The Keen Machine: A source for graphics, marketing in Long Beach
2010-03-29 · By Editor
EverythingLongBeach recently spoke with Shannon Dwyer, Owner of The Keen Machine, via email. They talked about inspirations, challenges and what’s it’s like having a business in Belmont Shores.
How long has The Keen Machine in business?:
I have been in the business for just under 2 years.
Describe your business:
The Keen Machine is a single source solutions provider for graphic, print and web design.
We provide cost effective high quality services such as develop marketing strategies, build brands, manage event, design websites, host websites, design printed items like business cards, flyers, catalogs, banner and posters, etc.
Why did you start The Keen Machine?
I started my business because I have 15 years of Design, Marketing, Business and Management experience that I want to share. My daugher is 18 now and getting ready for the rest of her life, I have brought her this far and I have always tried to impress upon her the knowledge that she can accomplish anything she wants to if she puts her heart into it.
So with that said, I had been planning to start this business for several years, then one day I woke up and the timing was right. Working for someone else was not enough for me because I just knew that the knowledge and skill set I have is better served my helping other businesses grow. I love what I do, I always have and now I have the opportunity to do it in a city I love. What more could a business owner ask for.
What makes The Keen Machine stand out?
The Keen Machine is different in so many ways. I have researched and built strategic relationships all in the name of providing my clients with an all around resource that will help them to conduct business faster and easier.
In addition to providing the all-around services we offer, our clients would be hard pressed to find a creative agency that is easier to work with than The Keen Machine.
What is the biggest success The Keen Machine has had?
The majority of our business comes from word of mouth. That really is the greatest compliment of all.
What is your favorite part of running your business?
My favorite part of running my business is dealing with my clients. I love the interactions and helping them achieve their goals.
What are the biggest challenges you face?
When my daughter graduated high school my biggest challenges were behind me really. Of course there will be rough times and challenges but they are all opportunities to learn and grow. We learn the most in the face of perceived defeat. But is it really defeat if we have learned something? I don’t think so. I had my daughter when I was 16 years old, that was a challenge for sure but now she is on her way to a very healthy and successful adult life and that has been my greatest success. Biggest Challenge as a small business owner? I would have to say making time for my personal life at this point. I really love what I do.
What unique talents do you bring to The Keen Machine?
I have an A.A. in Fashion Design actually, I learned quickly it wasn’t the industry for me and that I should stick with what I know. I also have a B.S. in Marketing which has provided a good foundation for my business.
How is The Keen Machine involved with the community?
Since I am a recent resident I am looking for ways to get involved in the community. I have some plans for future programs to teach computer design in an after school program or to underprivileged children.
I had done some volunteer work with the Mercy House in Ontario, CA teaching parenting classes to homeless single mothers but I will need to replace that with something else within the Long Beach community now that I live here.
Do you have any future plans for The Keen Machine?
I plan to continue growth and buy a building to operate from which will serve as a home for The Keen Machine but also a place for those who want to learn a trade but do not have the means to pay for classes can go to learn.
What is the best advice that you received and who did it come from?
When I was discussing my plans with my daughter she told me that she supported me 100% and that I need to do what makes me happy. Coming from my child that I have literally grown up with was a proud moment for me. It is something I would have said to her and she made me so proud.
One last thought: I am really looking forward to being a part of the Long Beach community. I have had dreams of living in Belmont Shores for years and I am so excited. I am even more excited that I can provide a valuable service to the businesses around me.
The Keen Machine Details: