29-Year-Old Woman Founder of Multi-Million Dollar Retail Company Says Biggest Mistake She Made Was Hiring “Good Enough” Employees

Courtesy of Jordan Jones

Jordan Jones, Founder of Packed Party.

  • Packed Party started out as a side business for founder Jordan Jones and has since raised $ 2 million in funding without a single unprofitable year – but it wasn’t without its challenges.
  • Business Insider spoke with the 29-year-old founder to learn more about the biggest mistake she made in her career and how it affected her business.
  • Jones said the only mistake that stands out is how quickly she chose to hire for certain roles.
  • Here’s how she changed her mindset and operations based on that experience to further develop her brand.
  • Click here for more BI Prime stories.

What started as a crush of a 500-square-foot apartment in San Francisco for founder Jordan Jones has since grown into a fast-growing lifestyle brand with $ 2 million in funding – from angel investors like Steve Hicks and Facebook CEO Blake Chandlee – operating out of a 9,000 square foot warehouse in Austin, Texas.

Jones founded Packed Party with the idea of ​​themed party packages and has since evolved the brand to include cheerful, colorful and bold products including accessories, bags, glasses, home and office supplies. , etc.

Jordan Jones Founder and CEO Packed Party

Courtesy of Jordan Jones

Packed Party hasn’t had a single unprofitable year.

By the time she started Packed Party, Jones was 23 and worked in marketing for a data analytics company, but was summarily fired after the company noticed media coverage about Packed Party and realized that Jones probably had other priorities.

And yet, six years later, the brand has 15 employees, grew its total customer base by 80% last year, recently announced a partnership with Whole Foods, and achieved over 200% annual revenue growth. business since its inception. What he didn’t get was a single unprofitable year.

But even the most successful startup founders make mistakes. Jones shared with Business Insider US the # 1 mistake she made as a young founder and what she wished she had known when starting her business.

Because Packed Party has grown rapidly in its six years of operation and because Jones started the business without much formal management experience, she initially felt pressure to put in place hires to fill. an immediate void.

“I never did a good hire that propelled the company forward by plugging what looked like an explosive leak from the ground in a moment of survival,” she said. “Once things are moving with your business and you have thousands of customers who need things, it’s easy to find a resume that looks like a B + rather than waiting for a player to walk through the door. “

wrapped party miz

Courtesy of Jordan Jones

Packed Party offers bold products including accessories, bags, glasses, home and office supplies, and more.

The “good enough” hire Jones made, in one particular case, said “yes” to too many tasks and then struggled to complete them. They missed an order deadline and the resulting chargeback hurt Packed Party’s bottom line. “Communication in our business is key,” Jones explained. “The lack of it always leads to financial problems when you are faced with tight deadlines and inventory.”

Another hire made it difficult for Jones to create processes, which in turn affected the morale of future A-plus hires. “Today, a few of our team fell into a few operational nightmares early on which they were great to resolve,” she said. “For me, the sooner we closed the door on relationships that didn’t serve the business, the better off we were financially and culturally.”

Jones acknowledged that she was part of the problem, typically hiring candidates based on their instincts and instincts, the same way she approached the brand design process. “I put a lot of emotion into it,” she said. “I was asking people questions about their mother, their dog, their cousin and their favorite product.”

And, because she is young, early recruits often saw her less as a boss than a friend. “Our brand is so much fun, so there was – and still is – an expectation for me to stay in this playful and creative light,” Jones said. “You can be friendly at work, but at the end of the day you are both here to do the job. If it isn’t, it won’t work.”

Jones has since transferred responsibility for hiring and management to the President and Human Resources Representative of Packed Party, who both handle recruiting and are the direct managers of employees. She always meets with candidates to say ‘hello’ to them and to make sure they match their culture, but tries to focus primarily on her strengths: design and partnerships.

“Our president and HR manager ask the hard-hitting questions and leave the emotion at the door,” Jones said. “Today, as a multi-million dollar brand, it actually operates a lot easier without my hands gripping the steering wheel. I don’t have to do everything to get us in the right direction; you take your time and put smart people in place, and your life becomes a lot easier. “

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Anne G. Cash

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