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We create brands Isolation_Modethat upliftIsolation_Mode the world  Isolation_Mode through greater wellbeing.

 

The agency for wellbeing
With deep black-star expertise across beauty, wellness, and cpg, we create black-star strategic branding, standout packaging, ecommerce websites, and omnichannel content that help brands Isolation_Mode do things the right way—and win.
Our Work

Our Services

brand development

Strategy and creative to develop differentiated brands and own your unique white space.

  • Brand Strategy
  • Naming
  • Brand Identity
  • Messaging
  • Voice & Tone
  • Logo Design
  • Brand Guidelines

packaging & retail

Insights and design to create unique packaging To Stand out on retail and digital shelves.

  • Creative Strategy
  • Packaging Design
  • Visual Merchandising
  • Retail Readiness
  • Ecommerce Shipping Programs

omni-channel content

Strategy and creative for marketing campaign development to meet your consumer where they are.

  • Marketing Strategy & Execution
  • Content Strategy & Planning
  • Art Direction & Production
  • Brand-led Advertising Campaigns
  • Social Media Content
  • SMS & Email Marketing

ecommerce websites

UX, strategy, design and development for direct-to-consumer (DTC) experiences.

  • Web Design and Development
  • UX/UI
  • Shopify / Shopify Plus Experts
  • Custom App Development
  • Conversion Optimization
  • Email Marketing

our leadership

Uncommon black-starexpertise for beauty, wellness + consumer brands.
WORK with us
We’ve brought together a team of strategists, creatives and technologists who work across brand and omnichannel deliverables to solve business challenges and find unique opportunities for growth. Led by three industry experts with over six decades of experience spanning wellness, health, tech, beauty, personal care and CPG, our team is uniquely positioned to guide our clients to be ready for and thrive in the changing brand landscape.
Katie Klencheski

Katie
Klencheski

Founder + CEO

Katie's experience sits at the intersection of brand strategy and creativity, where she has influenced meaningful change for brands across beauty, wellness and CPG, in order to develop better and healthier products and experiences—and greater wellbeing for all. 

 

With a career spanning brand development and advertising for luxury brands like Cartier and health giants like Pfizer to championing climate causes with the Climate Reality Project and the Ecohealth Alliance, she started SMAKK in 2011 in order to uplift brands that embrace their responsibility to do things the right way for people and planet. 

 

At SMAKK, she’s built a team that uses their expertise as a force for good. They work closely with their clients to craft cohesive, meaningful brands that disrupt categories, differentiate products, and build consumer loyalty. Their work leverages beautiful creative and technology to create holistic brand experiences that drive multi-channel growth. 

 

A noted industry expert, Katie has contributed columns for Fast Company, Inc, Ad Age and more on a range of subjects – from beauty trend forecasting and brand strategy to the need for brands to go beyond sustainability to deliver real impact. She is a mentor in retail accelerator programs like Credo for Change and Target's Forward Founders - helping to shape the future of brands.

 

Her work and philosophy reflect a deep commitment to changing consumer behavior towards decisions that are better for people and the planet, and she continues to be a driving force in forwarding responsible design and branding.

Anna Kavaliunas

Anna
Kavaliunas

Chief Strategy Officer

From a deep understanding of the current cultural landscape, to audience insights and competitive research, Anna looks beyond table stakes to provide clients with thoughtful, surprising and inspiring insights that help them win crowded categories and do so with a greater sense of purpose.

With a career spanning network television, branded entertainment and digital marketing, Anna has worked at large media companies including NBCUniversal and WBTV, and with global clients like L’Oreal, American Express, Samsung, Microsoft, and Maybelline. She uses her expertise to help brands connect with a new modern consumer—one that thrives on choice, craves authenticity and demands purpose from their brands. This not only means delivering brand platforms and campaigns that drive engagement, but messaging that inspires and promotes a vision for a better world. 


