We had the good fortune of connecting with Jenny Dinh Safransky and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jenny Dinh, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
After working in marketing for 10+ years in the ad agency world and more recently in brand partnerships for the GRAMMYs, I felt it was time to make a change when I became a mom in 2020.
After much reflection when my son was born, I knew that I wanted the ability to spend more time with my family and do something that was purpose-driven. So without an exact plan in place, I decided to leave my dream job at the GRAMMYs after 5 years. Although this decision was risky, it felt right based on the current season of my life.
As a first-generation Asian American, I’ve always been a natural born hustler. Just like how I sought to work in the entertainment and music industry and made it happen. I feel confident that I can do anything I put my mind to.
After leaving the Recording Academy (GRAMMYs) I knew that I still wanted to continue working in brand partnerships. So I thought to myself, how can I leverage my marketing and brand partnerships experience and combine it with my passion for empowering other women? That’s when JDS Projects came to life. An agency with a focus on connecting diverse, women of color influencers, creators and entrepreneurs with like-minded brands. My goal is to empower women by providing them the knowledge, guidance and business tools to reach their full potential. In short, I help my clients secure paid brand partnerships with confidence.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
JDS Projects represents a curated roster of diverse female influencers with impact. These women have their own unique expertise and highly engaged communities. They range from a sports physical therapist, fitness trainer, podcasters, media personalities, chefs, and more. These women are versatile in every aspect as influencers, content creators, business owners, thought leaders, community builders and so much more!
As JDS Projects grows, my goal is to make an impact on more women who are seeking brand partnerships and influencer marketing guidance. In order to do this, I offer a ‘Done WITH you’ service called the Brand Partnerships Starter Bundle for those who are looking for custom pitch emails, brand packages, an overall understanding of the brand partnership process and 1-1 coaching to confidently secure their own paid brand deals. This way, if I can’t manage an influencer/creator directly, I can still make a difference through shared knowledge.
As a first-generation Asian American who grew up in a diverse city of San Francisco, I feel a strong duty to uplift those who need it most. Did you know that 83% of women are influencers, but male influencers still get paid 30% more? There is also a 29% pay disparity between white influencers and BIPOC influencers. Knowing these stats, this is why JDS Projects is focused on empowering women of color.
With a decade of marketing experience from ad agencies and the GRAMMYs, partnering with many iconic brands and helping to launch multi-million dollar marketing campaigns, I now get to take that experience with me to help others.
My approach is not about how to secure the biggest brand deal, but first asking the questions: does this brand align with my client’s values? And is there a mutually beneficial partnership that can be created here?
As I reflect on how far I’ve come, I’ve found that every career decision that I have made has prepared me for running a business just like this.
When I’m not finding ways to connect creators with brands, I spend my time mentoring girls as a board member of the non-profit Step Up. Through these purpose-driven priorities, I aim to inspire the next generation of leaders that anything is possible.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If you’re a foodie, you must come to Portland and discover the city for yourself. 🙂
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would love to give a shout out to Amanda Mailey, the founder of ALIST WSW, also a friend and a mentor to many. The beauty of being an entrepreneur is that you get to choose who you get to work with. We both believe in women supporting women, but more specifically in amplifying women of color owned brands and businesses. When I moved to Portland, OR from LA in 2020, that’s when my journey of entrepreneurship began. I made an intentional effort to join virtual, women-focused entrepreneurial groups to build community. However, I still missed that in-person connection.
Fast forward to June 2022, that’s when I met Amanda via Instagram. She was often highlighting other women-owned businesses on her IG, but also hosting monthly in-person Women Supporting Women (WSW) events that were making an impact directly on these businesses. I finally got to attend one of her events, and the rest was history. Since then I’ve moderated a panel for the ALIST WSW community, met new friends and new clients. Amanda inspires me to think unconventionally and is a leader who practices what she preaches.