We had the good fortune of connecting with Janny Nguyen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Janny, what do you attribute your success to?
The most important factor behind my success is influencing and inspiring future generations to be brave and confident enough to pursue their life goals.
I want to be a source of strong, positive influence especially for young Vietnamese American children. Growing up, it wasn’t common to see many Asian Americans thrive in the public eye. I want to be one of the faces and voice(s) for the people of my heritage and culture to know that I am here to make a mark.
I want to be able to celebrate and share our culture through the lens of my experiences; how strong roots can affect one’s livelihood and world. I feel that when people share stories of their lives with other, we are able to relate and converse in various ways that allows us to connect and share our values from one another.
Isn’t that what life is all about? Learning and growing together to create and build a stronger world? I think so!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My current career venture is pursuing my childhood dream of becoming a voice-over actor and actor! It took years after college to realize what I truly wanted to do for the rest of my life, but I am finally so proud of myself for taking the leap and just going for it. I am actively taking acting classes, auditioning, and have a podcast called, “Janeration.”
The main reason for not pursuing acting in the first place was I thought I had to be more logical and realistic about making money. Growing up in a traditional, Vietnamese American household, I felt like I was held to cultural standards and my parents had their beliefs on what my siblings and I should pursue. So, I went to UC Santa Barbara, graduated with a Bachelors of Arts in sociology, bounced around various customer-service type industries for several years until I founded my false eyelash strip company, AZLO Lashes.
However, growing up in this time and generation, everyone is trying to build their own company, which creates competition and tremendous about of stress as you try to have the most hip, stimulating while aesthetically pleasing posts and stories for social media. I was worn out, anxious, and began procrastinating when it came to my lash brand because my heart just wasn’t in it for the right reasons anymore.
Hence, I found the courage to begin my podcast as a way for me to practice speaking in front of the microphone. This act alone allowed me to see that I am capable of doing so much on my own when I don’t have other people pressuring me to accomplish a certain goal. From audio engineering to creating a portfolio of my samples, this created a whole new exciting world for me to conquer! It has been one year since I began my podcast, and I am so proud of all the little achievements and support along the way!
This has definitely been one of the most challenging things I’ve done on my own, but its also been the most rewarding because of it! What kept me motivated and pumped to continuously create new episodes was the amount of support I received from my family and friends throughout the process of creating my podcast! It literally just takes 1 person to make positive impact on your life; and I love being that person for people through my show!
By sharing my stories and experiences I hope to inspire and influence any walk of life to pursue their wildest dreams! I am very raw and transparent in my podcast, but I do so to encourage my listeners that being your true self; and being proud of who you are–is one of the best feelings in the world! I want the world to know that I am extremely proud of who I am, inside and out; and I feel that it is my duty to help the people in this world share and show how proud they are to be unapologetically themselves! So at the end of the day, don’t be scared to just be yourself!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I actually just moved to Arizona about 3 years ago, so I’m still trying to find these fun adventures to conquer myself! However, whenever any of my family or friends come to Arizona, I always like to take them to Sedona for a spiritual journey hike at the vortex! My friends and family know that I am very spiritual and love being one with nature; so this is always one of the destinations to cross off the list! While we’re in Sedona, I LOVE going to the crystal/gem stores after the hike to collect myself with all the healing energy (and collect new stones as well!). I am obsessed with cosmic energy, healing energy through crystals and all things that relate to meditation and transcendence!
I love to cook and share my Vietnamese cuisine with my loved ones, so I tend to drag my guests to H-Mart in Mesa, where I can grab all of my asian cooking essentials. From introducing new fruits and veggies to cooking a whole Vietnamese feast, I make my friends help out with the whole process! Someone will be washing, cutting, marinating, cooking something with me while I’m working on another cooking task. I have two cats and a dog, so my boys are always making sure the guests are well entertained if mommy is busy cooking! One of my favorite dishes to make is spring rolls because everyone can make theirs just how they like it! Also, its hilarious to see people’s rolling skills haha
I’ll also take my guests out for dinner at a restaurant then go bar hopping in old town Scottsdale! There are so many to choose from, its hard to pick a favorite! If I had to choose, I would definitely say Maple & Ash, Ocean 44, and Etta are my top restaurants that I’ve been able to experience so far! I’d also take my friends on a fun hike, hang and relax around the pool. I like to share new experiences when friends are in town, so that’s normally when I’ll actually take time to find things to do because let’s be real.. we should be adulting most of the time, right??
One of the most exciting and cool things I’ve done so far in Arizona was kayaking to Emerald Cove; where the water was neon green and so breath-taking! The way the sun reflects on the water was so mesmerizing and beautiful you don’t want to leave!! I would definitely want to come back and kayak in the evening to compare the experiences!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to give a HUGE shout out to my little sister, Christina Nguyen!
The passed two years have been a mess and literally everyone was frantic about how we were all going to survive the pandemic. I was stressed out about my small business, AZLO Lashes, and couldn’t find a job to save my life. I became frustrated and had major anxiety over what to do with my company.
Thankfully, my little sister is a college counselor at my alma mater, UCSB! I turned to her for a counseling session, and after talking to her about my interests and goals, taking the personality test, I realized I still want to pursue my childhood dream of being a voice-over actor! At the time, I was in the position and able to begin taking classes from home and watched tons of how-to start a podcast show, and began my podcast, “Janeration” within a few months of having this counseling session with Christina!
This also jumpstarted my voice over and acting lessons, and it also encouraged me to work on my Vietnamese more!
I would not be where I’m at today if I didn’t ask my little sister for help that day; so thank you Christina! I love you too much lil sis!!
Alex Medina Photography Luis Trujillo / Pactography