The Couple Behind Golden-Based Powder7 Create a Healthy Work/Life Balance

It’s always exciting to hear about young couples who take what they’re passionate about and create a successful business, but it’s even more meaningful to understand how they balance their work with family life. I recently spoke with Amy Dannwolf, who, along with her husband, Jordan Jones, are partners in marriage and in life. They are the parents of two young boys, ages 18 months, and four and a half; together they operate a growing ski store in Golden called Powder7. With continual planning and strong communication, Amy and Jordan are able to make time to disconnect from work and focus on family adventures.

“We are very intentional as a couple,” said Amy. “It’s easy to feel that the work is never done, but ultimately, with kids, we want to be there for them, and creating a positive work/life balance is a priority to us.”

How It All Started

Jordan and Amy met at Boston University, where they both had scholarships competing on the track team. When they met, Amy was a freshman and Jordan was a senior who had earned money through college selling gear on eBay. After graduation, Jordan moved to Colorado to become a Denver police officer and pursue triathlons. He was also a dedicated skier and saw the opportunity for a web-based Colorado ski shop that could serve local ski enthusiasts. It wasn’t an easy decision, because Jordan decided to leave the police force. At that time, Amy graduated and joined Jordan in Colorado, where she’d always wanted to live.

Both Jordan and Amy taught themselves how to code, so they could build their own website, saving money when they were just getting started. They opened Powder7 in 2007 and are based in Golden where they operate a 7500 square-foot headquarters housing retail, offices, and warehouse, selling over 50 brands of ski equipment targeted to all ages and budgets. They currently manage 30 motivated employees and have enjoyed double-digit growth each year.

Jordan oversees daily operations for the business, handling accounting and management, where he’s empowered employees to make smart decisions and provide quality customer service. Amy handles marketing, payroll, and human resources, working four days per week, during which time her nanny takes care of her boys from 8 am to 4 pm.

In addition to running a successful business, Amy and Jordan believe that corporate social responsibility is essential. Amy speaks on a panel about corporate social responsibility and contributes to public education. The shop holds 7% days, where they’ll donate 7% of sales to a local non-profit organization. Recently they’ve donated to The Outdoor Lab Foundation, which is a 62-year-old program impacting over 7,000 Jefferson County students, inspiring them to appreciate nature, science, and the environment, to become effective leaders and thinkers of the future.

Making Work and Home Life Successful

Amy and Jordan and their boys live just a mile from the shop, which means they can easily get back and forth from home when necessary.

“It’s important for us to make time for our kids and our hobbies,” said Amy. “We don’t want to be working around the clock and we want our kids to know us. We do this by keeping things simple. We don’t commit to extraneous activities that remove us from our three main priorities: family, work, and hobbies.”

Amy and Jordan recently skied together as a family of four for the first time, and it was a great success and happy experience for all of them.

“My kids love to be outdoors so we take time to ski, go on hikes, have picnics, swim, and bounce on trampolines.”

Her four-year-old son is currently in pre-school and sometimes Jordan collects him from school for an afternoon of skiing in Loveland. For Amy, the hours between 4 pm and 8 pm are sacred. That’s when she takes her kids on bike rides, visits the park, and they ride their scooters. If she doesn’t have that time with her kids, she is not fulfilled. The longest she’s ever away from her children is eight hours, and for her, that’s enough.

Another way the couple makes their work/life balance possible is that they intentionally plan meaningful activities with and without the kids. They are able to go out for date night three times a month because Jordan’s mother will look after the boys.

“Jordan and I have gotten better over the years about making each other a priority, and as a result, we are happier parents,” added Amy. “Happy parents make for happy kids.”

Their goals are to keep doing what they’re doing. They are able to travel quite a bit with their children as their business functions well with their quality employees. These trips are meaningful for the boys and Amy emphasized that now they’re chomping at the bit to go skiing and travel.

Having It All – Is It Possible?

Amy has mixed feelings about “having it all.” She believes that being able to do everything comes at a high cost, and isn’t necessarily possible. She can’t see her children 100 percent of the time, but when she does, it’s quality time where she’s fully present in the moment.

Her advice to others is to realize that every situation is different and there’s not a right answer for each couple.

“I’d recommend that couples don’t go in with a firm plan before they have kids because they may think it’ll be easier than it is in reality,” said Amy. “You have to check your ego at the door. I thought I could just take my newborn into work with me and all would be smooth. That lasted four months. We found we just couldn’t get our work done. So you have to be open-minded about what is viable in your specific situation. There isn’t just one way to do things.”
For more information, visit Powder7.

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