Harnessing Serendipity and Grit in Launching and Scaling A New Creative Venture

Reflection on my conversation with Founder & CEO of Packed Party, Jordan Jones

During April's meet-up for Austin Fashion Initiative, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Jordan Jones for an in-depth conversation on the launch and growth of her brand, Packed Party. In talking with Jordan, I was immediately struck by her phenomenal energy and warmth. She has PRESENCE, and understands what is means to be in the moment and engages with her immediate environment to create an impact towards her goals, authentically and with magnanimity. 

During the course of our conversation we talked about three topics: the ideation behind Packed Party, its growth and scale, and Jordan's own personal journey in navigating her business development. Although fashionable in every way, Packed Party isn't (strictly speaking) your typical fashion brand. And yet Jordan's approach to product development, sales, and marketing are all hitting home runs for what it takes to develop a modern fashion brand focused on international scale and organic growth. Packed Party is noteworthy because of its strong brand image and identity, internationalization in both production and distribution, emphasis on close ties to product development, and focus on omni-channel (e-commerce and wholesale) distribution strategies. 

In reflecting on my conversation with Jordan, I'm struck by how much she reminds me of the most innovative fashion designers I've met during my academic research in London and New York. Jordan understands what it means to be adaptable to her customers' needs, and yet meticulously clear about her own goals, with an attention to detail of what she will and will not compromise in developing products. Case in point, those charming disco ball cups -- a top seller -- have a white lining for a reason.

What I love about Jordan is that she's also a great example of what I call the Austin Aesthetic. She's friendly, open, strong, bold and colorful in many ways. This is reflected in the products she designs. But she also understands that there is something powerful in being able to share this aesthetic boundlessly, as illustrated in her national and international network of customers and collaborators. Many of the challenges and opportunities she's navigated were made easier and possible because of the close relationships she's developed, being fearless to reach out to those she's needed to connect to whether they are in ATX, New York, San Francisco, China or anywhere! It speaks to two things that I think are some of the most important in developing a company (or your career!) -- creating meaningful connections (aka "building your network") and getting things done (having a "bias towards action").

Having the in-depth in-conversations are one of my favorite things to do for Austin Fashion Initiative because I think it helps de-mystify what entrepreneurship (or "creativity" for that matter) really is -- that succeeding in anything is really hard. BUT if you keep taking action, breaking down ideas into goals, goals into process, and process into tasks, you can make measurable PROGRESS towards your vision. You build and build from there, one task after another.

Just don't forget to celebrate your wins along the way. And thanks to Jordan and Packed Party, we've got everything we need to get the party started.


Jennifer Millspaugh is the founder of Austin Fashion Initiative. Through monthly meet-ups, she's creating opportunities for engaged networking and inspiration from (and for) Austin's leading creative entrepreneurs and business professionals. You can join AFI in taking the initiative by becoming a member to gain access to a formal network of creatives, entrepreneurs, thought-leaders, and innovators doing their part to establish Austin as a global creative capital. Feel free to connect to learn more.