Hello! We are Gabby + Lauren.

We run a studio in NYC called Super Keen, and we just turned two!

Last year, we shared the ins and outs of starting a studio. We published our earnings, our big expense categories, our project insights, and our learnings. This year, we’re sharing a lot of the same stuff, only we’re not just starting out anymore. Our second report is all about learning from our first year and trying to make smart, thoughtful changes. We hope this helps you see what it’s like to be in year two of running a studio.

If you want to read the first report, you can read that here SK.S 2021


What is Super Keen?

Super Keen (SK) is a brand studio that works with early-stage founders.

We believe the best brands are built from two things: strategy and design. Strategy makes design cohesive and connected. Design makes strategy stand up in the world. But putting them together—that’s when the magic really happens.

We love building brand foundations. This often means creating a brand from scratch or expanding on a growing system. The common goal is crafting stories and systems that are scalable and allow everyone to make brand decisions easily. That often includes:

Year Background

2022 flew by. As the world began to open up, our calendars got packed with social plans. We traveled, had lots of friends come to visit, went to weddings, had Lauren’s wedding (Gabby was a brilliant MC), and more. We went to design conferences. We spent the weekend upstate with a bunch of creatives. We also did a [business] partners’ costume for Halloween which was very well-received :)

But our year wasn’t just full of social events. We also worked a lot. We took on a ton of projects and had some really late nights, especially in the beginning and middle of the year. Our projects were a mix— SK clients, SK internal projects, freelance gigs, and studio collaborations. We really liked the variety, but the pace wasn’t sustainable. We started to feel creatively drained and pretty burned out.

By the end of the summer, we really needed a break. When we realized that we hit our salary target for the entire 2022 by August (!), we took it as a sign to slow down. We dedicated Gabby’s time to Super Keen case studies for a month, then took it easy the final quarter of the year. A slower end to the year turned out to be incredibly enriching: we regained our creative energy, devoted time to SK projects, and started writing a book. We got into a Friday yoga routine which has been great for both of us physically and mentally. Then in December, we went to Miami for a “production week”—essentially our version of an off-site where we focus on fun studio stuff and 2023 planning. We finished the year feeling more energized than we began.