Lane and Dana Keen never envisioned working together as a father and daughter duo. Lane didn’t even see himself owning his own business a few years ago.
A phrase Lane offered was repeated by Dana and sums up what got them to this point.
“Life happens,” he said.
Lane was laid off as a plant manager at G&K Services in Augusta and eventually decided to start a sign company six years ago. Dana was working another job and would send potential customers to her father.
“Two years ago, he said, ‘You’re already selling for me. Why don’t we make it official and I pay you?’” Dana said. “I said, ‘That sounds great.’”
Dana eventually started working full-time for her father, and the two have become a formidable duo at Keen Signs & Graphics.
Lane is president of the company and Dana is a sales representative. Dana said the transition to her father’s company has been smooth, and their working and personal relationships have grown.
“People always say don’t work for family, but my dad and I have a very good relationship,” Dana said. “He lets me do what I’m supposed to do and doesn’t micromanage me. He listens when I make suggestions to make improvements around here. He’s a good boss to everybody here.”
Keen Signs & Graphics creates sign products and offers services ranging from graphic design consultation to advertising specialties and trade show displays.
It’s been a family business from the beginning, and Lane and Dana have learned much from each other along the way, such as the details of the business, how to treat customers and how to handle different types of situations.
“It’s good having her here,” Lane said. “I really appreciate just having family here. We do work stuff and we talk about family stuff. It’s something good to share with her, sharing the business.”