Let’s start with the space. From the moment you walk through the wooden “M” branded front doors of Moxie Sozo, it’s clear you’ve entered into the minds of creatives. Arms (yes, plastic arms) dangle from the ceiling, a hippo head caught mid-roar adorns the wall and every quirky trinket imaginable lines the hallways. It’s a fitting setting for this distinguished branding agency, which encourages the bold application of intelligence and creativity to all its work. It’s clear from the interior alone that this organization has plenty of both.
“Art is everything a good brand should be - memorable, shared and valued,” said Derek Springston, Chief Creative Officer & Partner. “This framework is how we approach our work as innovators that specialize in branding for consumer-packaged goods (CPGs).” Today, Moxie works with clients all over the world, primarily in the food/beverage industry and wellness spaces (think Mauna Loa and Angry Orchard). However, like most successful companies, it has a more humble beginning.
“Moxie Sozo began in 1999, right around the time agencies were beginning to pop up in the Boulder area. We immediately found a connection between the vibrant outdoor industry and creative minds,” explained Derek. “At that time, we had around five employees. From there, we’ve expanded into a team of about 40 and have been located in downtown Boulder since 2004. Through all the growth, we remain an agency that values mutual appreciation with our clients and working with mission-driven companies. And there is no better place for us to find organizations that align with those values and call our home than the Pearl Street Mall.”
Three other partners - Charles Bloom (Creative Director), Nate Dyer (Creative Director) and John Supsic (CFO) - have all been with Moxie Sozo for over 14 years and attribute their commitment to the company to two major conditions: the people they work with and the setting they work in. “The success of this agency is entirely dependent on the people we hire. We work with our friends, our mentors and some of the most dynamic minds in the business,” said John.
Then there are the late-night fuel runs to Pizza Colóre (because pizza = creativity, it’s just a fact) and brainstorming sessions while wandering along the Boulder Creek. “We step out on our balcony and are met with awe-inspiring views of the Flatirons. It just doesn’t get better than that,” said Derek. “What Pearl Street provides our staff is also essential,” added Nate. “People want to come into the office because they can bond with each other over tacos at T/ACO and foster friendships outside the workplace. The energy of downtown Boulder is unmatched elsewhere.”
Looking ahead, Moxie Sozo wants to maintain its connection to the downtown community by supporting nonprofits like TGTHR, which they recently helped rebrand. “To make a positive impact on society, you need to start with your own backyard,” said Derek. “The more we can infuse ourselves in our local communities, the better. It’s all about showing up where and when it matters - and downtown Boulder matters.”
If you’re looking for the intersection of powerful branding and cool human beings, Moxie Sozo is it. “Ultimately, I think people move to Boulder to live lives of meaning and purpose. This city informs how we work and inspires us to take risks,” said Charles. If the mission of Moxie resonates with you, check out their work. And if you’re looking for an office culture that encourages plastic dinosaur decor and people watching on Pearl Street, it can be found right behind two wooden doors.
The energy of downtown Boulder is unmatched elsewhere.