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Meet Jeff Snider of JS Designs in North Dallas

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jeff Snider.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
First, let me say, I’ve been drawing or building things since I could walk. My mom has the storage tubs to prove it.

In 1991, after an all-expenses-paid tour of Fort Hood, Texas and the middle east, I enrolled in architectural drafting school. While I was attending school, in an attempt to get back to touch with my creative side, I started painting, drawing and designing again – participating in and soloing several gallery showings in the Central Texas area between ‘91 and ‘93.

Early in 1993, an art director friend of mine asked me to help him out with an illustration his team couldn’t nail down. I knocked it out and was offered a job 2 weeks later. This kicked off what would become a career (and a joy). I was 23.

Since that fateful first engagement designing mugs and koozies for Jason, I grabbed hold of every opportunity I could to learn more and design new things. I spent time as Design Director for the local newspaper (not a time I care to relive). I worked with a friend name Mike Mac Daniel who managed a few area design projects and helped me get more connected in the area. I Art Directed for Woodward Creative Group, spending many, many very late nights learning all about project deadlines and client expectations.

Then, in 1997, I became a partner in 2sg Advertising. Our little shop rode a wave of wonderful clients and regional and district Addys all the way the financial downturn of 9-11. Sadly, we closed our doors in 2002.

Following the market and that next big creative opportunity, I uprooted my family and moved to the DFW area to help Y2Marketing build their new design department. That one was an adventure. In 2005, I hired on with Insider Marketing to direct the Samsung Mobile account where I learned the ins and outs of mega-brand clients, promotions & channel marketing and expanded my experience in the retail space.

In 2010, I chose to move on, setting up a new freelance dba – JSDesigns. I soon re-engaged with Samsung, becoming the end-to-end creative resource for their mobile accessories group. Setting up operations in-house at the client’s request, I managed and created nearly all of the accessory packaging, marketing, and online assets since the inception of the Galaxy handset line that year.

Last year, I decided to set up shop outside the walls of Samsung.

Today I lead an amazing team of design junkies based in downtown Plano. We’ve expanded the Samsung Mobile relationship to include their asset group, have built a relationship with TTI Inc, one of the world’s largest electronic components distributors, and are actively engaging with new project-based clients every week.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Absolutely not – lots of bumps and potholes – but I’m not the type of person to label those times as struggles. I see every missed opportunity, every lost bid, every economic downturn as a growth experience. THOSE times are the professional character builders that have helped prepare me for every NEXT time. I wouldn’t trade them.

I try to live in the now and plan for the next. I feel like I and my company are in a great place these days, so all of those bumps are trophies – and I value each as stepping stones that helped get me where I am today.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about JS Designs, LLC – what should we know?
JSDesigns is a full-service branding and design shop. Collectively, our core creative team brings more than 40 years of design, retail marketing, and brand stewardship to the table. We are, by design small and agile – leveraging our industry connections and knowledge of agency workings to allow us to scale with each engagement. Whether that’s through 3rd party partnerships, engagement-based staffing or high-quality freelance connections, we are able to bring whatever resources are necessary to bear on nearly any project both smoothly and economically. This experience-over-personnel model allows us to take on larger opportunities while keeping the creative direction centralized within our core team and reducing the account-side bloat that can show up at estimate and invoice time.

We attack every job with a 4-pillar process: Listen, Create, Connect, Measure.

All 4 pillars are critical to the end product, but listening is paramount. Every engagement begins with it – then circles back to it as each phase winds down. What our clients have to say and what they want from their brand and their marketing is paramount to how we determine the strategy and design thinking behind the work.
Certainly, we still try to push our client partners in new directions and toward opportunities they haven’t explored – that’s our experience speaking and one of our primary points of value – but we do it in a way that places value on the client’s opinions and objectives. After all, no one knows better where they want to be or how they want to be perceived that the client themselves.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Definitely, my family for supporting me and putting up with the demands of building a career in this industry. They have been nothing but loving and understanding through 20+ years of stress-filled project timelines and late nights.

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