Her work and powerful approach has led to her being featured in publications including Vanity Fair, Marie Claire, and Inc.com. As a (proud) medical school dropout, health enthusiast, and author of Matcha: A Lifestyle Guide, Anna believes that the future will be defined by brands’ commitment to the physical and mental health and wellbeing of their customers. She also draws inspiration from icons of the entertainment industry; those that prove that women can be accomplished, funny, bold and kind -- a model of leadership for tomorrow’s female founded, disruptive brands. 

nick_smakk_crop2

Nick
Boyajian

Chief Technology Officer

Nick comes from an extensive background building technology and support teams for some of the most innovative global companies, including Apple, Zocdoc, Google, and Flatiron Health, and Google.


At SMAKK, Nick helps unlock development superpowers for companies and brands. Using his experience, knowledge, and intuitive understanding of platforms and systems to develop digital solutions that are both functional and innovative. They are instrumental in building out ecommerce experiences for clients that deliver a seamless and user-friendly shopping experience, optimize performance, and leverage emerging technologies for both conversion and growth. 


Nick is also the co-founder and COO of Wild Flower, a sexual wellness company, and is the lead technologist behind the brand’s innovative product development, design, and production. Nick’s expertise in software and hardware development, as well as design and illustration, contributed to innovative product launches such as the Enby™, the first non-gendered vibrator. 

Nick
Boyajian

Chief Technology Officer

Nick comes from an extensive background building technology and support teams for some of the most innovative global companies, including Apple, Zocdoc, Google, and Flatiron Health, and Google.


At SMAKK, Nick helps unlock development superpowers for companies and brands. Using his experience, knowledge, and intuitive understanding of platforms and systems to develop digital solutions that are both functional and innovative. They are instrumental in building out ecommerce experiences for clients that deliver a seamless and user-friendly shopping experience, optimize performance, and leverage emerging technologies for both conversion and growth. 


Nick is also the co-founder and COO of Wild Flower, a sexual wellness company, and is the lead technologist behind the brand’s innovative product development, design, and production. Nick’s expertise in software and hardware development, as well as design and illustration, contributed to innovative product launches such as the Enby™, the first non-gendered vibrator. 

nick_smakk_crop2

Anna
Kavaliunas

Chief Strategy Officer

From a deep understanding of the current cultural landscape, to audience insights and competitive research, Anna looks beyond table stakes to provide clients with thoughtful, surprising and inspiring insights that help them win crowded categories and do so with a greater sense of purpose.

With a career spanning network television, branded entertainment and digital marketing, Anna has worked at large media companies including NBCUniversal and WBTV, and with global clients like L’Oreal, American Express, Samsung, Microsoft, and Maybelline. She uses her expertise to help brands connect with a new modern consumer—one that thrives on choice, craves authenticity and demands purpose from their brands. This not only means delivering brand platforms and campaigns that drive engagement, but messaging that inspires and promotes a vision for a better world. 


Her work and powerful approach has led to her being featured in publications including Vanity Fair, Marie Claire, and Inc.com. As a (proud) medical school dropout, health enthusiast, and author of Matcha: A Lifestyle Guide, Anna believes that the future will be defined by brands’ commitment to the physical and mental health and wellbeing of their customers. She also draws inspiration from icons of the entertainment industry; those that prove that women can be accomplished, funny, bold and kind -- a model of leadership for tomorrow’s female founded, disruptive brands. 

Anna Kavaliunas

Katie
Klencheski

Founder + CEO

Katie's experience sits at the intersection of brand strategy and creativity, where she has influenced meaningful change for brands across beauty, wellness and CPG, in order to develop better and healthier products and experiences—and greater wellbeing for all. 

 

With a career spanning brand development and advertising for luxury brands like Cartier and health giants like Pfizer to championing climate causes with the Climate Reality Project and the Ecohealth Alliance, she started SMAKK in 2011 in order to uplift brands that embrace their responsibility to do things the right way for people and planet. 

