We had the good fortune of connecting with Lauren + Carly DeFilippo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lauren + Carly, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Before launching Cognoscenti Creative, we both had worked on in-house marketing and creative teams in the food and hospitality industries and had been freelancing for several years on the side. By the time we were 10+ years into our careers, we realized that our combined skill sets of copywriting / content strategy and graphic design / photography allowed us—as a team of two—to provide agency-quality creative on a scale accessible to small business owners. We found ourselves particularly drawn to the stories of artisans, makers and other entrepreneurs—the types of clients we never could have served if we continued working for larger creative companies.
What should our readers know about your business?
There are two main things that set us apart from other small creative studios. The first is our client-side experience. We’ve not only developed creative, but have seen how it impacts internal business goals. Because of that, we understand both client expectations and how to meaningfully move the needle through creative work. Second is our integrated approach to visual and verbal storytelling. From photography, to graphic design, to copywriting, brands are strongest when all of these core components are developed as part of a cohesive brand identity process. There are very few studios of our size that can handle such a wide range of requests without hiring external freelancers. We’ve had our business for the past five years, but grew it incrementally while working creative jobs at other companies. 2020, despite the pandemic, ended up being a critical moment of growth for us as we left those jobs behind to focus on Cognoscenti Creative full-time. We weren’t certain how that would pan out, but we’ve actually found that our business model has become even more relevant as brands are challenged to engage with their customers in new ways.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We’ve actually created a guide to our favorite local businesses that lives on our website [click here: https://cognoscenticreative.com/denver-guide]. One of the most exciting things about working in food and hospitality is Denver’s world class food, drink and coffee scene. There are so many amazing places to choose from, but if we had to pick a one-day itinerary: We’d start the day at Sapor Coffee & Concepts, then head over to Stowaway Kitchen in RiNo for breakfast. From there, we’d walk west, hitting the Dairy Block and Union Station on our downtown tour. Mid-day, we’re always excited for a stroll through the Botanic Gardens, or grabbing sandwiches from Curtis Park Deli for a Cheesman picnic with friends. As the day winds down, we’d grab drinks at Williams & Graham and dinner at El Five, or head back to RiNo for snacks and natural wine at Noble Riot.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
When we were first starting our business, one of the main ways we connected with small business owners was through editorial work for publications like Life & Thyme. Andy Clark, the founder of Moxie Bread Co. in Louisville, was one of the first people in Colorado that we interviewed for a feature article. As his business has grown and evolved, so has ours, and it’s been inspiring to be able to continue collaborating over the years. Andy has also introduced us to some incredible people in the Boulder food community (and beyond) and we’re so grateful to be part of the Moxie extended family.