Creative Matters Agency (formerly BTS Communications)
A Los Angeles-based creative agency rooted in recovery.
We were started by an ex-con in a treatment center. No, really. Fresh out of prison and looking for a new start, he saw an opportunity to update the rehab’s branding and approached them about designing it himself (he learned to do that in prison. The designing—not the pitching. That comes from years of convincing people to trust you when you’re loaded). They said sure, why not! He did a great job and decided it would be cool to teach design to other recovering addicts. The treatment center agreed, and so, we were born.
Since then, we’ve trained over 100 recovering addicts in copywriting, design and project management. Some have even started their own creative shops (who we love to partner with). We did this all while serving as the agency of record for many nonprofits and socially minded organizations both in and outside of Los Angeles.
While our original founder moved on, the interns took over the operation. Kendl Ferencz (an ex-junkie, now 12 years sober) was the original design intern back in 2010, and Greg Kestenbaum (an ex-junkie English teacher, now 5 years sober) was a copywriting intern with a knack. They were re-joined by Zach Fetters, a former CM staff designer who had gone freelance to better accommodate his surf schedule. We continue to take on newly sober interns and teach them skills that can carry them into creative careers, higher education, or just give them the foundation and confidence to return to the workforce.