About small c

We are a Northern Virginia-based, woman-owned creative studio that works with organizations dedicated to helping people and the planet thrive.

Our mission

We aim to build a more equitable, sustainable society through our partnerships and our creative work, and we believe we can achieve this by supporting clients whose values align with ours.

Our values

Care deeply.

We are passionate about our work — and the people, the ideas and the planet we are working to support. We want to explore what fuels you, fully grasping your mission and vision for the future.

Be open.

We crave collaboration and welcome new ideas. We cannot grow unless we listen to people who think and work differently than we do. Stay open minded. Seek diverse perspectives.

Focus on the “why.”

Strong, beautiful creative is born from solid process and thoughtful strategy. The “why” should always shape the “what.”

Avoid waste.

We make every effort to avoid wasting time, materials and energy — in everything we do. We deliver creative solutions that are built to evolve alongside your brand and business.

Stay curious.

We are eager to learn and we like to play. We ask questions, listen to understand and explore creative solutions together.

Live your life.

Do what you love. Find fulfillment in the big and the little moments. Take breaks. Explore our beautiful planet. Connect. Spread joy.

Our story

small c founder, Claire Smalley, took a leap in 2023 — leaving the corporate world to open her own creative studio. Inspired by her parents, who are both small business owners, Claire witnessed firsthand the sense of fulfillment and purpose that comes from running a business that actually cares about and contributes to a community.

She wanted to forge meaningful partnerships with advocates, dreamers, community builders, small businesses and nonprofit leaders — locally and nationally — who are doing work she can get behind. Work that makes us happier, healthier and more connected. Good work for good people with great ideas.

Claire founded small c with the dream of doing what she loves: crafting beautiful, strategic creative while collaborating with people with progressive ideals and interests. If you’re passionate about advocacy, education, art, design, culture, community building, environmental sustainability, human rights, social justice, and wildlife conservation, we’d love to meet you and learn from you.

Our team

Claire Smalley

Founder & Creative Director

When you partner with small c, you partner with Claire — she leads each project from start to finish. With more than 15 years of experience in art direction, branding, web design, writing, data visualization, project management and content strategy, Claire will drive your project forward with clarity, curiosity and a sense of purpose. Claire enjoys making things with her hands, reading magical realism and gardening. She’s gradually replacing her grass lawn with native plants and trees in order to do her small part in making our planet healthier and more sustainable.

Claire has built a network of specialists throughout her career. Depending on the project, she pulls together a dedicated team of experts to bring your vision to life.

Annie Johnson

Copywriter & Brand Strategist

Based in Richmond, Virginia, Annie has more than 13 years of experience in copywriting, content strategy and creative direction. Annie loves working on projects that require more nuanced or in depth writing and verbal identity support — especially projects for small businesses that are woman-owned and dedicated to doing good. She loves the simple things in life; she can always be found with a book in her bag and a new recipe to attempt. Currently, Annie enjoys exploring the world through her toddler’s eyes (and tiny, chubby feet) — and is trying desperately to find a way to slow time.

Tell us about your project.

We’ll do the investigative work to provide you with strategic, creative solutions tailored to your needs and resources. Let’s work together.