Don’t let the “& Co” trip you up. I use it in a different way: to focus on co-creating and the collaborative nature of my work rather than my company or co-workers.
Neapolitan & Co, affectionately known as “Nea,” is a communications strategy studio owned by Sara Klele, located in Grand Rapids, MI, but working with clients across the country.
After a bad breakup with the advertising world in 2007, I chose to set out on my own path. I needed more than what marketing or ad design could give me. So, I went back to the basics and rediscovered my love of simplification.
To me, it’s all about the rigor of strategic development.
The untangling of puffy jargon.
The discovery of client truths.
So, I launched Neapolitan & Co with the focus of delivering strategic communication design. Since then, I’ve had the pleasure of working with dozens of small businesses, in addition to collaborating directly with teams within larger organizations like PayPal, Steelcase, Stryker, and United Way.
While I remain happily independent, it’s important for me to stay actively connected to the design community. I served on the AIGA West Michigan chapter board for nearly seven years, co-founded and led West Michigan Design Week, as well as managed all programming for the chapter.
I also greatly value furthering my education. I’ve participated in Global Service Jam, was trained in design thinking methods from IBM Design, and dove deeper into human-centered design with an innovation course from IDEO U.
When I'm not sitting behind my computer, I’m often out hiking, camping, or dancing at a concert. Sometimes I hop into my car and take a long drive to fit all these things in at once. (But don’t worry, I always bring my laptop. I’m used to working remotely.)
As a conceptual and visual thinker, I'm driven by a deep desire to understand people, their behavior, and the interconnectivity of it all. Through my work, I strive to create happier experiences, make sense of messes, and untangle complex information.
I also care deeply about doing what’s right for humanity and the planet. And believe it or not, I like to have a little fun along the way, too.
I left the world of advertising early in my career because I was being asked to create dishonest design for unethical companies. I hold my values close – and if you do, too, I think we'll make a great team.
The process doesn’t work if you’re not truthful about your idea, your product, and your customers. I believe authenticity is mandatory for brand survival.
I see the world as a vast unfolding wonder, full of possibility and promise. That’s why I’m so full of questions: to discover new ways of thinking and new solutions for problems we didn't even realize existed.
Aretha said it best – and it means the world to me. R-E-S-P-E-C-T is a given for team members, but it’s also important for the customer, the product, and this magic rock we’re living on. We all deserve equitable rights and opportunities.
Still wondering if your project needs Nea & Co? I’m always happy to hop on a call or chat over email to hash out the details to give you more insight.
In the spirit of full transparency, Neapolitan & Co consists of just one independent designer, Sara Klele. So, some projects may just require too much manpower for me to take on by myself. However, I do love to partner with other creatives and conceptual thinkers, like copywriters or illustrators, when the project calls for it. (That’s where the “& Co” comes from.) Don’t worry, if your project isn’t a good fit you’ll know, because your success is always the priority.
To give you a better idea of who I serve, here are a some of the types of projects that make me excited: