brand. We have so many people who want to work here that don’t realize the amount of hard work, hours, sacrifice, you-name-it that goes in at the ground level. While we do have a ton of fun, we work crazy hard to deliver nothing short of greatness to our customers. I am obsessed with these people like they’re my real-life friends, so I always want to make sure we treat them nothing short of that.

“I was fearless in starting and never considered the idea of failing.”

In a day and age of instant gratification, the Internet being at our finger tips, and social media taking over, how would you say social media specifically has affected your business? We know you use it in a large way and we love how engaged your followers are. We’d love to hear more about that strategy and the effect it’s had on your business.

Instagram certainly was a huge part of my business when I first started because it was an awesome free and visual way to get my brand out there directly to my target demographic. My background was in Strategic Media so I always loved looking at different social media platforms as ways to connect with my customer. We had a Snapchat as early as we were using Instagram giving people a day to day look inside what it felt like to be on our team which I think was really cool, and now of course we do a lot of that, too, on Stories.

I don’t think Instagram is the only way to connect with your customers, but for me it definitely was an awesome tool to put my brand out there in a big way displaying our product, partnering with other brands and influencers and even connecting with people.

Instagram is actually how I know Carrie!

So many young women out there look up to you and are in awe of what you’ve created – what advice would you give to those young women looking to run their own business one day?

Be persistent and know one bad day isn’t a bad year. Shrug off the doubts and keep going. It really will work if you keep your head down, be yourself, and keep going. I used to think every minute I wasn’t working on my business my competitors could be and that propelled me for a few years (crazy much?), but about my third year in business I was like, forget my competitors they aren’t me and never will be me, I’ll keep doing this my way and no one can have my brain and keep up.

And what advice would you give to your younger self?

Just because math is more difficult it doesn’t mean you’re incapable or dumb. Growing up I can remember being in elementary school and having to cheat on timed tests because it took me longer to get to the answer and from there I basically internalized I couldn’t do math through college. Silly, right? Not being good at one thing doesn’t mean you’re not capable of everything. Focus on your strengths and emphasize those.

“When you’re passionate about what you’re doing you forget any “what if’s” and just go for it!”

“Be persistent and know one bad day isn’t a bad year. Shrug off the doubts and keep going.”

Your business and team have grown so much, especially this past year. Given that you’re so young without a formal business background how have you gained confidence as a leader and felt empowered, as well as empowering your team to carry forward your vision and mission of making life a party through unique and fun gifts?

I am really transparent about my vision. Where we are, where we are going and what we’re working towards is very clear to anyone who works at Packed Party. Growing so quickly is something I could not have done alone here in the last year so I lean a lot into the people around me for advice or critical feedback. This all to say, I am not perfect and definitely growing as a leader each day as I encounter more! No one is always confident and I journal or talk to a business coach now a lot about ways to make myself better.

We’re so excited about your first physical store, which is a pop up in Austin! Tell us more about that. And what else is in the pipeline for Packed Party?

Me too! We just opened our first-ever pop-up store on South Congress Avenue here in Austin and I still can’t believe how quickly it happened to be honest. I knew we were going to open up some sort of retail space to test in 2018, but the way the trailer came together was really cool. I saw the space and in about two weeks time we had a wrapped trailer and were opening our doors.

It’s been amazing to meet so many people across the country coming through Austin who know and don’t know Packed Party, experiencing our brand. One of the girls the other day saw me staring out the window of the trailer as we were opening and she said, what are you looking at? And I told her, I couldn’t believe all the people walking by sort of reading out loud or mouthing Packed Party. Creating a brand from a dream and making products is one thing, but making it a physical store has been a whole new level of gratification. There’s a lot more to come on this front for us we’ll be sharing in the next few months after the holiday season!

“Focus on your strengths and emphasize those.”

On the days where you might feel you’re under water and spread too thin, what are your tips for how to feel empowered as a business person and as a woman? Furthermore, do you have any mottos or quotes you try to remind yourself of and live by?

I would be lying if I said I didn’t take a trip to my car or Chick Fil A every so often to cry it out or scream into my hands. I am a human and I do, like everyone, get overwhelmed at times, but I have learned to manage my sort of up to my eyeballs moments a lot better in the last two years. If I feel anxious about something or like I’m frozen in stress at my desk I’ll step outside or take my dog, Truman, on a quick loop around our warehouse to move. I also journal a lot so I can look back on my journey and how I’ve felt along the way. This has been sort of a measuring stick for me growth wise. I am a lot tougher than I give myself credit for some days.

And we know the importance of a valuable morning routine in order to set yourself and your day up for success – what does a typical morning look like for you?

I’m up between 5:45 and 6:00 am everyday, take my dog out without my phone, check my emails, make a coffee and head into the office. Most days I am the first person here and it makes me feel like I’m controlling the day and it’s not going to control me. We could probably stay here until midnight every night finding things that we need to do, but I really have tried and am trying to set better boundaries for myself to leave at a reasonable time so that means getting here earlier for myself.

And how do you keep yourself and your schedule organized? What are your go to apps? Or are you a pen to paper kind of gal?

I love Asana to assign and complete tasks instead of emailing people on our team and assuming the email won’t get buried. Slack is great for communication and we also use Stitch Labs to manage our inventory so I can have visibility into a lot of aspects of my business. This all to say I make a pen and paper list every single day at my desk and will write things down as they pop into my head while I work. It starts blank and is usually a half a page before 3:00 with little things here and there. There’s no wrong or right way to stay organized I’ve learned; it’s whatever works for you to get the job done.

A few more things

1. Thank you so much Jordan for sharing your insights with all of us!

2. Which Packed Party items are you eyeing from above? You can say all; we understand!

3. Have a great rest of your day and we’ll see you back here tomorrow.


  1. Rachel Jones - JJ Mom 😍 says:

    This was so fun to read and I loved the unique questions !!! WELL DONE CARRIE AND JULIE ❤️ Makes me smile as a proud momma ‼️❤️‼️❤️🎉🎉🎉

    1. We love you, Raisin!

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