Are you the coined gift giver of your friends? You know, the one who always plans the birthdays in your friend group not so you can drink the champagne, but so you can perfectly assemble the most fabulous gift? You can't help it, you're flipping creative and it's fun to bring your Pinterest board to life any chance you get.
Why do I ask? I'm that friend. Guilty. Hi, I'm Jordan and I love making gifts. Yep, I'm the annoying gift friend. What? You kinda hate me? Okay, fine you don't hate me, but a small part of you cringes every time one of our friend's birthdays rolls around because you know I'm bringing serious heat with my gift.
Let me explain bringing the heat in the gift arena further...Bringing the heat does NOT mean spending boat-loads of money, let's be real here, no one is able to afford designer gifts for their friends in their twenties. Bringing the heat when it comes to gifts means being the most thoughtful in whatever capacity you can. Say for instance you're a lipstick connoisseur...you own every lipstick known to man if you will. Michael's Craft Store is just down the street, so what's keeping you from grabbing a big white canvas, sharing your lipsticks with your friends and having each of them kiss the canvas and sign their name? "Twenty-Five Kisses For Our Fave Ms." Easy right? Just takes a bit of creativity (or Pinterest) to guide you.
There's something so fun about assembling something creative for a friend and seeing their face when they receive it. The whole, "you did THIS for ME???" makes all those nights your friend listened to you whine about (insert annoying dude name like Derrick) not quite as annoying anymore. See, being the gift giver friend isn't so bad, right? Whether you're using it to pull yourself out of the mess you've created all year leading up to your friend's birthday, simply because you love crafting, or just seeing the joy it brings to your friend - being the gift giver pays off, party girls.
Do you have a birthday coming up for a friend? Someone you've been meaning to thank? I may or may not know a few ways to creative ways to say both! Just saying.
Have you ever heard the saying, "pressure makes diamonds" somewhere along the way? Yes? Hi, my name is Jordan, I'm the founder of Packed Party, and I am currently making diamonds. They look a little like coal sometimes, but they're sure to be diamonds in time or with a bit of work. Kidding. I'm attempting to be metaphoric here. Okay, no really, everyone always uses this phrase and I've always understood what it meant (captain obvious), but I'd never felt the actual pressure to make something. Making my "diamonds" pressure for school, work, or whatever it was, was always based on my performance you know, maybe my attitude sprinkled in there too, but never an actual product produced by pressure.
I started Packed Party from love and creativity. No "pressure" from outside voices, just the spirit of gift giving and a party girl attitude. A year later hearing the phrase "pressure makes diamonds" strikes a different note for me though. I am here to tell you it's true, the pressure does, in fact, produce the diamonds. What no one tells you about the whole diamond thing is that the miner finding them is under loads of pressure keeping his head down at all times. He's probably in some sort of basic hard hat, for protection obviously, but I imagine him too having earplugs in, mining could be quite loud, right? Although this miner and I don't know each other we share a bond. I too wear a hard hat when I work on Packed Party. Sort of like a shield it protects my thoughts, creative spirit, and reminds me there's some serious crap that might fall on me, but it's worth the risk finding the reward. I too wear earplugs as a reminder to keep my head down and not listen to the riff-raff when I'm coming up with new and fun products. I can't worry about the competition because, well, if I worried about Packed Party's "competition" I'd lose sleep every day and could essentially pinpoint every "gift" out there as some form of competition. It's not though. Packed Party stands on its own because it's convenient, extremely thoughtful and personalized, holds the element of surprise, is the first of its kind..my list could go on and on, but hey, that's just why I believe it stands on its own. Maybe you do too for different reasons? I sure hope so.
Packed Party is makin' diamonds party people. I'm under a bit more "pressure" if you want to call it today than I was a year ago, but it's the good kind and has only made me push myself further to bring you the absolute most fun and creative packages out there. Diamonds are rare and a serious experience when you receive them, just like a Packed Party. Sidebar, future husband please don't be reading this. I truly believe the best things are made when the stakes are high. They're high. We've made them high and are working around the clock because I know every second I don't give toward my dream, someone else might be. Remember this when you're feeling a little overwhelmed because you have the ability to own whatever it is you're doing. Head down, ear plugs in to keep the noise out, little bidda presha and you too are makin' diamonds beb.
“I lost Martha Stewart in a Walmart once,” says Darcy Miller, Editorial Director at Martha Stewart Weddings. “She told me she wanted to look at their spices because she was trying to come out with a brand for Kmart at the time.”
*Cue wide-eyes from every intern in the room*
Sometimes, the perks of being a college girl are that you’re allowed to wholeheartedly embrace the label “intern” and hear stories like this. Darcy Miller is one of the most fabulous and inspiring women I’ve ever met, and she made a very distinct impression on me as a college female starting my career.
“When I became the Editorial Director at Martha Stewart Weddings, I was 25 and single,” she laughs. “My friends told me not to mention my career on first dates.” (I mean, Editorial Director at MS Weddings, or boyfriend…? TBH, I’d go with the first.)
Darcy has certainly had an exceptional career, one that any aspiring 20-something would kill to have. She has been with the Martha Stewart brand for nearly 25 years, and she worked with Martha to create the first issues of Martha Stewart Living and Martha Stewart Weddings. She was Martha’s right-hand woman, staying up until obscene hours to paint Easter eggs, design photo shoots, and deliver Martha’s personal china for events.
And when she isn’t traveling the country to attend weddings (sigh), Darcy Miller is an illustrator. She designs stationery, notebooks, scrapbooks (her fave) and scrap boxes.
So she’s one of the masterminds behind the Martha Stewart brand, BFFs with Kate Spade and Tory Burch, and has her own illustration collection on the side?! Can we have your life, puh-leaze, Miss Darcy?
Darcy encouraged us, as college women (and a few smart men), to do what we love. Her life is a party; her career, her designs, her illustrations and even her passion for weddings reveal her powerhouse party nature. Darcy’s words of wisdom? “Always say thank-you, and pay attention to the details,” she says. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it, Packed Party Peeps!?
Darcy didn’t choose to become the life of the party; she chose to make the party her life. She decided to stick with her career in weddings when her friends and family told her it wasn’t a real career. “I let it take me somewhere,” she says.
Maybe, if we, as college girls, start to focus more on making the party (the happy-go-lucky kind) the center of our lives, we would have more room for happiness. Maybe if we do what we love, we’ll naturally find success (or become friends with Kate Spade).
Or maybe if we surround ourselves with powerhouse women who inspire us, we won’t succumb to thoughts of failure. I think it’s a little bit of everything, but every girl needs the right balance of perseverance, inspiration, and success in her life. Oh, and did we mention fun? Let’s start the (Packed) Party, you powerhouse, you." alt="Party Like A Powerhouse">