Societygal Feature with Alina Dinh, Founder of Dreamy Presets


Today we are featuring Alina Dinh, the boss behind Dreamy Presets. Unless you're living under a rock you've seen Dreamy Presets popping up all over your Instagram feed from some of the biggest influencers. Alina is a photographer that is a #girlboss at heart. 

Tell us about yourself and what you do?: I’m a photographer and founder of Dreamy Presets. We design custom Lightroom presets that help content creators, retailers, and photographers brand their content beautifully and strategically. Prior to this venture, I spent close to a decade in corporate e-commerce working for Fortune 500 companies first as an IT consultant, then user interface designer and then product manager. My career has never been planned out to a tee. Every job position I had led me to a new opportunity that got me closer to my dream job, and I find that so exciting!
I’ve been an entrepreneur at heart for as long as I can remember. During my junior year in college, I started my first web design agency and picked up my first client within a week with the help of my mom! We walked for hours on campus putting up flyers for me. I love her so much! I helped my client design and build his first e-commerce website. That experience helped me learn so much about how to run a business, managing my time & resources, and knowing when to get help. It was eye-opening and fueled my entrepreneurial ambition since. A month before graduation I was offered a job by one of the largest consulting firms, and relocate to California. So of course, I couldn’t say no! And this kicked off almost a decade of adventures in the corporate world, for which I am very grateful.
In the late summer of 2016, having already successfully launched Lightroom preset collections from my personal blog, I decided to go all in and created Dreamy Presets as a separate website and brand. It was the best decision I could have made for my business. Being a separate entity, allows us to serve our customers more effectively with more product offerings and enables us to grow quickly in a short period of time.

What do you like most about Societygal?: I love what Society Gal stands for and the community that you’ve built! It’s empowering to be surrounded by successful women who are generous, kind and supportive of other women’s successes! I love it.

Who do you look up to and why?: My parents. They raised six of us in a 2-bedroom apartment on a $25,000/year salary. They worked so hard. I rarely saw them growing up but that’s because they spent their lives working to give us the American dream, and I appreciate that so much. Through them, I’ve learned to work hard, be resourceful and appreciate my opportunities and successes.

What advice do you have for our readers?: Don’t compare yourself to others. I know it’s easier said than done, and I am guilty of this sometimes. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of self-pity as soon as you compare your accomplishments to other people. But if you harness all of that energy into growing your business, innovating your products, adding value to your customers, it’s inevitable that you will find your own success. So when you’re catching yourself doing that, remind yourself that everyone's journey is different, and that you’re destined for success if you keep working hard. Don’t give up, darlings!

What new things are you up to?: So much! My mind is always running and I’m always thinking about creating new products and experiences that add value to my customers. Our latest product launch was a huge success – Color X Preset Series -- so we want to keep that momentum going. In our Color Lab, we’re working on several new preset collections that I know our customers will love. One of the most rewarding aspects of Dreamy Presets for me has been our amazing customers. They’re always very supportive, involved and have a lot of great ideas and feedback to share, some of which became inspirations for our product developments. I’m also working with the team to expand our education series by offering more in-depth photography and photo editing courses.

What books are you reading?: I recently started reading “Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Iya”,  and I love it. It’s about creating products and experiences that delight your potential customers and offer them something they never knew they couldn’t live without!

When did you launch your business?: I launched Dreamy Presets in the summer of 2016 with two preset collections. And today, we have over 10 collections and growing.

What are your offerings in your business?: We offer Lightroom presets that create beautiful, timeless photo aesthetics for your brand. Our clients include some of the most influential content creators, brands, actresses, TV personalities, photographers, and everyday photography hobbyists. We offer a range of gorgeous aesthetics from modern feminine to editorial minimalist. We also recently started offering commercial photography, and that is something I’m extremely excited about.  

How do you manage a work / life balance? Do you set any specific boundaries?: In the beginning, it was so challenging because I was wearing every single hat for my business. Doing customer service is hard when you have a newborn and a toddler. I used to answer customer emails all hours of the day and night, sometimes while changing diapers. LOL! But now I have a team that helps me execute those operational tasks, and that has been life-changing. When I spend time with my babies now, I’m 100% focused on them.

What is does your morning routine look like? Do you stick to a schedule?: I wake up at 5 AM most days to do yoga with my husband. It’s our little ritual and really helps me feel focused and at peace for the rest of the day. Afterwards, I plan my day while having breakfast, catch up on today’s news and then try to get some work done while the babies are still asleep.

Favorite food +/or drinks?: I love Vietnamese & Japanese food. Give me a bowl of pho or ramen any day and I’m a happy girl. At the moment, I’m kind of addicted this bubble tea called The Foxy Brown. It’s made of brown sugar and Assam milk tea, and it’s so tasty. Typing this right now makes me want to go buy one. =D

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