The Kids Are All Right: Wesley Jacobs Brown
Founder and Owner, Bundles Gift Co
Aspen High Class of 2006
As a local business owner, Brown knows that one only gets as much as he or she puts in. The 29-year-old took over Bundles, a custom gift basket company, in 2013. Although it took time to grow the business, she says, “it has allowed me to have the lifestyle that I want and be able to make a living.”
Born in Massachusetts, Brown moved with her family to Aspen when she was two. For college, she headed to Boston University, where she majored in hospitality and worked for Kimpton Hotels. That move affirmed that the grass wasn’t greener elsewhere. “If I had gone to school in Colorado, I’m not sure I would have stayed here after college,” she says.
After graduating in 2010, “I wanted to come right back home,” she relates. “I appreciated my schooling and the exposure to the real world, but I knew I wanted to live in Colorado, so I packed up my car, and I haven’t been back since,” she says.
Through her job with Kimpton, Brown transferred to the former Sky Hotel. Being back in colorful Colorado wasn’t the only thing on her mind, however. She also returned for a particular love interest, Danny Brown, whom she eventually married.
She ultimately became the Sky’s revenue manager, but she didn’t love the work and left right before her wedding. As Brown considered her next step, she learned that two friends were selling the name of their gifting business, as well as some inventory. It was the start of the holiday season, and the opportunity seemed worth a shot. Brown went for it.
At first, most clients were families visiting town. Now she creates gift bags for corporate events and weddings. Brown sources all items from small businesses; they range from chocolates and local produce to spa products and mini cocktail kits.
As for the lifestyle she’s achieved as her own boss, Brown makes the most of it, frequently climbing, biking, skiing, or hiking with her eight-year-old cattle dog mix, Snoop Dog. “I find a really good balance here between work and play,” she says. “I’m fortunate that it pieced together the way it did.”