Owner and Creative Director, jesGORDON/properFUN
Jes Gordon’s namesake company jesGORDON/properFUN, provides high end, personal event design and management with loads of signature style. Her first book, Party Like A Rock Star (Globe Pequot Press), provides everyone with the tools they need to throw the party of their dreams, regardless of their budget.
Gordon was the Design Mentor on Bravo’s “Rocco’s Dinner Party.” Each week, Gordon aided the competing chefs in creating a memorable dinner party experience that went well beyond the cuisine.
Gordon’s innate eye for color was first noticed at thirteen when she stumbled into the industry as an assistant to a floral designer. By the time she reached her junior year at Bard College, she had a blooming floral business. Gordon went on to open a contemporary art gallery and flower shop in Taos, New Mexico, and later moved to New Orleans to work on set designs for films, including “Interview with a Vampire” and “Dead Man Walking.”
In 1992, Gordon became the Events and Decor Director for the infamous Tavern on the Green restaurant in New York. Her work at Tavern on the Green led to private commissions for celebrities including Madonna, Barbara Streisand, Harrison Ford, Vanessa Williams, Sting, and Elton John, among others.
Gordon now applies her eye for design and passion for the unexpected to her event design and production firm. Gordon has created captivating corporate events for Bank of Hapoalim, CNN, Ann Taylor, M&M’s, Comcast, AOL, Yahoo, Rowenta, A&E Networks, West Point, Lifetime Channel, and many others. She also continues to dazzle brides and socialites alike with dream weddings and private affairs. With a strong base in New York, she continues to work all over the world.
If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
I think that maybe I would not have put my name on the door of my company. It’s a mixed blessing and I don’t regret it, but it has set a precedent that has long affected other parts of my life in terms of personal relationships and goals.
Who’s your biggest inspiration and why?
At the risk of sounding self-righteous, but I am my biggest inspiration because I need to be so I can continue to evolve and grow. I try my best to find inspiration within myself when I am feeling lost or for the lack of a better word; uninspired. It is my responsibility to remain inspired as a creative and as a business owner thus inspiring my team and my clients. At the end of the day people are hiring me to become inspired.
If you could create a slogan for your life, what would it be?
Special People Lead Difficult Lives.
How do you define your purpose & mission in life?
My purpose is to be in a constant state of flux and to elevate myself in any way possible so I can share my journey/hindsight with others who are struggling to find their creative way. I hope to help others discover how they can turn creativity into a profession so they can truly do and live what they love.
Describe a moment that could’ve broken you, but didn’t. How did you get past the struggle?
I think I am still in it lol! This is a very personal battle for me but I have an incredibly hard time finding balance in my life overall. My marriage failed and I lost an extremely large economic battle to my ex. Everything I have worked towards monetarily has vanished and this has been extremely tough to overcome. It’s good to know that I have potential to earn it back, but the thought of it is brutally exhausting at times. I think an important way to look at a struggle is to not try to get past it. In fact, it’s okay to stay within a struggle and try to harmonize with it the best you can. Basically, if you get past a struggle, most likely there will be another one waiting around the corner. In the end, I have found that Necessity Breeds Innovation, so in a perverse way I say bring that shit on.