 

At SMAKK, she’s built a team that uses their expertise as a force for good. They work closely with their clients to craft cohesive, meaningful brands that disrupt categories, differentiate products, and build consumer loyalty. Their work leverages beautiful creative and technology to create holistic brand experiences that drive multi-channel growth. 

 

A noted industry expert, Katie has contributed columns for Fast Company, Inc, Ad Age and more on a range of subjects – from beauty trend forecasting and brand strategy to the need for brands to go beyond sustainability to deliver real impact. She is a mentor in retail accelerator programs like Credo for Change and Target's Forward Founders - helping to shape the future of brands.

 

Her work and philosophy reflect a deep commitment to changing consumer behavior towards decisions that are better for people and the planet, and she continues to be a driving force in forwarding responsible design and branding.

Katie Klencheski
AS SEEN IN
Packaging of the World
Mindsparkle Mag
Own It
Dieline
Inc
Medium
Ad Week
Creative Review
BBC logo
Packaging of the World
Mindsparkle Mag
Own It
Dieline
Inc
Medium
Ad Week
Creative Review
BBC logo
BEGIN HERE
Let's connect and see how we can white-up-arrowhelp you grow.

Any questions? black-star

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When SMAKK started up in 2011 we were originally called SM & KK Studios …But pretty soon all our clients were calling us “SMAKK” and it stuck. Since then we’ve learned that the word “smak” means cool things in other languages, like “yummy” or “to have good taste” in Polish. 

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It all depends on the specifics of the deliverables, size of the project and overall complexity but as a baseline you can plan on typical minimums of: 

 

Branding: 12 Weeks
Websites: 12 Weeks
Marketing Campaigns: 6 Weeks
Packaging: 6 Weeks


When we do all of the above together to launch a new brand (or rebrand an existing one) we will overlap parts of the processes together – that’s typically a 6 month timeline from start to launch.


“Can you go faster?”

We knew you were going to ask! Yes, in some cases, we can. Get in touch and we can build a project plan with your deadlines in mind. 

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 At SMAKK, we're small and that's good news for you – there's no 'B team' here.

 

All project teams are led by a dedicated Project Manager who will guide you through the process. Based on your project type we’ll pull together the right combination of our inhouse talent that may include strategists, copywriters, creatives, UX, and/or web developers. Across the project, you’ll meet with your whole team weekly so we can gather information, share insights, present our work and get feedback directly from you. 

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New York City, baby!

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That all depends on your deliverables and project type, but most projects will start between $40,000 - $100,000. That’s a wide range, we know.

 

Contact us and we’ll walk through the specifics of your project to put together a quote just for you.  Get started here!

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Most initial engagements start as projects. From there some engagements will move into a retainer for ongoing work. For instance, following the launch of a website we will often have monthly or hourly based retainers for ongoing testing, enhancements, and maintenance. We also work with clients on ongoing marketing in retainer engagements.

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If you’re starting a new CPG brand you’ll want to start talking with us about 7-8 months out from the day you’ll be ready to start selling products. Typical end-to-end branding projects take a minimum of 6 months to complete on our side. Get started with us here.

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We hear this a lot. One of the project types we’ve designed is a holistic approach to testing what messaging, content, marketing tactics, product visuals, and D2C experiences will move the needle and provide the most ROI for brands with their consumers. These “test and learn” engagements are tailored to work with existing brands that aren’t sure what tactics to tackle first. We’d love to hear more about your brand and walk you through how these projects work. Get started here.

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We started the agency with a “brand strategy first, tactics second” ethos. Brands have to be seamless and recognizable across every touchpoint to build consumer equity so we built a team that can execute like nobody’s business. Our team represents the best specialized talent working across all of the places where CPG brands have to live: from messaging and visual identity, to packaging, ecommerce design, development, and omni-channel campaigns – always with holistic, brand-centric strategy leading the charge. Get in touch, we’d love to introduce you. 

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