About Us

SHELF Studio is a boutique, Austin, Texas-based team of packaging and brand experts who partner with entrepreneurs. We specialize in the better-for-you CPG food + beverage, baby + tots, and fitness + nutrition industries — but, we play in other categories as well.

How We Work

Our Vision

Our vision is to enable entrepreneurs that are disrupting the marketplace and creating new expectations. Our mission is to create brands, not products, for entrepreneurial companies that want to make a difference.

Keep It Simple

We keep our process streamlined, and our guidance simple, so we’re the best part of your day and don’t add to the information overload.

Partner vs Vendor

Consider us part of your team. We go above and beyond, the way you do for your business. In fact, we love baking plans together.

Small, But Think Big

There are just a few of us and we don’t bite off more than we can chew. That means we have the ability to dream big and always be there when you need us.

Creative Collaboration

We don’t mind tangents. In fact, we love them — because some of those side bar conversations have led us to our best work. It’s the collaborative moments that fuel our energy for when we have to run off and do our own thing.

It's Not About Us

Our goal is not to make the most beautiful piece for our portfolio, but rather to make the decision easy for your customers to choose you — by creating a compelling brand.

Support Entrepreneurs

We want you to break bank and sell big. We strive to make your business venture such a positive experience that you never give up on being entrepreneurial.

Continuous Improvement

It's a changing landscape, out there. We keep our pulse on the evolving industry so you don't have to. We want to know what's on the horizon for your brand, and then be a few feet in front of where you're headed.

Our Pack

Alison P. Sauter

Principal and Creative Director

I chase the things I want most — even if I don’t exactly know how to get there. And that’s exactly what brought me to creating SHELF Studio. But let’s go back to the start: It begins with my passion for packaging.

I’m a gift giver, and there is nothing more beautiful to me than a thoughtfully designed package. So in 2001, I went to the place that does packaging best: The Netherlands. With a little bravery and no plan whatsoever, I pedaled my portfolio door-to-door until [finally] an agency took me aboard. In Holland, I worked for international clients including Snapple, Whole Earth, Unilever and Schwepps.

I returned to the States more than five years later to find work in San Diego at a string of agencies, where I rounded out my skills to grow new brands and reinvent established ones. Five years there, and I was off to the place I would call home: Austin, Texas.

My Austin home and SHELF Studio might be the most recent incarnations of my calling to craft brands that spark, but that’s always been inside me.

And through the trust of my clients and a lot of serendipity, I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.

Steven Benoit

Director of Strategy & Planning

Strong, savvy, superhero-level strategy? Picture-perfect planning with precision? Objectively outstanding operations? Steven’s your guy.

With nearly 15 years in the natural foods industry, Steven came to SHELF with a wealth of expertise, plus a serious appetite for helping our clients. His comprehensive knowledge of product, analytics, and business strategy has led him to the forefront of some of the most innovative food, body care, and supplement trends. He uses these insights to help our clients stand out on the shelf.

Steven’s experience also includes partnering to establish and grow a Belgian-based supplement company in the U.S. As the National Sales & Education Coordinator, he grew the brand’s presence from 300 to over 1,500 stores nationwide.

Sure, that’s impressive. But what about Steven’s personal life? When he’s not helping direct strategy or building out a comprehensive quarterly plan, you can find him in the kitchen. Or playing the piano. Or spending quality time with his beloved deaf & blind poodle, Baby. There’s so much to say about Steven, we might have him build a spreadsheet to capture all there is to admire.

Julie Alpers

Advisor

Julie’s always had a special relationship with SHELF – because she used to be a client.

We first met Julie when she was serving as the CEO of UpSpring Baby, a company developing innovative wellness products for new Moms. She selected SHELF to help launch UpSpring’s first supplement drink. But before that, Julie worked in marketing agencies, the software industry, and even real estate. She took the classic marketing route with an MBA from the University of Michigan and then worked for a handful of globally recognized brands like American Express, O Magazine, Martha Stewart Living, and Parenting Magazine.

After 25 years in NYC, Julie made her home in Austin where she serves as our trusted Advisor.

Ryan Rogers

Copy Chief

He’s worked with Google and YouTube to reach small business clients around the world. He’s scripted videos for the NFL, the NBA, and NASA. He’s branded everything from app start-ups to CPGs you‘ll find in Target and Whole Foods. And that’s not even the whole story.

He began his career in advertising at 18 years old – working his way up from copywriting intern to Creative Director at his first agency. He then worked at the legendary Peter Mayer Advertising in New Orleans before bouncing to San Francisco for less humid weather. There, he worked on an embedded creative team for Google with partners in San Francisco, Mountain View, San Bruno, and Dublin, Ireland. He also helped launch Google’s global Pride campaign that amplified the voices of LGBTQ+ families. When he’s not writing for SHELF clients, he’s shaping the direction of Pandora’s new audio advertising product, Dynamic Audio.

Ryan is SHELF’s most senior creative behind Alison – working with the Studio since 2011 and through its many incarnations. And he’ll be here for whatever’s next.

Sprout Sauter

Office Greeter

Sprout came to us with aspirations of being a Brand Developer, but sadly, we didn’t have any positions open at the time. Also, he’s a dog. But we did find his enthusiasm delightful so we let him stay.

Around the studio, he’s always anxious to be part of the mix and in-the-know. But once the head scratches and treats end, he shuffles off — in search of attention elsewhere.

Maybe someday he’ll manage a few accounts of his own. But we don’t think he’s ready yet.